Help get this topic noticed by sharing it on Twitter, Facebook, or email.
I’m frustrated

Comparison search: Beta FHL catalog vs. the old FHL catalog

Dear Beta engineers of the Family HIstory Catalog at,
I received this reply after I sent feedback via the Beta site after an unsuccessful search there vs. a successful search on the old Family History Library Catalog:
Dear Julie Ann Monson,

Thank you for contacting us for help with your research question.

After some testing with patrons, the engineering team at the Beta site ( has decided to completely redesign the Family Search Library Catalog. We invite you to visit the site often to view the changes as they are being made and provide feedback.

Since your feedback was so thorough and thoughtful, we suggest you copy it and send it to the engineers, using the brown Feedback button found at the beta site.

We hope this has been helpful for you and wish you success with your research.


Family Search


Unfortunately, I do not have a copy of what I sent. In a nutshell, the printout & search results from the new site for my Irish Flax Growers List, 1796 were not as good as the same search done on the old catalog, for Ireland-Business & Commerce- yielding "A list of persons to whom premiums for sowing flax-seed in the year 1796 have been adjudged by the trustees of the Linen Manufacture" with a film #, and a fiche index, neither of which were given on the new site. The new site yielded only a Book on CD "The Flaxgrowers bounty list, 1796" which is available only at the FHL. No film or fiche results were given. I hope this info + my case number of the original email will help as you refine the Beta version of the catalog. The old one is working pretty well...and if it "ain't broke..." just my opinion.
Thanks for all your work.
Julie Monson
1 person has
this question
  • Julie,

    Below is your first contact listing with familysearch.

    (TO ENGINEERS) I have also, tried the Library Catalog searches in both beta and the present familysearch catalog. I also find the beta site taking more time to get through. When a place search is entered into Beta to the middle on the left hand side are listed the categories but none listed for "business and commerce" but there is a listing for directories and business. Under this catagory there is a "business and commerce. There is also a category for "occupations".

    These catagories require browsing through the offerings.

    In Beta when a keyword for Irish Flax is put in the search box, you must scroll down the listings. Both sites state that no film notes are available and I, personally, like the Worldcat option to find the book somewhere.

    (TO JULIE) You need to go through each Worldcat listing. These listings have different authors or information and each one will list additional libraries where the book can be located.

    You can request that the book be digitized and placed on the computer through the Family History Library Catalog. Books that are not currently copyrighted, or if the library has the permission of the copyright holder, it can be digitized. You can request a book be digitized by sending the information in an e-mail to This process can take several months.

    If you will go to this web site:, there will be other options and details about securing the book you want.

    I hope this is helpful and know that the engineers will look at this problem. We are glad you are using our sites and please, contact us again with any questions, problems or suggestions you may have.

    Notes: The library catalog results I got for a keyword search of Irish Flax Growers List, 1796 on the the beta site were far less comprehensive than when I went to the original library catalog.
    Once the Beta search results came up (showing a CD-ROM, available at the FHL), the only other link I had was to the WorldCat, which showed me the closest access to this record for me is 708 miles. I could not link to related places, subjects, etc. On the original catalog, searching for the same record, I began with Ireland, then Ireland: Business & Commerce and found a fiche surname index, as well as a film titled: A list of persons to whom premiums for sowing flax-seed in the year 1796 have been adjudged by the trustees of the Linen Manufacture. Neither of these results came up for me on the Beta search. I printed the Beta catalog results, and it printed in large font, with links in color, on 2 pages. The original catalog printout of the results of the film & fiche records is one page, black & white.
    I am not inclined to use the new Beta catalog, and I hope more features of the original catalog are incorporated before any change occurs.
    Just giving feedback of my first experience with the Beta catalog.
    Thank you,
    Julie Monson
    Sammamish, WA
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly indifferent, undecided, unconcerned