Updates on Familysearch.org

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The LDS Church has been making some updates to its www.familysearch.org site which doesn't happen that often so I thought they are worthy of mentioning.

First off is that PAF companion now has a FREE version. This version provides some new reports to PAF but is restricted to 3 generations only (full version offers 10 generations). For those of you using PAF 5 this is a great option for some new reports at no cost. It is interesting that this is being done now after the Church acknowledged that it is not actively working on a PAF6 although this was pretty obvious from the way PAF was acquired, the amount of updates occurring in the last 5 years and from its purpose - to help Church members collect information to submit for temple ordinances. The program meets those goals and does not need updating unless a major technological change occurs making it stop functioning (like the DOS versions of PAF when Windows 95 came along).

Secondly, the Church has just launched a new African American Resources page. This page organizes all resources specifically catering to this often neglected but very large segment of the US population. There are no new records yet but I notice there is a very prominent link to the indexing project on this page. This page will also eventually hold the video presentations from the Afro-American Historical and Genealogy Society conference.

As a sidenote, if you don't know about the indexing project, the Church wants to accelerate the rate at which it is indexing its millions of microfilms by having us do it for them. Just 30 mins is all it takes to contribute to this project and the records will be made available to the public for free (the Church is an official charitable organization). A quick look at this page indicates they are working on the 1900 US census as the next major project. If you'd like to help, you can sign up here.

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