What’s New on FamilySearch—January 2017


Each month, FamilySearch publishes a list of new changes and updates to the FamilySearch.org website. This list includes changes to Family Tree as well as other parts of FamilySearch.org. In some cases, these changes will also be published as individual articles where the need to do so exists.





Recently Released

Family Tree

View My Relationship

When Family Tree calculates your relationship to a person, it now follows your line and calculates the relationship using the preferred spouse and parents that you have selected for your tree.

Temple Ordinance Reservation Policy and Expiring Reservations

In February, the Family History Department will begin unreserving temple ordinance reservations worldwide that have been inactive for more than 2 years.

If you have ordinance reservations that you want taken care of before they are released, share them with a family member, friend, or the temple. For some special reservations, you may want to unreserve them and then reserve them again to keep them on your list. If you prefer to have the ordinances released, you do not need to do anything. If you have shared ordinances with the temple, these ordinances will not be released. 

The Church previously announced the policy of unreserving reservations for ordinances that have been reserved for more than 2 years and has encouraged members to complete ordinances in a timely manner. Unreserving inactive temple reservations has become a priority because of the large number of ordinances that have been reserved longer than this 2-year window.

This policy now applies to reservations made by members from all countries, not just the United States and Canada.

Please see the FamilySearch Blog for more details.

Historical Records Search

When you are signed into your FamilySearch account and you are searching for historical records, FamilySearch identifies which records in the search results are already attached to a person in the tree. Ancestors located in the record and in your family tree are marked by an icon, which allows you to:

  • See vital details about the person as they are recorded in the Family Tree.
  • Navigate quickly to that ancestor in your Family Tree to see his or her recorded details.
  • More easily make sure the record is attached to the right person in your Family Tree.

If there is an icon, the record it attached. If there is no icon, the record is not attached.

If you are not signed in to your FamilySearch account, FamilySearch will encourage you to log in to see attached records of your ancestors.


FamilySearch Memories have been improved to help you in your family history efforts:

Memories Navigation

A new overview option was added to the Memories main navigation menu and to the secondary navigation menu.

The overview page includes information on a link to the new Gallery List View.

Memories Gallery

The List View displays items in the Gallery in a list and allows you to add an event date and an event place to the items.

New Family History Consultant Planner

The Family History Consultant Planner is a new feature on FamilySearch.org that is designed to help family history consultants and anyone helping other users prepare successful family history experiences for other people. You can visit the planner at FamilySearch.org/ask/planner.

Using the planner, consultants can more easily perform the following tasks:

  • Request access to someone else’s Family Tree.
  • Evaluate the member’s current level of family history activity.
  • Preview and analyze the person’s Tree for areas of possible interest to the person.
  • Prepare simple 30-minutes lesson plans for other people.
  • Record notes and progress.


Web indexing will be rolled out in 2017, starting with stake indexing directors and priesthood leaders in February. The public will be invited in the coming months. Look for communications coming through FamilySearch.org and your stake indexing director.


Share Your Comment or Question

The bottom of every FamilySearch page has a “Feedback” link. Clicking that link is the best way to provide suggestions, compliments, or complaints to the people at FamilySearch who can do something about it. While they may not be able to respond personally to every suggestion, FamilySearch engineers personally review each piece of feedback and consider what might be done. Your voice will be heard. Don’t be shy! 

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