12 Things You Will See from FamilySearch in 2016

The FamilySearch Blog has an interesting article about the organization’s plans for 2016. The article states:

12-things-to-expectFamilySearch is headed towards another innovative year as it streamlines online accessibility and provides increased family discovery experiences. New developments in 2016 will focus on 5 areas.

  • Family Tree
  • Memories
  • Discovery
  • Records
  • Help

Here are 12 new FamilySearch.org changes and additions patrons can expect in 2016:

You can read the rest of the article at: https://familysearch.org/blog/en/12-familysearch-2016.


Call me a skeptic because for many these new items all sound great. For me, however, I opted to remove my tree at Family Search because one day I found that someone had changed something in my tree. I was royally ticked off after emailing them and learning that they believe that this sharing is a good thing. So, I decided to remove my tree BUT it is not that easy for once there it never really goes away. So, before anyone dives into all these new features..beware!

I don’t think my tree is gone but the information is still there though not in tree form. At least, that is how I view it.
I tried to remove a tree from Wikitrees for the same reason. I don’t want anyone messing with my tree. I think that I was unable to so there is a small tree still on that site.
This is just my experience but I have determined that I like the ‘guest and editor’ approach where I can set the parameters of those who have access to my tree.

My disclaimer to this is that this was done several years ago and I do not know if they have changed their policies


No they have not changed, anyone can change your information in your tree at familysearch, plus they keep pushing information at you from other trees that is wrong. I stopped adding to my tree on familysearch for that very reason.


    I had the same problem and is why I don’t use the familysearch tree anymore. One person completely changed my grandfathers information, whom I had known personally for many years. They had the wrong person, but would not listen. I was told how to be notified every time someone changes information, but that did not work. I love familysearch and the work they do. I just don’t like their tree.


the trees are some of the best fiction I have ever read. They are great for folks that are interested in their family tree but have no idea what research entails. Ancestry public trees are another source of amusement and rage for me.


    At least on Ancestry you can make your tree private and even if it is public only YOU can edit it. Familysearch is overrated.


We need an “index” showing, if information is not primary, how many hands it has passed through since it was primary and was as reliable as possible.


It is not accurate to generalize that people using FamilyTree don’t understand research. I’ve contributed, and I know very well what real research entails – enough to know that genealogy is full of conundrums, inconsistencies, errors and conflicts that need to be resolved. We are barely in the infancy of online genealogical collaboration, and I think we all need to take a big step back and take a deep breath before we get so burned up that we stop collaborating completely. These problems are going to be with us for a very long time and some may never go away. That is just the nature of genealogical research.

That said, FamilySearch does need to improve their approach to conflicts, errors, and sloppy research, and someone has to be the final arbitrator – since it’s ultimately their tree, I would think it would be them, but they need to take into consideration all of the information available, and without people’s contributions, they can’t do that. It is a good thing that every change can be documented so eventually things can be reconciled the best that it can.


I think the “point” about the FamilySearch Family Tree has been missed – it is designed to be a universal collaborative family tree and not merely be “my” or “your” family tree.
It is also designed to be an evidence-based family tree – whereby each name, date, place and relationship can be supported by source evidence. It incorporates an easy – mouse clicking exercise – to attach any source record found in any FS collection plus the uploading of other digitised source documents that can be attached as sources. All of these can be annotated with additional notes and “Discussion” options to qualify our use of the source material and conclusions.
Of course not everybody uses these source features which leaves them wide open for other opinions or mistaken identity – the principle is – load up with all your source material – whilst that may not stop those who blindly ignore your source material, it is the best protection for your data and research – note the “your” or “my” attached sources and documents cannot be changed by anyone else – they remain “yours” – so if a date is changed – my sources and documents supporting the date originally entered stays.
FS Family Tree also provides a roll-back facility for any change that has been made.
Having been involved in my family history for over 30 years I thoroughly enjoy the concept of the collaborative family tree – I have bumped into other entries in “our” family tree – invariably without any sources – and I have corrected the data and added my sources and contacted the previous contributors explaining my corrections and thus far, have always been met with polite acceptance of my evidence based changes.


    You made some good points, Stewart. I have been doing genealogy since 1990. I do not have a Family Tree at familysearch.org nor at any other genealogy website. In fact, I do
    not even use any genealogy software program! (Shame on me, I know.) There is a glaring error in the marriage record of my 4-g-grandparents, Caleb Hazel and Elizabeth Hall on familysearch. Elizabeth is indexed as Elizabeth Hall Relis. Wrong! The “original document” can be viewed at https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V5Z6-DBH. The record states: “I Do hereby Certify That Caleb Hazel & Elizabeth Hall Relic of James Hall Dec’d were this Day Lawfully Married Given Under My hand the 12th of February 1785.
    Joseph Barnet VDM ”
    I emailed familysearch Support and told them (twice) that “Relic” meant that Elizabeth was the widow of James Hall; her name was NOT “Relis.” Their answer:
    “We understand you would like changes made in the ‘Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954’ collection for Caleb Hazel. Errors in the indexed records can come from incorrect indexing or errors made by the creator of the original record. It is not currently possible to correct a misindexed FamilySearch historical record. FamilySearch is working on a program whereby the Patron will have the ability to request corrections directly on FamilySearch. We suggest until then, you attach the record to the correct person in your Family Tree and add a note in the reason statement, which is viewable by all users, indicating which data is correct. When the program is in place to allow changes, you will then be ready to make the changes. Sincerely, FamilySearch Historical Records.”
    My copy of the “original document” was made by me at the courthouse in Nelson Co., KY. Shouldn’t FamilySearch know that “relic” means “widow,” assuming an indexer
    could correctly read the original document?


In reply to Pat’s note above –
First – a technical point – FamilySearch has 5.3 Billion indexed records currently – once indexed either by FS or by a joint exercise with the record owners or by the record owners it becomes almost impossible to correct an incorrect index – although as your reply noted, FS are hoping to work towards that.
What is more immediately practical is to create your entries family tree entries in the FS Family Tree and there you can use the name of “Elizabeth” for the wife (maiden name not known) married to Caleb Hazel – and attach the FS record for the marriage – with the added note as to the incorrect indexing.
Once any FS record is attached as a source to a Family Tree record any subsequent researcher interested in that FS record will be directed to the Family Tree record where that source has been attached – and hence will also see you attached notes and qualifications.
I have searched the FS Family Tree for your Caleb Hazel and can report that there are Family Tree entries for Caleb and his 12th of February 1785 marriage with several different contactable contributors – and not a single attached source! – beyond understanding!
Maybe an opportunity for you to get in there and start attaching sources and a few corrections that I can immediately see surrounding the use of Elizabeth’s name as “Eliza Hall” that need to be made – you can sign-up for a user name and password that will give you access to search/find on the FS Family Tree at familysearch.org – good luck!


Researchers put their tree online in hopes of connecting with other descendants. Some think it’s a shortcut. I think it’s a mistake as who wants someone to alter what I know to be true?


Regarding the use of the word “relic”, the term used is actually “relict” and, as you said, means a widow. I still recall going through the old IGI of the LDS records and being bemused by the numerous women named “Vidua” in the transcripts of old English parish records (all in Latin ), and checking a Latin reference to learn that also also meant “widow”. So many LDS contributors with GGGGgrannies named Vidua!


    Thanks for your clarification of the word “relic,” which should be “relict” when it comes
    to legal documents. I guess I should be grateful that the Nelson Co., KY, clerk came
    close with “relic” in Feb 1785. Black’s Law Dictionary states: “RELICT. This term is applied to the survivor of a pair of married people, whether the survivor is the husband or the wife; it means the relict of the united pair, (or of the marriage union), not the relict of the deceased individual.”
    Pat Shemenski


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