Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Please Dont Chat



I am certain the higher ups in FamilySearch won't like this post, but what the heck, I have only two weeks left on this mission.

I serve in the support zone. We handle hundreds of calls a day in chat, email, and phone calls. This is a great service and one that is quite enjoyable. It is extremely rewarding realizing  that by helping someone when they are blocked or stumped helps keep them going with this great work.

I say please don't chat for a couple of reasons. 1- It is so hard to understand the issues. 2- It takes so much time per case.

I can understand not wanting to increase a phone bill, but often we could make the call back to you.

The issues are so much clearer to understand, so much easier and quicker to sort out  when done by phone. I have had chats go over two hours without resolution. It must be trying for a patron to suffer through that much time.

In the cases where I take an email I most often call the person back. I am not saying don't email, but if I get the case, expect me to call you. I want to make sure I understand the problem and that you understand how to solve it.

In all cases  we are not trying to do your solution, but teach you how to solve it yourself. It's the old teach a man how to fish concept.

Currently there are over 500 people answering questions at home, about 10 part time church service missionaries here in Salt Lake City, and about 10 full time missionaries offering this world wide patron support. To top it off there are a few full time employees making it happen.

It is such a joy to have someone thank us for what the Church is doing to support family history. Those thanks come from everywhere and come often.

In the end chat if you must, but I recommend a phone call connection to be better.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Family Search Has Several Partnerships


So much publicity has been given to the partnerships with Ancestry.com, FindMyPast, and MyHeritage that people overlook their are several partners with FamilySearch continually looking ofr additional partnerships.

This link will take you to the partners site: https://familysearch.org/products/

It might be fun to take a look.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Possible The Best Tip I've Ever Given

OK, two best tips, how about that?

# 1 Have a definite target or goal:


Yep, things can be elusive, and frustrating after awhile, just like above. I wonder how long it takes before you get frustrated.

Whatever your goal, it is your goal, and whatever it is it's yours to enjoy.  I have been helping a 94 year old woman who spends much of her day getting what is on her PAF file into family tree. She doesn't see any interest in her kids at the time, so she is driven to get it done and make sure what is up there is accurate. She systematically is going up her lines correcting and documenting the information already in family tree.

Now isn't that a clear objective?

I spent a whole month on the website of Historical Newspapers looking and uploading stories of Cragun grandparents, aunts, and uncles to the tree. Boy that was interesting. I went through about 1600 articles found just by searching Cragun. Many of the articles weren't pretty, but there they are for those stories to be found. For a month I was so focused. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ is that site.

I recently taught a 10 year old grandson how awesome the descendancy view is in family tree. Now I have to train him when he comes next month not to be a green arrow chaser. (Inside Mormon Joke).

I often refer to bunny trails, the ease and tendency to go astray from your real goal. Tip # 1 have a goal or target. It's ok to move the target to something else, just do so on purpose.

Tip # 2: Set aside a regular schedule.

If it is at 5PM every Sunday evening or whatever, I have found that this is important. How about this for doing great? I recently helped a lady who met every Wednesday with her sister at the Salt Lake City Family History Library to work on their genealogy. They have volumes of books to show for that commitment.
 
What launched me, was a decision to spend Sunday afternoon on genealogy. I had the work of my mother and the already involved sister to assist my efforts. It was a great decision.
 
Two tips, your decision, I hope  you too catch the spirit of this fabulous hobby and work.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Family Tree Houskeeping

OK, I get it, you don't want to sit down and write that personal history. Well, boo hoo on you.

When an old man/woman dies, a library burns. Don't rob your children of those stories that can endure for generations, those simple stories that only you know. Have your technology savvy 5 year old download the FamilySearch  memories aps. One you will enjoy is about memories. The family tree ap lets you record stories right to the tree. How is that, tell a story for your posterity to hear in your own voice. It's awesome. Do it, record a memory,interview a family member. currently this is only available on the iPad and iPhone. (Not available on the newly announced Apple Watch. :))

There is excellent on line help. Just clip get help in the upper right hand corner of FamilySearch. You have a lot of options.

You can now correct the gender in many cases in family tree.

In many cases family tree is not finding duplicates. If you see duplicates that are exactly the same, but they will not come up in possible duplicates, they can be merged by ID Number.

If you are a close relative of someone who is deceased you can claim legacy of their account by contacting support.

Files are not locked on LDS members who are living.

You can tell if you have a free LDS account to Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com, and My Heritage.com by; signing in, click on your name, click settings, and connected accounts.

As users attach, detach, and modify memories (photos,stories, documents, etc.) those actions are now tracked in the person change log.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Dear Friends and Followers - Opportunities Near Temple Square


Currently there are many good opportunities to purchase a condo near Temple Square, the Family History Library, and City Creek Mall. Having lived this close for almost three years now I can attest to just how cool it is.

For some, like me, just being within walking distance to the Family History Library is awesome.

I know that with the LDS General Conference coming the condo market in our are will pick up. It gets busier at this time for agents and sellers.

I'll be doing two things that I would welcome some assistance with: 1- I'll be blocking off time for appointments to show close in Condos. At the time there are 5 buildings, that I recommend,  with 14 units for sale priced between $215,000 and $385,000. I ask for your help if you know of anyone who might be thinking of purchasing here. I'm trying to book my calendar to be full the week before and around General Conference. 

2nd and most significant: I just took a very special listing. It's rare as to how awesome it is, especially as it is not only magnificent, but it is half the price for twice the space as the City Creek properties abutting City Creek Mall, and it's very quiet. Its asking price is $599,000. It has a view that will take your breath away. 

Here is a link to my virtual tour of the home. click here

Sincerely,
Larry K Cragun

I am licensed with MediaOne Real Estate

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Family Tree Feedback

A reminder that I spend a few hours a week in family tree support, answering questions from around the world, both from LDS members and non members.

In the early months of family tree it was discouraging as there were mostly rumblings and grumblings.

Not so today. More calls of just trying to do things right are coming in.

I took one today that was an example of what family tree is all about. The patron said, "Someone just placed the most awesome photo of my grandfather in family tree. How can I contact them to thank them and to connect with them?

The good news, a lesson for all, is that this contributor has their email information public. The default, for privacy law reasons, is private. It was a fun call for me to take.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Get more help when you click "Get Help"In Family Tree

Get Help has changed to make it easier to get the information needed. The help is easier to find, it is being updated constantly, and more of the help is specific to the feature being used. The new Get Help menu has feature-sensitive help. Get Help now has two panels: The options on the right remain the same on each page, but the options on the left in the Self Help section are specific to the feature being used.

Below is the text in the photo above

Options for available assistance are shown at the right.  
  • Live Chat. To start a live chat session with a FamilySearch Support agent, click Live Chat. You will be asked to enter your name and e-mail address. Then click Chat Now.
  • Call Us. To speak directly to a FamilySearch Support agent by phone, click Call Us to locate the toll free phone number for your country, and then place the call.
  • Send a Message. Use this to request help and receive an email from a FamilySearch Support agent. To submit your problem or question:
    1. Select a message category.
    2. Leave your contact information, first and last name, email, and phone number.
    3. Give a brief description of your question or problem.
    4. Provide the details. You are encouraged to be as descriptive as possible with all pertinent details (such as the person number of the ancestor in Family Tree, or the Historical Records Collection you are using). The more detail you can provide, the easier it will be for FamilySearch Support to understand your question or problem.  These details will help them to provide you with an accurate reply in a timely manner. 
    5. Please include your username and helper number, (found by clicking your name in the upper right corner when signed on, and then click Settings.)
    6. Click Send Message.
  • Find Local Help is a list of the family history consultants in your area. (You must be signed on.) This also has Find a Family History Center to find nearby family history centers. Search for one near you, and click Find. A map will appear showing the location of FamilySearch centers near your location.  Click on the center's name to view hours, address, phone number, website, and to get driving directions. If you click Learn More, you will see the home page of the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • Remote Connect is used for assistance when chatting or talking on the phone with FamilySearch Support. The agent will advise you to click Remote Connect, and this will allow the FamilySearch Support Technician to remotely connect to your computer.
  • My Cases is a list of the problems or questions you have addressed directly with FamilySearch. Click on the case number to see the details of any case.


FamilySearch Home Page

Self Help has the following sections when you click Get Help from the https://familysearch.org/ home page:
  • Getting Started is where you find and watch video tutorials; start sharing photos, memories, and stories; go to your tree; or get started finding your ancestors in the FamilySearch historical records collection. 
  • Help Center will allow you to select a help topic with everything in one place. Browse help topics to learn how to build your family tree, record your living memories, index records, search for ancestors, and more.
  • Learning Center provides hundreds of online genealogy courses to help you discover your family history. This includes videos, different skill levels, and many subjects.
  • Research Wiki is about finding records that may have been generated about your ancestors and the places in which the records might be found.


FamilySearch Family Tree

Clicking Get Help from https://familysearch.org/tree changes the left panel to Selt Help for Family Tree. 
  • Quick Start Video. Click Play Now to see a video about using the feature.
  • FAQs. Click FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) to access the 10 most frequently asked questions. The page also has a search box that you can use to find other help articles.
  • Learning Center Video Courses. Family Tree provides free videos you can view to gain an extensive understanding of Family Tree. 
  • What's New. Click What's New to open the most recent FamilySearch blog articles about new features.
  • Tips and Tricks. Use these to increase your productivity and your overall Family Tree experience. 
  • Other Resources. Click Other Resources to see a list of more resources to learn about the feature. For example, you can find a link to more training videos.
  • Help Center. Use the center for further information and a general search for knowledge articles.
  • Learning Center. The learning center provides hundreds of online genealogy courses to help you discover your family history. This includes videos, different skill levels, and many subjects.
  • Research Wiki. The wiki is about finding records that may have been generated about your ancestors and the places in which the records might be found.



Search Records--Discover Your Family History


  • FAQs. Click FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) to access the 10 most frequently asked questions. The page also has a search box that you can use to find other help articles.
  • Learning Center Video Courses. Family Tree provides free videos you can view to gain an extensive understanding of Family Tree. 
  • Tips and Tricks. Tips and tricks are provided by FamilySearch to help you find and identify your ancestor in the Historical Records Collection that spans billions of names across hundreds of collections. Tips include how to refine your search, filter your results, and so forth. 
  • Research Strategies. Learn a plan of action that gives direction to your efforts, enabling you to conduct research systematically rather than haphazardly. 
  • Other Resources. This miscellaneous content is provided by FamilySearch libraries.
  • Help Center. Use the center for further information and a general search for knowledge articles.
  • Learning Center. The learning center provides hundreds of online genealogy courses to help you discover your family history. This includes videos, different skill levels, and many subjects.
  • Research Wiki. The wiki is about finding records that may have been generated about your ancestors and the places in which the records might be found.

Help Center 

In Self Help, click Help Center. When you click on the down arrow on the Help Center tab, a drop-down menu appears, and you can choose the specific features you need. The system sends you to the feature-specific help page.


 https://familysearch.org/ask/researchAssistanceResearch Assistance is a community of researchers ready to assist you with your questions. Click Ask a Specialist to ask a specialist. Click General Research Help to see the toll-free telephone number to get free person-to-person research assistance, or click Chat Now for a free live chat with a research assistant. After clicking Chat Now, wait for the agent to respond, and type in your question for research support. (Research Assistance Chat is for general research questions only. They will help patrons learn how to do research for themselves, not do the actual research for them. They do not answer questions about FamilySearch indexing, Family Tree, Memories, and so forth.) 

Search Research Articles provides a "Type and press Enter" search box. Here you can type in places or subjects, such as Ontario or census, and press Enter. Relevant articles to that subject will be found. Click the blue title link to go to the article


GETTING STARTED will help you get started with your family history. This is where you find and watch video tutorials, read step-by-step guides, and connect to others. Click Discover Your StoryExploring Your Family TreeFinding Your Ancestors, or Getting Started for videos to help you discover your own story, explore your family tree, find your ancestors, and learn to use our products. Start Sharing will take you to Memories where you can start sharing your photos, stories, and documents. Go to your tree will take you to your Family Tree. Search records takes you to our historical records collection, which spans billions of names across hundreds of collections--including birth, marriage, death, probate, land, military, IGI extracted, and more. See How to search Historical Records by region, locality, or country (53780).



 LEARNING CENTER is a variety of free, online courses for beginners to advanced searches. Browse hundreds of online genealogy courses to help you discover your family history. You can search the learning center by typing in a search term such as ship manifest and clicking Search to see results that will help you learn. The courses are categorized by place, skill level, subject, format, and language in the left column. You will also find the most popular courses, new courses, and beginning genealogy courses.  

Click the blue title link to go to the courses. The time length is listed for each course.

 RESEARCH WIKI allows you to browse the Genealogy Research Wiki with categories:
  • Beginning Research
  • About the Wiki
  • Localities
  • Research Tools
  • Contributing
  • Partnering
To search for research articles, type the title (such as Hispanic Research) in the Search box, and press Enter.

In the Wiki, you will find:
  • Links to record collections where your ancestor's information may be found.
  • Research advice on solving research problems.
  • Featured Research Wiki Articles.