Thursday, December 16, 2010


A few days ago FamilySearch switched over their beta site to their main site - if you haven't been over that way in a while, go and scare yourself. A perusal of the Adjustment Guide confirms the following things:

The International Genealogical Index is dead - or, at least, no longer part of the main site, so as good as. The Guide admits that those patron-submitted records with no sources were of "limited value" (yes, those are the precise words we all used too, aren't they?) and deserved to be jettisoned - we're right there with you. RIP IGI, I suspect we will remember you more fondly than your flaws deserve.

The free Personal Ancestral File (PAF) software is also banished from the main site. PAF's retirement has been coming for a long time - farewell, our elderly friend!

RIP batch numbers - gone too are the good old days when you could run a search specifying a particular batch number for a particular place. This is distressing news (no, I don't want to search the behemoth that is the 68-million-and-counting England Births and Christenings database, I'd actually like to narrow it down a lot first, and by the way births and christenings are two very different things), so I guess we must learn to have faith in FamilySearch's new-and-improved Place field.

The 1881 census is only temporarily AWOL - phew!

I actually found the Guide helpful, not so much from the "where is it" perspective but for the clear insight it gave along the way into the fundamental principles behind the changes. I was pleasantly surprised by how eminently reasonable it all sounded.

However I shall bite my tongue and rant on the inside wait until I've had more time to fairly evaluate the other aspects of the changes before commenting. Some of these are most definitely improvements, lest you think I'm not super-excited about scanned original source records being available online for free, because I can't get enough of that action. More, more, cries the greedy genealogist!


genebrarian said...

Hey - I had someone in just the other day, who had a family tree traced back to a person in the UK. After spending some 30 mins with her, I discovered virtually all her information was gleaned from the IGI! I had a tough time trying to suggest that some if not all might not be quite right . . .

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