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Searching for Records: Pilot versus Beta
The software developers at FamilySearch are using a new methodology for writing software. In the past, software was developed behind closed doors for a long period of time, and then when it was determined it was ready, it was released to the public. The public would then find all the problems in the program. The new, more open approach is to release small pieces and features of the program a little at a time. This is good for people who like to have a say in what the final product looks like, but it can be very difficult for those who expect to find a stable and unchanged product every time they use it. For many years, most of the changes to record-searching programs were made at the pilot.familysearch.org website, which has become very familiar to many users. But technology has progressed, and the developers at FamilySearch have followed. The next-generation website, beta.familysearch.org, is now available for those who want to try out new search techniques and innovations. The pilot site will remain available until the beta site is finished, but now new collections and innovations are only being added to the beta site. Feel free to use both sites. And if you want to give specific feedback for improving features, make sure to use the beta site often and let the developers know what works and what doesn’t. The web address for the beta site will soon change to familysearch.org.

Taylor Association Comments.  The Association already has a list of items that we have pasted to the developers and will continue to do so.  If you have a suggestion for NFS please CC the Association with your comments as well, so we can track your item along with the rest we have proposed.

New Family Search Changes made in Dec, 2010

1. New feature: Watch changes. You can now choose to be e-mailed about changes made to an individual’s information. For any individual you choose to follow, you will be e-mailed about the following:

  • When someone changes the individual’s summary.
  • When someone starts a new discussion or adds a comment to an existing discussion.
  • When someone combines the record of an individual that you are watching with another record.
  • When someone separates a record from the combined records of the individual that you are watching.

Taylor Association Comments.  This is a start to control the changes in NFS.  We have proposed that a Association representative monitor each family line.  The WATCH approach is a start.  We would propose that Family Line representative delegate WATCHERS of their line.

2.    Changes to the temple submission process. You can now:

  • Select only the individuals in a family whose ordinances you want to do. (You do not have to reserve all ordinances available for the family.)
  • Be advised that you need permission to reserve ordinances for someone born in the last 95 years.

Taylor Association Comments.  This was a major problem with NFS.  Family members could not reserve a name of a deceased member to do temple work.  Many sad stories.  We need to get the word out on this one to family members.

3.    Miscellaneous changes.

  • The size of discussions has now increased.
  • Registration of names in Asian languages has improved.


Free Webinars from Legacy.  These are generally hour long classes on various family history subjects.  You need a computer with a mic and sound to participate live.  You register for the Webinar at www.Legacy.com/Webinar.  They generally offer two classes a month.  The previous classes are archive for 30 days at this location so if you miss the class you can log in later.

Taylor Association Comments.  This is a great way to get FREE training in family history, and research methods that are associated with the Legacy software.  Many of the Wedbinars are general in nature.  They have been excellent, taught by the experts in the subject fields.