Tuesday, April 9, 2013

LDS Family History Site Enhancements released in BETA

So I came back from a week off and it was a difficult week of vacationing.  You probably think that I'm kidding, but it was super frustrating  I came back from my amazing RootsTech experience armed with all sorts of new resources for doing my family history work, and I didn't have a chance to play with them for a week and a half.  The time with family was great, and I am glad I went, but I'm really excited to be back and digging into all that I learned.

The real problem is that I got back from vacation and FamilySearch decided to go ahead and release a Beta version of their new "enhanced" site while I was gone.  I've been dying to witness it ever since the Genealogy Conference I attended in early March where Dennis Brimhall introduced the new enhancements via a demo video.  So with all of these new products, my mind is on fire, and I can't decide where to focus my efforts, so I can't report in full on any of it, but I've been playing around with the new FamilySearch Betat site and I'm ecstatic about the new features.

My favorite so far, the new interactive fan chart.  When logged into Family Tree you can select the "tree" tab and you have the option to view a pedigree or fan chart.  The great part is you can select any member on your fan chart and view them in the head position, which just makes navigating the tree awesome!  My 2nd favorite feature is the new "opportunities" tab under temple.  This is obviously only available to members of the LDS church & it didn't provide much for me, or else this may have been my favorite feature. Although, it's worth noting that when writing this post, I returned to the site and had more ordinances found the 2nd time I clicked on the "opportunities" tab, so give it more than one shot. Lesson learned.  So, I think this is an awesome feature & has huge potential.  It will show you anyone 3 generations back and sorts through aunts & uncles too, so you can quickly find those closer relatives who are waiting for work to be done.

So much to discover, I'm sure I've only skimmed the surface, but as I said in a message to my ward yesterday, "It just keeps getting easier to do your genealogy work, and you really don't have a good excuse not to do it anymore.  It's super exciting."

Test out the new enhanced site here: http://www.lds.org/topics/family-history-preview or here https://beta.familysearch.org/ (I'm sure these link will go dead once the version goes live, but happy playing in the meantime)

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