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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Comments on the status of FamilySearch websites

It has been some time since I reviewed the status of all of the FamilySearch websites. Despite the ongoing consolidation of the some of the sites in to the Beta.FamilySearch.org website, there are still quite of number of separate websites scattered across the Internet. If I miss one or two, please make a comment and let me know about any new or overlooked sites.

FamilySearch.org website:
This is the "flag ship site" for FamilySearch. However, it has been abandoned for sometime and is sort-of like the Flying Dutchman still out there in the ocean wandering, but all of the new records and updates are going into the:

Beta.FamilySearch.org website:
What can I say? This newer site is fast becoming one of the most valuable genealogical resources on the Internet. With the consolidation of access to many of the formerly independent sites, it is the go to place for starting and continuing research. It will likely, very shortly, replace the venerable old version of FamilySearch.org and become "FamilySearch.org." The Beta site contains all of the Historical Records Collection (formerly Record Search or Record Search Pilot) which now has 500 collections with millions upon millions of records. The Beta site will also consolidate the resources of the old FamilySearch.org website in a new format, including the Family History Library Catalog. It will also have access to Forums.FamilySearch.org and other, now separate, sites such as Indexing.FamilySearch.org.

Wiki.FamilySearch.org website:
Although this site is being integrated into the Beta.FamilySearch.org website, it is still a viable separate entity. I have written recently about the Wiki and it is my opinion that this is the one most useful resource existing on the Internet today and is part of the reason why the Beta.FamilySearch.org website is so valuable.

Forums.FamilySearch.org website:
Connect with other users and with technical support for all of the FamilySearch products. Very under used resource.

New.FamilySearch.org website:
Not to be confused with FamilySearch.org, this site is the Family Tree program containing all of the millions (billions?) of user contributed and extracted records of individuals and families. There haven't been any changes since August 2010, now in December, 2010, and there isn't a lot more to talk about that I haven't already said in the last year.

Indexing.FamilySearch.org website:
This site is where you can volunteer to help index the millions of records that are being scanned from the FamilySearch microfilms. The volunteers are exceeding 200 million records indexed this year.

Help.FamilySearch.org website:
Part of the New FamilySearch and Beta.FamilySearch websites, simply the best help online in existence for a product or website.

Labs.FamilySearch.org website:
Look here for new programs or developments. Not much new going on lately however.  The major programs are those incorporated in the Beta.FamilySearch.org website.

Film.FamilySearch.org website:
If you live in the British Isles, New Zealand or Australia, this site will allow you to order microfilms through the Family History Center network from your home computer. This may be the proto-type for extending the ordering service to other parts of the world.

Devnet.familysearch.org website:
Developer Network for Software Programmers. Quoting from the site, "FamilySearch offers a powerful family history development platform for reading and writing to a collaborative family tree, searching records, and accessing a vast digital archive of records. Developers can access these resources through the FamilySearch API."

HistFam.FamilySearch.org website:
The Community Trees project. Community Trees are lineage-linked genealogies from specific time periods and geographic localities around the world. The information also includes the supporting sources. Each Community Tree is a searchable database with views of individuals, families, ancestors and descendants, as well as printing options.

ProductSupport.FamilySearch.org website:
The resources for this site seem to have been incorporated into the Help Center, currently available through some of the other websites. It looks like this may be part of the old FamilySearch.org website that will be phased out?

Consultant.FamilySearch.org website:
Apparently a temporary website used to update the introduction of New FamilySearch. There haven't been any changes for a long time.

Contact.FamilySearch.org website:
This site takes you directly to the contact information for help with FamilySearch around the world.

Remote.FamilySearch.org website:
A very limited access site that allows a FamilySearch Support Technician to remotely connect to your computer.

FHC.FamilySearch.org website:
Another very, very limited access website for Family History Center Services.

Some of the FamilySearch websites that were up in the past have disappeared, such as the Scanning.FamilySearch.org site.

All of the action is going on with the new Beta.FamilySearch.org site. It looks like some of the websites may disappear as separate entities as the new site continues to incorporate their functions.

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