Friday, October 3, 2014

Retiring the Record Search

We regret to announce that we will be retiring the Record Search feature of Find-A-Record before the end of October.

In September 2013 we set out to solve the problem of searching geographically for genealogy records. After many months of exciting and hard work, we took our solution to RootsTech 2014 where we received overwhelmingly positive feedback. But we soon ran into two problems:

1. Only some genealogists really understood how useful Find-A-Record was.
2. Acquiring and processing both the record data and the geographic data was much more expensive and difficult than we anticipated.

We decided to build the Research Assistant to tackle the first problem by showing how the Record Search data was useful for research. The Research Assistant is now much more popular than the Record Search and it no longer relies on the record data.

Inside our desire to search geographically for records was a more fundamental desire to make genealogy research easier and more approachable for beginners. The Research Assistant is an important step forward in that direction and there is still much more we can do. By retiring the Record Search, we can focus our resources on enhancing the Research Assistant and decreasing the barrier of entry for aspiring genealogists.

Find-A-Record Chrome Extension

The Find-A-Record Chrome Extension is a popular tool for making Find-A-Record features quickly accessible from inside FamilySearch and Ancestry trees. Because the Record Search is being retired, the features of the Chrome extension will be dramatically simplified. Ancestry trees will no longer be supported. The only feature that will remain is linking to the Research Assistant from an ancestor in the FamilySearch Family Tree.

If you liked the birth, marriage, and death record search features of the Chrome extension then we recommend trying the RootsSearch Chrome extension as a replacement. It behaves in a similar manner while supporting many more genealogy websites.


  1. Too bad Record Search didn't become a success!

    Will you be enhancing the RootsSearch Chrome extension in the near future, like selectable search engines?

    1. I don't know when I'll have time to update RootsSearch. I really want to, but my time is limited. FHISO is taking a chunk out of my limited free time.

  2. Thanks for all your work on Research Assistant, it's become my go to application to teach new people how to start doing family history.