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List of new features added. If you have a question or comment about an item here, reply to it! For potential new features, check out the list and add your votes.

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ThreadStart DateLast PostMessages
New: Census households12-12-2016 by Ray Gurganus3-8-2017 by Allan Joyce7
New feature: If you have examples of a census household with several generations, in-laws, or cousins, and want a way to group them all together in one list, then read on.

A few steps:

  1. If not already there, enter a "Reside" event for that year and location. (It should work if you use the full date of the census, but at least the year is needed).
  2. If not already there, enter a FamilySearch source record for that person's census.
  3. Hover over the "Reside" event, and in the menu, choose "Edit Census".
  4. The census form comes up. This adapts itself for the changing forms from 1850 through 1940
    New at the bottom are lists of this person's parents, siblings, spouses, children, and a space for finding other people (inlaws, cousins, boarders, etc).  You can check any of the relatives who were also in the same household. 
It's not required to check the household members, but if you do...
  1. When you save, all of the other household people inherit the same "Reside" event and the same FamilySearch source, if not already there.
  2. Return to the "Reside" event menu, and there will be an option "View Household". This lists out all the people in the household. On this page, you can add and remove the columns using the green check button at the top left.
  3. For the census information that may be different for each household person, you can go to each person's page, choose "Edit Census", and put in their details.
  4. When you do this, the green button indicating that a census is entered is changed to a blue button with a person on it, indicating that it has household information.
HTTPS3-3-2017 by Ray Gurganus3-3-2017 by Royce Tornblom2
I have switched the website to use HTTPS, meaning the same setup that banks and other websites use for security.  So at the top of your browser you should now see a little lock icon, showing the site is secure.  Otherwise it should all be seamless and should not cause any problems.

The main reason is that newer browsers are going to start giving security warnings if a website prompts for a password, and is not secured in this way.
Sources2-3-2017 by Ray Gurganus2-5-2017 by Ray Gurganus6
An update for adding and selecting sources... This has long been a point of confusion, and so this update hopes to make it clearer and less confusing.

The option to search for a source is now removed from the main editing page. Click the "Add / Pick Source" button. Then on the left is the form for both adding a new source, and for searching. If searching, as you type, matching sources will show up on the right side. If found, click a source on the right to select it - or continue filling in the information and click "Save" at the bottom to save a new one.

I hope I have anticipated everything. If you find any issues, or have feedback, let me know.

A couple of reminders.  If you have already defined a source, please find it and re-use it, rather than adding the same thing again... and as always be sure that all information you enter is found in one or more of the sources.

Alt Keys for Places1-30-2017 by Ray Gurganus2-4-2017 by Maryellen3
In the upper right of the editing page you've had the option of using "ALT"+number hotkeys for place names -- so that if you're entering the same place and over, using these key combinations makes it much easier.

Now, it is updated to make even more helpful.  Now you can drag and resize the box to put it wherever you want it, and whatever size you want it, and it should stay there from edit to edit.  I've found that on my screen, it goes off the edge of the screen.  Since I can't always see it, I sometimes just re-key the place name, which I shouldn't have to do.  If this happens for you, now you can just move it to anywhere you want it.

One note:  On the few pages where this is used, it uses the same size and position for every page.
Various Updates1-23-2017 by Ray Gurganus1-23-2017 by Ray Gurganus1
A few minor updates:
  • When listing religious event locations, the display is limited to only the church or organization name, omitting the city, county, and state. These do show if you hover over the organization name. So if one person lists many different churches served, the display is not too long. Example:
    /browse.php/Rev-William-V-Tudor/p243234

  • If "Religion" is chosen as a column in search results output, it now includes the role and location, in addition to the denomination which was there before.

  • "Religion" is now an option when searching by place. So you can search for religious appointments in a location, or that have a blank location, or that are not blank.

  • In the "Cemeteries" page, when drilling down to a state and county, the results come back with numbers showing how many entries at a cemetery are missing Findagrave links, and this number links to the list of those missing Findagrave links. So this makes it easier to find and fill those in, where possible.  /cemeteries.php

  • On the state, county, and location pages, the "Sources" tab (formerly "Links & Resources") is reorganized to use the existing source setup for adding sources to a state, county, or location.  Note that these sources are for the place itself, not about individual people who lived there.
Ordinations and Religion Pages1-16-2017 by Ray Gurganus1-16-2017 by Virginia Sholin Smallwood4
A few new features:

  • When entering a clergy person under a "religion" event, there's a new option for "ordained by". This will list all people who have a role of "Bishop", "Archbishop", or "Pope". Presumably someone who has ordination power would have one of these roles? Then when defined, each person will have a link to the other person's page (similar to political appointments).

    Here's an example: /browse.php/Thomas-John-Clagett/p291057

  • Also added a column for ordinations on the "Offficiant" page: /officiant.php

  • Added a new page found under Places > Places of Worship, summarizing the entries for churches and parishes.  Click a state and then county to drill down into specific places.

    At some point I will merge the display here and under View > Topics > Religion.... but for now concentrating on getting information populated and cleaned up.

Some data entry requests:

  • For "Parish" names -- when entering information, pay attention to how it is entered, and be consistent.  If you are recording someone as being a member or minister of a church, say something like "St Johns Parish Church".  If you are recording the area where they lived, but not necessarily their membership, then say "St Johns Parish".  I believe current information blurs this distinction.
  • Include the state and county, where possible.
  • Spell out the place names, and be consistent.  Don't use abbreviations like "Par", "Ch", etc. as these only create more variations of the same place.
  • When a dropdown of choices comes up, select something if it is already there, rather than typing a different version of the same thing.

Anything I'm missing?  Let me know.
New Page - Cemeteries1-3-2017 by Ray Gurganus1-3-2017 by Royce Tornblom2
A new page is up under Places > Cemeteries.  This is intended to bring more attention and traffic to cemetery lists and tombstone photos.  This shows:
  • Statistics for the number of cemeteries (or other burial locations), number of entries, number of tombstone photos, and number of findagrave links.  These are updated once a day.
  • A map for drilling down into any burial location by US state and county
  • A list of cemeteries recently added or added to.
  • The most recent tombstone photos added.
Census additions1-2-2017 by Ray Gurganus1-2-2017 by Virginia Sholin Smallwood2
A few additions to the census functionality:

When adding / editing the census there's now an "other" field. You can put in the role of "head" "son" "daughter", or whatever you want. This then shows up as an option you can add to the household list.

On the household list page (when you hover over the "Reside" event, and go to "View Household"), there is now an option to "Add household information". This only shows up if you are the moderator for one or more people in the list. On this page you can edit 3 things for this household:

  • The order of the people in the household. Click and drag to move someone up or down.

  • It will list neighboring households, based on the same year, location, and the household number being close to household number of the one you're editing. So if their are siblings or parents in neighboring households, you can check them, add an optional description like "John's brother's family". This then shows on the household list as a link to the other family.

    For example, if you're editing household # 50, it will show any households for the same year and location, that have households numbers between 42 and 58, that are entered here on the website. Anything further away would not be considered neighbors.

    Here is an example.  This has 3 adjacent Gurganus households.  2 are brothers.  The relationship of the 3rd is unknown.

  • A text field for a general description of the household. This then appears at the top of the household page.
New Event Types12-29-2016 by Ray Gurganus12-29-2016 by Ray Gurganus1
A few updates:

  • Added an event type "Will" if you want to record when and/or where someone's will was written
  • Added an event type "Probate" if you want to record when and/or where someone's will was probated.
  • For "Probate" and "Cenotaph", the validation will allow the date to be after the date of death.
Lists of places11-30-2016 by Ray Gurganus11-30-2016 by Ray Gurganus1
A small change in data entry:  For the event type "education", after choosing a state and county, the list of places will automatically be narrowed down to educational institutions -- ones with the words: college, university, seminary, school, academy, etc.

Likewise for the event type "grave", the list will be narrowed down to entries named with: cemetery, churchyard, burial ground, memorial garden, graveyard, cathedral, and about 15 other variations.

You can still type whatever you want, but this shortens the list to look through.  It also encourages you to put in the full name, rather than just putting in the city or town name.  If there are any variations missing from the lists, let me know.