Friday, July 18, 2014

We All Start As Beginners

I think back to how careless, even in eagerness, I was in the early part of my involvement in family history. It didn't concern me much that I was certain I was accurate. I was more into doing that in doing what was correct. 

The problem with doing on line or doing in family tree is that it affects others. The online part is illustrated in this portion of an email I received today. 

Many of Thomas Bentley’s descendants in their haste have fumbled the lineages of Thomas Bentley. It is correct his wife was named Hannah, as furnished in the 1789 Lincoln County, NC, deed wherein Thomas conveys his possessions to his wife "Hannah." However, NO PROOF has been found for the Thomas Bentley/Hannah THOMAS and Thomas Bentley/Mary BEASLEY connections which have been floating around the internet during the past decade. In the cutting and pasting of information from GEDCOM files and other websites, undocumented research has been taken as fact and has been proliferated across the internet like a prairie fire in the Heartland. Also, there is no hard evidence to support claims floating around the internet that Thomas Bentley of Maryland was the son of a Thomas Bentley who was born in 1700. 

It's a mindset, do it right, make sure, document which once embraced turns us from interested to passionate. It makes our work more important. After all, in both examples, the internet and family tree, we are sharing our research and fact finding with untold others. If we are wanting to provide meaningful value for our time here on earth, this is a place and a way to do just that.

You can go from rookie beginner to journeyman the moment you adopt a "get it right approach".

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Updates to FamilySearch Family Tree

Return to Last Viewed Person in Family Tree June 17
As users navigate from Family Tree to other parts of our site (Memories, Search, Indexing, Temple) and return to Family Tree, the person last seen on the tree view and the person on the detail page are now restored.  Previously, a user would be returned to their own tree and person page. This change makes navigating our site seem more fluid and seamless.

Family Booklet July 2
Many individuals outside the United States that need someone to help them get their information into the system. The family booklet is a way they can organize their data and make it easy for another to help with the input.

Preserve the Name of the Person Who Created the Source July 2

We no longer overwrite the name of the person who created the source with the name of the person who modified the source. We now show who originally created the source and who last modified it.

PDF option on memories removed July 2
Before the update, there was a PDF option on the Memories People page so you could share the whole list of people based on the filter selected.  However, the PDF option is not there now after the update.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Publishing Things Correctly - A Story of Collaboration

It is so easy to assume you have the correct facts when you do not. It is only your mistake when the records are kept on your own tree, in PAF or another software for example.

When you are making decisions in FamilySearch family tree you are affecting perhaps thousands of people with the same common ancestor.

Here in World Wide Patron Services, support zone, we deal with the frustration of those who are trying to correct an error in input entered by another. In the seeking of accuracy please join in on the concept of having a source for entries you make in family tree.

Separate from the frustrations are the many more accomplishments of open edit and one tree for all mankind. The benefits far outweigh the negatives. All of the research each of us performs correctly is public, allowing those that follow to work on a different problem.

It is my conclusion that almost all people have good motives. They like I had to learn, just need to learn the importance of good genealogy practices, such as certain accuracy. With all of the resources plus the collaboration opportunities now available one need not be a certified genealogist to do wonderful family history. Of course the foundation of the success we can now obtain lies in the work of the hundreds of thousands of people around the world that volunteer to index the many records being digitized in so many different ways by so many different enthusiasts. It is truly a wonderful thing.

I share a story of today that brings to life what I am writing about in this post. I was asked to help a young 94 year old neighbor with a small mess in her line in family tree. She works tirelessly transferring the data from her PAF file to the tree. She has records of her many years of research. Today she found an easy error to have made, an error often easily incurred by the way people of old named their children.

In 1842 Nathan Dadman was born in Framington, Middlesex, Massachusetts. He died shortly after as a young child. Their family had another son, born in 1845, also named Nathan. This Nathan is a direct ancestor to our neighbor. Family Tree has had the spouse and 11 children of the second Nathan connected to the first child Nathan. The entire family is wrong. For generations; a mistake was in the tree that could have gone on for many decades. With sources in hand and a little assistance the mistake was corrected for all to follow to benefit from by the faithful attention of my 94 year old hotshot genealogist neighbor. A say hotshot lovingly as I know she works at this daily for several hours a day.

Being accurate in all things sometimes seems tedious. Unlike some hobbies, like baseball, an error is just an error, in some games not a big deal. But in family history the stories the connections, the history are only fables in some cases due to the error of an anxious, even careless person.  

There is an appropriate sign on the wall of the training zone. Family History without sources is Mythology. As if today the mythology of the first and second Nathan Dadman is history.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

IOS apps

As of now the iOS apps are available in the App store. The Android app will be in the Play Store later today. The title is FamilySearch – Tree and FamilySearch – Memories.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Changes to People Page in Family Tree

Changes to the header when on the People page under Memories.  First, instead of the four filters, there will be only two filters on the main one – Added by: Me and Added by: Tree.  Added by: Me included the photos, documents, and stories you have directly uploaded or entered to  Added by: Me will also include those people for whom you have selected a different default portrait from memories added by others.

Added by: Tree will be the memories uploaded by others within your first four generations, their spouses, their children, and the children’s spouses.

If you have selected Added by: Me, then there will be a second filter on the right where you can then choose the option to see only those not linked to Family Tree yet.

The circle in the left corner next is for your personal portrait.  If you upload a photo of yourself, tag it and attach to the tree -- your portrait will show up there.

Changes to detach options on person page
If you are on a specific photo, anyone will now be able to detach the photo if it is linked to the wrong record in Family Tree.


This option does not always appear. To see the detach option, you will need to do the following:

1.    Get to a specific memory (photo, documents, stories).
2.    For the list of people in this photo list on the right, click on the tag with the name of the person you want to detach.
3.    When the tag opens, then you will see the detach from tree option.
4.    When you click detach, you will be given the page to confirm the detach and provide a reason you are detaching.

Detach from the People page – all photos at once
Just like we have had a contributor can detach all the memories for a specific person using the person page under Memories, it will still exist but it will look a little different.

If you are not the contributor, you cannot detach all memories at once. You would need to go to each memories and detach one-by-one as described earlier.

Memories disappear during Family Tree merge
Memories which had been lost due to a merge  will now be attached to the surviving PID and will reappear in the tree.

When you upload a picture and tag it, it will go directly to Google if the people you tagged are tied to the tree and publicly visible.  In other words, we give them a sitemap to crawl and Google will find these photos.  In addition, our photos are publicly available, and Google can crawl our site and find photos that are tagged to living or not tagged at all.  The URLs to all photos are publicly available and can be posted to social media (Facebook, Pinterest, etc) and they may be picked up by Google’s indexers there.

So Google may discover any photo you upload, and any photo that has been tied to only publicly visible tree people will be actively made available for Google to Index.  There may be a delay from the time you post your photo, until Google discovers and indexes it.”