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Proformat News
No: 140
October 2017
4: Using SA resources in family history WEA Centre Adelaide 6:30–9:30pm
8: Hindmarsh heritage walk: A private town on the Torrens WEA 2:00-4:00pm
15: Port Adelaide heritage walk: The Government precinct WEA 2:00-4:00pm
18: South Australian land records WEA Centre Adelaide 8:00-10:00pm
8: How to be a successful family historian 1 WEA Centre Adelaide 8:00-9:45pm (1st of 6 sessions)
12: Adelaide heritage walk: Swans, bridges and a stadium WEA 2:00-4:00pm
15: How to be a successful family historian 2 WEA Centre Adelaide 8:00-9:45pm (2nd of 6 sessions)
19: Scottish Heraldry - SA Genealogy & Heraldry Society 2:0-4:000pm
22: How to be a successful family historian 3 WEA Centre Adelaide 8:00-9:45pm (3rd of 6 sessions)
26: Glenelg heritage walk: Settlement to resort WEA 2:00-4:00pm
29: How to be a successful family historian 4 WEA Centre Adelaide 8:00-9:45pm (4th of 6 sessions)
3: Semaphore herirage walk: Seashore heritage WEA 2:00-4:00pm
6: How to be a successful family historian 5 WEA Centre Adelaide 8:00-9:45pm (5th of 6 sessions)
13: How to be a successful family historian 6 WEA Centre Adelaide 8:00-9:45pm (6th of 6 sessions)

See the seminar program for more details and bookings for 2017.

Following my last newsletter Andrew reminded me of a useful site. He wrote:
Have you seen this website I find the Nominal Roll listing very tedious to use as the listing isn't in strict alphabetical order and it is easy to miss somebody, unlike the AIF Project. However the major problem with the AIF Project is that you can only search down to surname and then have to scroll through all those of that name, and with common surnames it can take a while. However it does pull together information from a number of sources, including post discharge information including date and place of death and burial.
Eventually the RSL website will be useful, although it is somewhat restrictive in the amount of information it is capturing.

In this issue:
Seminars October
Seminars November
Seminars December

Feature article
Changes at FamilySearch


Graham Jaunay
Glandore SA 5037

Proformat News acknowledges the support by awe AWE

Changes at FamilySearch
There is little doubt that FamilySearch provides a wonderful access to records for family historians and especially for those records not seen as commercially useful to the big three pay-to-use sites. Over the years the LDS has kept up with technology and employed the latest access strategies. Long gone are the many nights at a local library poring over fiche and threading film to access the most commonly used material.

Now FamilySearch is taking another step in accommodating modern technology and whilst I welcomed previous advances, I am not so sure about this one that came into play on the last day of August 2017—the discontinuation of the microfilm distribution service that has been a part of research for the past 80 or so years!

Why am I worried? It is not the advances that have been made that have brought this decision, namely the growth in digitisation of the vast collection of records in Salt Lake City. It is the timing. Whilst FamilySearch has now digitally reproduced the bulk of its microfilm collection—a massive 1.5B images—it has not completed the process!

FamilySearch expect to complete the process by 2020 and so in the meantime any record that has not been digitalised (estimated by me to be about 750,000) will not be available until it goes through the process. Now Murphy's law indicates that my records will not only be amongst those to be processed but knowing my luck some are likely to be in the very last batch! By 2020 I will be far nearer to 80 years of age than 70! One has to ask why the few remaining films and fiche could not continue to be available?

On the positive side for long-term researchers, the outstanding records are those that have not been requested over the past five years and fortunately if the record you seek has yet to be digitised you can ask for it to prioritised.

While all records are being digitised some records will continue to be accessible only via a local LDS Family History Library due to access restrictions placed on the material by the owners and/or laws.

Some of you are well aware that LDS Family History Libraries can supply free access to leading data websites of interest to most researchers and operated by Ancestry, FindMyPast, MyHeritage, Geneanet and The Genealogist saving a huge outlay in subscriptions.

If you have not used a local LDS Family History Library you can locate the one nearest to you and their opening hours online.

In closing this update readers are referred to the Wiki operated by FamilySearch. It is a very useful site for finding the locations of records as well as general information pertaining to family history although it is rather limited outside English speaking countries. For example my ancestors came from Petworth in Sussex and Wiki has detailed information on this place inluding a history, where to find online records, maps and other related websites. Others in my family came from Francheval in France and Wiki has nothing at all on this location!

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