The New FamilySearch – I’m loving it!

Yesterday morning I had a scare, a BIG scare. The Download button on the FamilySearch site had disappeared on me. No, I didn’t think to get a screenshot!

I planned on digging up some FOURNELLE death records in a particular town in Luxembourg. For each person I was going to find the record, cite it correctly in my genealogy program AncestralQuest 14, download the image giving it a new name (MRIN# year name type), attach it to the source citation and add it to the scrapbook of the individual.

The plan was good until I found the first record and went to download it. To make a long story short, FamilySearch is still working on getting their New and Better site working, and six hours later the Download button was back along with the Print button which I didn’t miss since I never use print. The Tools button had been there the entire time but did not work.

As I have the links to the databases for Luxembourg bookmarked I don’t go through FamilySearch’s front door and missed the banner at the top announcing maintenance being done November 11 through 13. It was only November 10th!

I clicked all over the place (in panic mode) looking for the Download button and got to know the New FamilySearch a bit better. I continued my research, adding citations, tagging each individual, and adding an item to the Research Manager to get the image of each document (later). A few steps more than usual but time well used.

They’ve made it so much easier to browse through the non-indexed records. Let me show you what I mean.

I’m using an example from the Luxembourg Civil Registration, 1662-1941. The collection is divided up by communes and then different groups of records (above). For Pétange there are 16 and not 17 subgroups of records. One group has such a long name it is seen at the bottom of one column and at the top of the next. This is a quirk that could be corrected to not cause confusion.

I clicked on Décès 1859-1890. As the collection is browse-only and not indexed there is no information available at the bottom of the screen. To view all images in the collection, click on the button at the left of the image.

They may still be tweaking here and there. When I wrote this the double click did not work. After posting I went back in to use the records and sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.

I’ve been working with the civil records for Luxembourg since they went online. I had to play the hot/cold game to zoom in on the year and record. With the small images of the pages, I can now tell where a year ends and another begins.

I click on an image of a page with an index and View single image icon. On the page, I can quickly find a name in the alphabetical index the clerk added to the back of the records for that year with the number given to the record.

The record I want to find is #6. I go back to the small images. In this example, there are only 5 images for the year 1860. Record No. 1 is always on the lower right of the first image for the year followed by 4 records on each of the next images, i.e. 2 thru 5, 6 thru 9, 10 thru 13, etc. In later years, as the population grew, there are years where there were 50 to 80 or even more than 100 records per year. With 100 you know there are at least 26 images for the year. The example I’m using has only 496 images while around 1500 is the norm.

I clicked on the third image for 1860 and found Death Record #6 is in the upper left-hand corner. After checking the information in the record, I click on Information at the bottom to open the source citation. After I copy and tweak the citation to the event for the individual in my database, I download the image using the Download button.

Seeing the entire collection in the small images lets me go from one index to the next without having to click through image by image or jumping a certain number of images forward or backward until I find what I am looking for.

FamilySearch was often (I don’t want to say always) very slow loading the images but this has changed! FS has also gotten FASTER loading the images. This is going to save me and YOU so much time.

© 2015 Cathy Meder-Dempsey



Author: Cathy Meder-Dempsey

When I’m not doing genealogy and blogging, I spend time riding my racing bike with my husband through the wonderful Luxembourg countryside.

9 thoughts on “The New FamilySearch – I’m loving it!”

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I’ve had zero time to work on genealogy in months, but I’m excited to know that those darn Luxembourg records (and other image-only collections I use) will be a heck of a lit easier to work with using this new feature!

    Liked by 1 person

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