The new site offers a very appealing update in design and functionality. The new site has been available for many months now as FamilySearch wanted to unveil the new site in stages. This allowed them the opportunity to work out bugs along the way. A description on the site detailing why they’ve made the change explains:
The updated version of the FamilySearch website gives you a richer family history experience by putting all FamilySearch content, services, and products on the same site.
Major areas of the new site include:
- Learning Resources – offers a Research Wiki that can be edited by anyone to share knowledge, a long list of online research videos & tutorials to help you learn family history research methods, & a special section on how to get started doing family history research
- Family Search Centers – search for a Family History Library near you – complete with a fancy Google-map like image for locating it. Tree icons on the map help you find the closest locations and directions, hours and contact information are included.
- Give Back – help contribute to the rapidly increasing online database collections as a member of the indexing community, contribute to the Research Wiki, or sign up to help evaluate FamilySearch resources
- Historical Records — if you haven’t checked out the MANY databases coming online from FamilySearch this is your opportunity to do so now. Amazing what the combined efforts of many can achieve. Collections are international in scope. There are several NC related collections that we’ve blogged about before.
- Family Trees – search user-submitted pedigree files. Remember the limitations of such files, yet, they can offer useful clues if you locate a person of interest
- Library Catalog – with a completely revamped and snazzier interface. As you type a search term, it auto-completes for you a-la Google, and results returned by subject headings make it easy to locate exactly the kind of item you need. In the old search, the list of specific film rolls required an extra click, but now it’s all consolidated on one screen.
There is plenty to explore in the new interface to keep you busy for awhile. Read the blog announcement for more information, including a guide to the new site in PDF format. Also, the Ancestry Insider blog has a very detailed comparison of the old and new sites.