FamilySearch.org continues to get better and better! On or about January 26 there was an update to the website – how do they do that while we are all still using the site? Please note an update to the website is different from the frequent almost weekly additions of data and images.
- Main Search Screen. There were changes in the wording of the search screens on the main page at FamilySearch.org, which allows you to search in the collection of Historical records.
- Browse by Collection (lower part of main screen). Canada now has its own link! This should save time when you are trying to get to Canadian Historical Record collections. Similarly there is a new direct link to the United Kingdom. The All Record Collections link has been moved to the top of the list.
- Books. Clicking on the Books tab on the main page takes you to the new FamilySearch Books search rather than the old link which took you to the BYU Books Collection. There was problems with capacity on the BYU servers so the collection has been moved and additional books have already been added – there are now over 40,000 digitized FH books. There are also improvements to the search tools. Please try searching for your main family names.
- Trees. Take the link to Trees from the main page and you see that the search screen for Trees has undergone major changes. Most important is the ability to select if you want to search in the Ancestral File, or the Pedigree Resource File (PRF) or both!
- Uploads to Trees. There is a new link to upload GEDCOMs on the Trees page. This will shortly replace the old upload to PRF link on the previous FamilySearch.org site (i.e. the old version of FamilySearch.org). FamilySearch.org has more names in the PRF collection than the old FamilySearch website, and provides more information on the names in PRF including sources – it is no longer just an index. FamilySearch is discontinuing the distribution of PRF on disk.
What is the Ancestral File (AF)?
A collection of 40 million names submitted to FamilySearch between 1979 and 2003. See the article in the FamilySearch Research wiki
for more information
What is the Pedigree Resource File (PRF)?
Collection of genealogies submitted to FamilySearch since 1999 in GEDCOM format. PRF includes some sources which makes it different from AF. The collection on FamilySearch.org contains over 200 million records (compared to 120 million on the old version of FamilySearch). Initially the information was shared on CD and then later submissions were shared on DVD. There are about 150 disks. FamilySearch is discontinuing the distribution on disk. For more information go to the FamilySearch Research Wiki
What is a GEDCOM?
An ”acronym for GEnealogical Data COMmunications. GEDCOM is a data structure created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for storing and exchanging genealogical information so that many different computer programs can use it. It is identified by the file type “.ged”.” See the wiki article for the rest of the information on GEDCOMs.
Rootstech Sessions available live online!
We hope that you got the notice that 14 sessions of the Rootstech conference being held in Salt Lake City on Feb 2 to 4 will be broadcast live!!! Go to
If you didn’t get the notice please go to familyseach.org/serve and make sure that you are registered as a consultant, FH Centre Director or priesthood leader so that you are on the email list to receive updates from FamilySearch.