Time to check out labs.familysearch.org if you haven’t been there recently. The web site has been re-designed. Some old favourites are still there and some new things are being added.
What is still there?
1. Research Wiki – also available under Learn at Familysearch.org – “The FamilySearch Research Wiki provides free family history research advice for the community, from the community. The wiki is a free and growing resource fueled by the largest network of volunteer genealogical researchers and enthusiasts in the world.
Now is the time to join in and contribute to this free and rapidly growing resource that is available to everyone. FamilySearch invites those with expertise in genealogical research all over the world to contribute to these resources. Choose your preferred language, sign in (registration is free), and join many volunteers in making a huge difference helping others with their own family history.
The wiki is available in the following languages: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish”
2. Forums – also available under Learn at Familysearch.org – “The Forums project is aimed at providing the most up to date information to anyone who uses FamilySearch products to work on their family history. Through the Forums anyone can ask questions about product features, research techniques, hints and tips, or even about specific families in specific locations. And anyone who knows the answer can reply. Come participate and give us your feedback. The more who use it the better the information.
The forums are available in the following languages: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish.”
3. England Jurisdictions 1851 – a great tool – do I have lots of English research? – “The England Jurisdictions 1851 project simplifies research by consolidating data from many finding aids into a single searchable repository that can be accessed by clicking in a parish boundary. Features include contiguous parish and radius search lists and relevant jurisdictions as they existed in England in 1851. Data includes changes to parishes prior to 1851 and lists of non-conformist denominations in a parish. (requires Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 3, Safari 3 or newer)”
4. Standard Finder – do you get frustrated “occasionally” by standardized place names? This is a huge undertaking . . . . – and actually a great project that is very helpful and getting better. Place and Preview were very interesting – didn’t realize there were so many places named Norfolk in the world. Using this project will give you greater understanding of the project and a link to send Feedback on names that need correction! – “Standard Finder is a FamilySearch Labs application which provides access to standardized information for names, locations, and dates. These databases are used by several FamilySearch applications to assist researchers in searching for exact spellings as well as for indexers who enter information used for RecordSearch.”
5. Community Trees – a good resource – need to know how to look at the collections – click on See Community Trees so you can browse the collections – “Community Trees are lineage-linked genealogies from specific time periods and geographic localities around the world. The information also includes the supporting sources. Most of the genealogies are joint projects between FamilySearch and others who live locally or have expertise in the area or records used to create the genealogies.”
New (or relatively new!) – as of 30 March 2012 only Submit Your Tree was available – the others are yet to arrive! :
1. Submit your tree – I was asked to try this last summer, but just haven’t got there yet . . . “This beta test of Submit Your Tree is an easy way to upload a GEDCOM file and compare it to millions of records that are already in new.familysearch.org. The process distinguishes between ancestors who are already in new.familysearch.org and those that are not. Once you have gone through this process, please use the orange feedback link to provide your input.”
2. Fresh – can’t wait to see what this is going to be! – “This project represents the new face of FamilySearch for people who have never participated in their family history before.”
3. FamilySearch Maps – “Get the help you need in person. It may be closer than you think. Search for family history around the world.”
4. Ohio Research Assistance – OK I admit I was at first underwhelmed as I have no ancestry in Ohio, but they are developing this tool to provide research help for other areas of the world too – “We are experimenting with how to best provide research help to our users throughout the world. Our first phase is to provide research assistance to those needing help finding their ancestors in records involving the State of Ohio.”
Genealogy Conference update!
Registrations already over 200! Don’t miss your chance to hear Gena Philibert Ortega (author, blogger Vice-President for the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists & a Regional Director for the California State Genealogical Alliance) the keynote speaker on Friday night, Dick Eastman (Owner and writer of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter and Blog) on Saturday, and attend a live webinar with Thomas MacEntee (Founder of High-Definition Genealogy and a professional genealogist specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogical research)
Go to http://rdgensoc.ab.ca/conferenceindex.html for details.