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.