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Technology helps FamilySearch hit major milestone

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Published: Saturday, Sept. 12 2009 12:17 a.m. MDT

showcases new family history technologies that are still undergoing

development. Users test them, and their feedback allows the developers

to refine the technology. For more than two years, Labs has developed

multiple innovative programs to aid in family history work.

The Research Wiki (wiki.familysearch.org)

is an open, online community where research experts and genealogists

share information on how to research sources for family history work.

Record Search gives access to millions of historical records — a

culmination of all the digitizing of records that is being done. Users

can see what records exist for a specific geographic area or enter what

they know about an ancestor to see matching records — all online.

(Access Record Search by visiting FamilySearch.org. Click Search

Records, then click Record Search pilot.)

At forums.FamilySearch.org,

thousands of users of varying levels of expertise can collaborate in an

online discussion to find answers to questions about product features,

research techniques, hints and tips, or even about specific families in

specific locations.

These and many other projects are making family history come alive

more than ever, said Paul D. Starkey, digital information process

manager in the Family History Department. \"That evolution of technology

has been remarkable in getting everyone involved everywhere\" he added.

\"The Internet has been an amazing technology to help this kind of

work.\"

Of course, one of the most successful programs developed by the

Family History Department can be found at FamilySearchIndexing.org. At

any given time, the indexing program has 35 or more projects in

different areas of the world. People can download images of historical

documents to a computer and transcribe the information to create a

searchable online database of names, dates, locations and other

information — free for all to view online at FamilySearch.org.

Anyone can participate in indexing. If a home computer doesn't meet

the requirements to run the indexing application (available for

download at FamilySearchIndexing.org), the application can be found on

computers at any one of the 4,600 family history centers around the

world.

Already available in English, French, German and Spanish,

FamilySearch indexing added three new languages in early

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