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Thursday, April 9, 2009

New FamilySearch in Utah and Idaho

The Ancestry Insider has updated his map of the introduction of New FamilySearch in Utah and Idaho. We had heard from friends that the Vernal, Utah Temple was getting ready to implement New FamilySearch but had not had any confirmation of when that would happen. It now appears that Temples in Vernal, Monticello, Manti and Twin Falls will all have New FamilySearch in near future. Apparently, some of the Temples have already begun processing Family Ordinance Request Forms (FORs) such as Idaho Falls, Provo, Bountiful, Ogden and St. George.

Those of us outside the Utah and Idaho area are not sure how the system will adsorb the thousands of new users. We are also concerned about the impact of having family members who are new to the program, undo a lot of the corrections and combinations of duplicates we have done over the past year or so. With the introduction of synchronization software in Ancestral Quest 12.1 and in RootsMagic 4, the process of dealing with the influx of new users will be more manageable but it may still be difficult to deal with the challenges.

Presently, New FamilySearch has an upper limit on the number of duplicate individuals that can be combined. With the addition of the Utah and Idaho families, it may cause an overload for certain individuals on the system with a lot of descendants. I frequently find duplicates with both Ancestral Quest and RootsMagic that result in the error message telling me that I cannot combine anymore individuals. It may turn out to be very challenging to have a large number of new users. For example, when I first went onto the program I spent a lot of time disputing what I considered to be inaccurate information. I eventually realized that disputes were not going to accomplish anything except aggravation until the entire Church was online.

As a result, I began removing all of my disputes and marking the preferred entries through the Summary view portion of the program.

I have been told that the Family Tree version of the program on FamilySearch Labs, will be the format for the final program. This version is now at .24. I understood that the Family Tree program would be implemented at about the time of the introduction of the entire program into Utah and Idaho. Although Family Tree has come a long way, it is not yet a full featured program and it will need substantial additions and work, like a help menu for example, before it can replace the present New FamilySearch interface entirely.

It will certainly be interesting to see what happens in the next few months.

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