Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sir John Lisle

Two questions surrounding John Lisle that will help clear up confusion that is currently in Family Tree:

1- What dates did John marry Elizabeth Mary Hobart and Alice Beaconshawe? Were they really 1621 and 1636 as in family tree?

2- Did he divorce Ms. Hobart? If so when?

3- Who were the children under each marriage?

4- Who did his daughter Alice Lisle marry? Was it a Whitaker? Which Whitaker?

If these questions interest you, please let me know so we can collaborate our research.

Below is what is currently in family tree. There is conflicting information. I am suggesting no changes be made until proper sourcing can be added so proper conclusions can be made. The obvious and important conflict is in Alice Lisle. She is show under both wives as a daughter. She is twice under Ms. Hobart.

FamilySearch Family Tree Is Great - Welcome Newbies

It is my observation through taking support calls that a lot of those calling in with family tree issues are new users, even new to genealogy. This is a good thing. Many are not members of the LDS church and that too is a good thing.

I want to point out in this post that getting it right is the underlying principle of family tree. What is correct might be difficult to prove. What is correct might go against family traditions. I once wrote about what I call a war that was going on between a fellow missionary and a distant relative. My friend received an email back in the debate of what was correct that said, "I don't care what your document says, I know what my mother told me". Now my immediate reaction to this is that this person with the I don't care response might be better of with a new hobby, such as gardening. But that wouldn't be nice of me would it?

So I just suggest we all care about what are the true facts. I know that most do but I also know some haven't seen the importance of this point yet. Serving this mission changed me from sloppy to caring. I'm encouraging all to move away from sloppy. This is especially important as family tree is open edit and one edit affects many of us.

This topic is on my mind today as I and others, some very solid researchers, have been working on the ancestors of Mary Whitaker 1746 - 1822. Mary is the mother in law of Elisha Cragun. This line has an interesting history. I mean this different than one might think. It's interesting for whom everyone wants us to be related to; Lord John Lisle and Lady Alice Beaconshawe. Here is a short history. Others in this line seem to be terrific people. However, much of the hope and speculation isn't certain. What is interesting is how many jump to the claim without actual proof of the heritage. I do see web article after web article that claims the connection between Mary Whitaker's father William Whitaker Jr. 1732 - 1802 and Lady Alice. I do not see the proof. In fact what is now in family tree is interesting to me. The tree shows Lord Lisle's first wife, Elizabeth Mary Hobart as the mother of Alice Lise (Alice is the supposed link to lady Lisle) instead of the mother being Lady Lisle. Not to be confusing, there is a possibility that the hope to Lady Lisle is misguided.

One could assume what in family tree is correct. But a closer look at what has been input in family tree would declare that unless Lord Lisle was a polygamist (doubtful) either of his two wives could be the mother of our Alice Lisle.

Now comes the fun part. It's the real hook to genealogy. It's a treasure hunt. It's more fun than a video game. It's more important than fantasy football. The game, has many discoveries to make. 1- Who is the mother of Alice Lisle 1605 - 1685? 2- Which Whitaker did she marry? One is our ancestor another is not.

And now another issue. That was top down research. Going up from Elisha Cragun's mother in law we can document some of the genealogy. But between Alice Lisle and our proven line are two generations not proven. Knowing the true facts could change everything.

And my final and an important point. Someone went in and made massive changes on what we had in this line without showing any reasons why or any sources. It was just obliterated.

To the person who did this - do you know how many people you ticked off? What was there was not proven. What you did left us all going back to our records. Did you delete these people on purpose? What was the purpose? Or did you carelessly take this action?

This is not a fun game when someone is messing with our tree without realizing the serious consequences of a delete, even a change. Many many hours went into creating what is. Some of what is there is likely in error. What is there is a place to work from. For sure change what is wrong to what is correct. For sure don't change what is there to anything different without supporting proof.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

FamilySearch Family Tree Recent Questions

Family Tree was truly a brave roll out. So much was new and so much needed improvement. It is fast becoming a pretty solid website. Still, there are numerous parts yet to go live.

I thought I would share some questions and answers we get from our users.

Q: Why can't we give an indicator as to whether there are any possible duplicates on a person?
A: The programming call, or effect on the load, to check for possible duplicates uses a fair amount of system resources, so we don't want to execute this process every time a person page is opened. We are looking into ways to speed this up and/or provide better mechanisms to let patrons know when possible duplicates exist.

FYI: My observation is that this shows the character of this initiative, and the willingness to even embark on family tree. It is a major effort, moving all the records ever submitted to the church, over decades, having them in multiple data bases, having being a massive collection, every entry being the opinion of the provider. Moving from that model to one tree for all mankind is loaded with issues. It is evident now, after more than a year that it is worth it.

Q: Should I mark a person as Not A Match if I'm not sure if they are in fact the same person?
A: It depends. If you are worried about other people merging them and want to do more research or want to prevent the merge it is likely a good option. Just note, that when designated as a Not A Match they will no longer appear as a possible duplicate. I have actually done this with the sole purpose of assuring that people will not make the merge in a future time. Some of the ugliest events can happen with incorrect merges.

Q: What if I now a person matches, but doesn't show up in the possible duplicates list?
A: After clicking the Possible Duplicates link from the person page, click on the merge by ID tab. Copy the ID you would like to merge into the text box and proceed with the merge as usual.

Q: What happened if I went through all of the steps to merge, clicked finish merge and I get a pink message that these people can't be merged?
A: Most likely you have encountered a bug. Please call support to report it or send an e-mail to The only legitimate reason this message should appear after initiating a merge is that it took over 15 minutes. This is another constraint of the system that will be resolved when synchronization with search is off. Merging will be much quicker.

Q: What happens to photos and stories attached to a person during a merge?
A: Any photos and stories on the person deleted during the merge will not be copied to the resulting merged person. This is a known issue relating to the different data models that will be resolved soon.


Q: Why don't merges show up in the watch list even though they do show up in the watch emails?
A: This also is a known issue that is being worked on.

Significant changes to the watch list are coming soon.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Some Concepts Regarding Genealogy For All To Consider

The Full article is posted today on my "" blog.

It is my experience that many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints consider "us" as the genealogists of the world. As a church there might be some justification to this attitude, but in fact it's not true.

Our family history and temple ordinances such as sealing families forever together are core to our doctrine.Exactly 2 1/2  years after the organization of the church, September 6, 1842 this message was conveyed to the members, first as letters to the members, and later added to the Doctrine and Covenants of the church:

An Adult Grandson Is Interested In Genealogy - Now What?

Well, not here is a postscript just minutes after this article. My daughter called and her husband wants in on this too. How fun. Let's go get them Jeff!

For years I have thought I am truly my mothers son. I mean this in a surprising way. My mother was hooked on genealogy. She had four children. She was certain all of her work; her stories, her photos, and her research was written for posterity that could care less. None of us seemed the least bit interested. Now two of us are actually quite the genealogists and with the modern day tools have far surpassed mothers scope.

Now I thought I was truly my mothers son for the same reason; thinking who cares. My youngest daughter says she feels the spirit but her three active children have so much spirit she can barely keep up with them. My son, he's so busy with his business, where is the time to have the faintest interest. You know the drill. I count on it being like mothers children, some day, and the work done will be valuable to them.

And now comes along Damian with an interest.
I shouldn't be shocked should I? No the younger generation is well equipped. They are smart, fast on the computer, and are inclined to on line gaming. This far surpasses that sport.

So how do I help without overwhelming such a new interest? It has been a week since Damian suggested he would be interested in some ideas from me. So where would you begin?

Here are a few ideas that seem to make sense to me.
1- Go into family tree and connect all living parents or grandparents (I might want to help so it doesn't seem tedious) to those that are deceased.
2- Then print out a fan chart.
3- Pick out an ancestor that lived way back - go to and print that ancestors descendant chart.
4- Go back to family tree and select that ancestors descendancy view. I recently did this for the first time, following all of Elisha Warner Bingham and his descendants. This is actually quite a valuable and interesting format. In other words it's really cool. Immediately I could see a photo of his son's cabin, Erastus, who was my 3rd great grandfather. I clicked on his name and I see that there are 30 sources, 34 memories, and 8 discussions.

This type of result is what I hope we all find. A chance to benefit by the research of others to dig in and connect with our ancestors. I think it's time I end this article - I have a whole bunch of memories, sources, and discussions to study an a great great great grandfather and his family..

Oh, and then I would make sure he was aware of these search tools and sites.
1-The "Search Records" feature in Family Tree. I would explain how the family search database is.
6- And the value of using Google.

I would also encourage him to explore the articles on this blog, even subscribe to other blogs I have listed.

Oh dear, have I overwhelmed him?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Family Search Just Made Getting Help So Much Easier

Just going live and being populated in the internet is a new way to get to get help, much simpler.

Click the get help link in the upper corner and this pops open.

You can email, chat, even call. \On a typical day we in the support of family tree field 400 to 500 request a day. There are several hundred serving at home, about 20 full or part time in Salt Lake City, and if you are lucky you get one of the young Elders that serve.

That is me on the lower right. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Coming Very Soon in FamilySearch Family Tree

What’s New—June 3, 2014, Part 1
Use “Record Hints” to Find Records of Your Ancestors
Finding your ancestors among the billions of records on just got easier with a new feature called Record Hints. finds the records for you. For each person in Family Tree, now compares the person’s information with all of its indexed records and displays the best matches. You don’t have to fill out a search form or click a button to request a search—the results are already displayed for you. You don’t have to weed through hundreds of search results—you have a short list that usually includes records for your ancestors.
Keep in mind that the accuracy of the matches depends on the information that is in Family Tree and the information that was indexed. If doesn’t have much information to compare, you may still get records that don’t match. But the percentage of accurate matches is high, and the list you look through is short.
And when you find a record about your ancestor, it’s now easy to attach the record to Family Tree as a source, which lets others see where you got your information.
Here’s a list of Record Hints for Olive Benedict Livermore.

These indexed records include Olive’s name and match her information in Family Tree. To see a record, you click Olive’s name above the record. If the record is for someone other than Olive, scroll down to see if she is listed as the mother or the daughter. The record may be for one of her children or for her parents.
Where to Find Record Hints
You can access Record Hints from two places in Family Tree: in the Descendancy view on the right of the person’s name or on the person’s details page on the right side. To see the list of Record Hints in the Descendancy view, click the icon.
Record Hints Icon on the Descendancy View

Record Hints on the Details Page

How to Use Record Hints
The Descendancy view is the quickest way to see which ancestors have Record Hints. When you put an ancestor in the main position in the Descendancy view, you can easily display all of the ancestor’s descendants who are in Family Tree. Then you scroll down the screen looking for Record Hints icons.
When you click a Record Hints icon, look at the records in the list, and then use the new source feature to attach to Family Tree those records that are for your ancestor. Attaching a source now takes only a couple of clicks.
1.       Go to the Descendancy view. (On the pedigree, in the upper left corner, on the View button, click the down arrow, and click Descendancy.) By default, you appear as the person in the main position.

2.       Move an ancestor to the main position.
·         Above your name, click the Expand link. More generations of ancestors appear.
·         Click the Select button for the ancestor you want to put in the main position.
·         To choose an ancestor even more generations back, repeat the process (click the Expand link, and click the Select button for the ancestor).
3.       If you want to see the Record Hints icons for all the ancestor’s descendants, scroll down the page, clicking all of the triangles that point to the right (>). This displays all the spouses and children and their Record Hints icons. 

4.       View the records for the person.

·         To view one record, click your ancestor’s name above the record.

·         To see more information about all the records, click Show All at the bottom of the list of records. The system shows you the key Family Tree information for the person and the key information from the indexed records. If the information in the record matches your ancestor, click the Review button for the record.

After you select a record to view, displays the Family Tree record on the left and the information from the indexed record on the right.
5.       Compare the person’s Family Tree information with the information in the indexed record.
Tip: You can use the scroll bar on the far right to scroll down the Family Tree record. To compare birth dates and places, scroll to the Vital Information section. To compare marriage information or family members, scroll to the Family Members section. 

In this example, the names are not common and are the same in both records; the marriage date and place are the same; the estimated birth years are close to the actual birth years. The evidence indicates that this is the marriage record for the Olive Benedict and Daniel Livermore who are in Family Tree.
6.       If you determine that the record is for your ancestor, click the Attach button near the top.
You’ll see the following screen.

7.       Add a reason why you think this record should be attached to your ancestor, and click Attach.
Note: You can attach the record even if you don’t list a reason, but the reason lets you and other users know what information helped you decide that this was a record for your ancestor.
The system returns you to the person’s details page, where you can view the next record in the Record Hints list.
Congratulations! With one icon, four or five clicks and one sentence, you’ve found a record for your ancestor, and added it as a source to Family Tree.
What’s New—June 3, 2014, Part 2
You may be wondering, “So what’s left for Part 2?” Good question. In Part 2, we’re going to show how all the new features work together to make family history easier than ever.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Typing And Computer Skills Impact Your Research Skills

With the huge energy put out by organizations, churches, governments, even volunteers to place records on line it becomes critical to be a decent typer.

I challenge you that if you aren't at least able to type 30 words per minute to take a few hours each day to improve your skills.

There are two courses I recommend that are free and on line. The first is and the other is Pick one and get that skill up there, OK?