Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Saturday, October 27, 2012

What will happen this next week with FamilySearch Family Tree?

It was announced by the Directors of the Mesa FamilySearch Library that they received an email notice that FamilySearch Family Tree on would be "introduced" during the week of 29 October 2012. I have been wondering what the "introduction" will consist of and watching the program carefully. Since the program has been active and not in a Beta test since February, 2012, I have been speculating about the changes that might occur to constitute an introduction.

First, in response to some severe criticism lately, let me say; I am not associated with FamilySearch other than as a volunteer with the FamilySearch Research Wiki, as a contributor to the FamilySearch TechTips and other voluntary associations. I am not an employee of FamilySearch and I do not claim any particular insider knowledge. I do watch FamilySearch carefully as an outsider. I do this for several reasons, primarily because I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon) and have been using FamilySearch and its predecessors for over 30 years to do my research. Secondarily, because as a genealogist, part of my motivation for seeking out my family comes from my beliefs as a member of the Church.

If my association with the Church and/or my enthusiasm for FamilySearch and its efforts to support the genealogical community bother you, then find something else to do with your time and ignore my posts.

In addition, although there are other wonderful genealogical resources out there in the world, some free and some by subscription, I just happen to believe that FamilySearch Family Tree shows the best promise of being the solution to some of the problems found in the research in my own family lines. I fully realize that very few genealogists out there in the community have generations of previous genealogical research in their family lines such as those among my ancestors. This is both good and bad news if you are in this position. The good news is that the records are usually available, the bad news is that very, very little of the family lines have been documented or sourced. Much of the information is either incomplete or incorrect. Hitherto, I have had no way to sort out this huge tangle of information. I see FamilySearch Family Tree as the first glimmerings of a solution to sorting out what is and what is not accurately recorded about my family.

I started this process over thirty years ago and I just might live long enough to finish it. For the first time I believe I have the tools to do the job. So those are some of the reasons I keep a close watch on FamilySearch. It is mostly out of self interest.

So, what will happen next week? I doubt that even those at FamilySearch are exactly sure. But the program will continue to evolve and I will keep working on my family lines and all my other projects. And, I will likely continue to write, despite the criticism, until my fingers and mind no longer work.


  1. I didn't think I would like Family Tree but as I have gotten to use it, I find that it is wonderful. Just like all user contributed databases, there are mistakes. Most of the time when we find mistakes we forget to attribute those mistakes to the person or persons that sent them in and we blame the program. The wonderful thing about Family Tree is that it is now source based which hopefully will help clear up many of the errors.
    Many changes will take place to make the program work better but it is up to the users/contributors to clean up the records and make them accurate.
    Let's spend our time, while we wait for the release to gather as many accurate sources as we can and be ready to add those sources to our family members when Family Tree becomes available.
    I would LOVE to read the email the directors received. My husband and I are full time missionaries in Salt Lake and my husband works 7 hours a day, 5 days a week with Family Tree and there has been no such announcement made at this end!
    BTW James, you do a great job with your blog!

  2. I have been checking out the new familysearch Family Tree and I really like it. I do have a few questions:
    1.) Can I add my contact info so if someone (maybe an unknown cousin) wants to contact me they can?

    2.) I found a relative with incorrect info. I added the correct spouse and children and then added the sources to prove it. I stated in the discussions section as to why this is correct. I did not delete the incorrect info as I felt weird about deleting someone else's entries. (These were made by a person and not familysearch) I am hoping the person sees it and deletes it, but if they do not should I delete it?


    1. When you register for the program, your contact information is included in the registration. If you make a change, all someone has to do is click on your name and send you an email.

      The whole idea of the program is to delete incorrect information. Simply provide a source and reason for the deletion. If you want to see any changes, watch the page from the link at the top of the page. Make sure you email address is current and correct.