Nothing ever stays the same on the Web

Family Searcher    The FamilySearch website has a completely updated look, but all your old favorites are still there. I told my latest Adult Ed class that there is no sense teaching specific steps for online research, because as soon as you learn the steps, they’ll change the website. Sure enough, as if to prove my point, FamilySearch drastically changed their website from one week to the next. It caught me off guard, but luckily all the good stuff I use on the website is still there.

    The basic search for ancestors still operates pretty much the same as in the past. I admit; I don’t adapt to change well; so I’m still not really happy about the change, but there have been some noteworthy improvements. The two best improvements are the new and varied ways to get help, and the new family pedigree chart. They have also enlarged print on their screen pages and added more contrasting colors so it is easier to read.
    iPhones, and iPads, and the newest version of Windows all use “tiles” on the home page instead of tabs or icons. Www.Familysearch.org has incorporated the same look on their new website. Where we used to “click” on a tab or icon, now we click on a tile to get to the next step. It took me a little experimentation on the website to understand where to look for things, such as how to write to Italy — in Italian — for birth certificates, or where to look for the microfilm information. That is what I recommend for anyone who is put off or overwhelmed by the changes in the website. Just play around with the different options and see where it takes you. The best way to learn is to experiment.
    They have broken “Help” into four categories — Product Support, Research Assistance, Getting Started, and the Learning Center. The new help menu offers users the chance to call and talk to live help, “chat” online, send e-mail messages, search their FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) or the “Research Wiki”, with a reminder that help is also available at your local Family History Center (there are 13 in Maine and four just over the border in N.H.)
    Family Tree still offers a traditional pedigree chart, starting with you in the middle. A nice option is that you can click to see multiple wives and see children. Click on a person to see a summary card. There is also a beautiful, colorful fan chart alternative (if you use Internet Explorer you need version IE9 or higher to use it) in which you can double-click on anyone to make them the center person on the chart.
    If you are new to genealogy, or to www.familysearch.org, take advantage of their many helpful tutorials. There are written and short video tutorials which will guide you through first steps in genealogy; and in ways to make the best use of the website. I have always recommended this website for people looking to learn how to do genealogy, and this hasn’t changed, even though the website has! Check it out soon.
    Nina G. Brawn has lived in the Dover-Foxcroft area for over 50 years and currently lives there with her husband Fred. Nina was the last of 10 children, has three children of her own and nine grandchildren. She can be reached online at ninagbrawn@gmail.com.

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