Features create connections and bring family stories to life
"Every person who has ever lived has a right to be remembered and is a story waiting to be told," said Dennis C. Brimhall, CEO for FamilySearch. "Every family is a story in progress." Brimhall explained that the new FamilySearch.org features help move family history beyond research to appeal to a larger audience of people who are very interested in their family's stories, but who don't consider themselves genealogists or researchers. "We all treasure memorable family photos and ancestral stories that inspire, amuse, or connect us. Families can now share and preserve for posterity those social heirlooms that help vitalize their family history," Brimhall added.
The enhancements include Family Tree, an online application where users begin by adding information about themselves and then start to add information about their ancestors to collaboratively build, manage, and share their family history. The tree is already populated with over 900 million records contributed by patrons. And there are billions of historic records that can be searched for free to help further expand your family tree.
The Photos and Stories feature lets you preserve favorite family photos of ancestors and share them through social media. You can tag people in a photo to identify who they are and connect them to respective ancestor profiles in the Family Tree. The photos can then be easily shared with the online community. You can also upload your favorite stories about an ancestor to preserve them for future generations.
Julie Lowe from Missouri is the proverbial photo archivist of her family. She has albums of ancestral photos. Between her and her siblings, they are also walking libraries of countless stories and memories of their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, some great-grandparents, and other ancestors. They will be using the Photos and Stories feature to begin preserving their favorite photos and stories for future generations. Each person can save and share up to 5,000 ancestral photos in Family Tree.
"When a parent or grandparent takes the time to tell you a story, there's a bonding that occurs there," Brimhall said. "Likewise, a family photo and story preserved and shared in the context of one's family tree, in an instant, can personally touch us and teach us time-honored principles by those who have gone on before us, like the value of hard work, dealing with life's ups and downs, and the impact of choices."
Other features added include the interactive Fan Chart, a tool used by millions to create a colorful fan chart of their ancestry; the Family Tree Wizard, a tool that asks questions to help you begin to build your personal family tree and get you started; and Live Help, a global online community that provides free product help and personal research assistance by phone and web chat 24 hours a day/7 days a week. The help website and services are available in 10 languages.
About FamilySearch International
FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free atFamilySearch.org or through more than 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.