People of every age, locale, and background share a need to know where they come from. How would it be to find a website that could provide stories along with information and family clues? Then, what if the website could help guide searchers to discover more about their families’ past? It’s not a dream. FamilySearch.org is uniquely qualified to fill those needs. During 2016, it expanded its resources and improved its interface to make the process ever easier.
To meet its objective to help the world’s people connect with their families’ stories, FamilySearch.org has millions of stories, histories, and photographs along with new record collections and online records in their massive collection. Their research hints are becoming more accurate, and during 2016, they improved their system to support new, more powerful apps, built new research centers, hosted hundreds of free local events worldwide, and added improved patron assistance and more.
“Family history is about stories; it is more than dates and facts,” said Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch. People of every age, locale, and heritage share a universal need to know where they come from and to learn the fun, inspiring, real stories of their ancestors. Rockwood said FamilySearch is focusing its efforts on helping people find their ancestral connections—their stories—something FamilySearch is uniquely prepared to do.
FamilySearch.org, a top-rated, free website hosted by FamilySearch International, one of the foremost family history organizations in the world, has released a 2016 year-end summary of its global efforts to connect families across generations.
Since 1894, FamilySearch and its predecessors have gathered and preserved records from around the globe, creating the largest collection of genealogical and historical records in the world. In the past 26 years, they have incorporated technology and initiatives that engage a broadening swath of consumers to experience emotional, endearing experiences with their family and family history. Partnerships formed with other genealogy search companies, such as Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com, and MyHeritage.com, broaden its searchable databases.
FamilySearch’s nonprofit status helps it to rally the growing sea of commercial companies—large and small—in the genealogy and family markets to join in these notable efforts and create compatible apps.
Millions more searchable records were added this year as employees and volunteers digitally converted FamilySearch’s vaults of microfilm for online viewing and added millions of new record images from archives across the globe. The FamilySearch website is designed to help researchers collaborate in finding their ancestors.
FamilySearch.org completed extensive system upgrades in 2016, making its free website more robust and much faster. It added millions more records; improved search capabilities to reduce duplication, improve search results, and provide more insights at a glance across varied records sources on FamilySearch.org; and simplified collaboration.
In the past, the FamilySearch Family Tree had some limitations in merging duplicate records that had been combined many times, creating many pieces of data that had previously been merged. With the upgrade of the system, that limitation is now gone so these large duplicate records can be merged.
The dynamic records hints feature is faster and more accurate and includes online collections and additional record types.
Patrons can identify their relationships to people in the Family Tree using a new relationship feature.
Adding family photos, stories, documents, and audio files has become easier and is now compatible with mobile devices.