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SALT LAKE CITY — FamilySearch launched a redesigned website this week aimed at making family history work more interactive and collaborative.
The redesign is also intended to appeal to novices, who "don't consider themselves researchers or genealogists, especially youth who are masters of digital realms such as social media."
The new features, which are free to the public, include:
Allows users to collaborate to build, manage and share family history online. Also, a click-and-drag feature lets users move up, down, side to side and zoom in and out within a pedigree chart.
Photos and Stories
Allow users to preserve photos and stories of ancestors. They can then be linked to the ancestors' profiles in a user's family tree. They can also be seamlessly shared on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and email.
Each user can upload as many as 5,000 photos, and each story can be up to 100 pages long.
Interactive Fan Chart
Shows ancestry lines in a colorful wheel, with the user at the center. Each layer of the wheel represents a different generation. Can extend to include as many as six generations.
Seeing yourself in a fan chart "changes you," said Paul Nauta, a senior marketing manager for FamilySearch. "You see yourself standing on the shoulders of all these people who have gone before you. You realize you're not alone, and it adds meaning and perspective to your life."
Family Tree Wizard
For novices, it asks questions about living and deceased ancestors and then builds connections into the family tree.
Live Help Page
Free help with the product, and personal research assistance by phone and web chat all day, every day.
Within several weeks, the website will be available in nine other languages, including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
FamilySearch is the world's largest genealogy organization and a nonprofit sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.