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Sunday, November 6, 2011

FamilySearch.org update

The past month or so of October, 2011, was interesting for the many smaller (and some bigger) changes and tweaks to the FamilySearch.org website. Some of the changes are anticipated in the future, such as the release of a Beta version of a rewritten New.FamilySearch.org. Others were inexplicable, such as moving the FamilySearch Research Wiki search box off of the FamilySearch.org Learn page making access to the FamilySearch Research Wiki even more obscure than it already was.

Fortunately, FamilySearch continued to pour millions of new records into the Historical Record Collections, bringing the total to 815 collections with millions upon millions of records, most of which are available as images. For example, there were nine new collections added on 5 November 2011 alone, including records from California, England, Illinois, Indiana, the Philippines, Texas and Wisconsin. The total number of records in the Social Security Death Index reached 90,732,247. 15 collections have either been updated or added since the beginning of November, 2011.

It seems clear that with the emphasis on the Beta version of New.FamilySearch.org, there is little going on with the existing program.

The FamilySearch Research Wiki is approaching 64,000 articles. But the big news was the introduction of the non-English language Wikis in German, Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese,  Swedish and Russian. Most of these sites are still in their infancy, but some have started to acquire content. Here is a list of the sites with the present number of articles shown on the startup page:

German 42
Spanish 2,850
French 10
Italian 3
Japanese 28
Korean 7
Portuguese 372
Russian 1
Swedish 479
Chinese 3

Several of these languages have active genealogical communities and I am certain, as soon as they realize the value of the Research Wiki as a resource they will begin to put information into the respective non-English Wikis.


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