RootsTech 2014

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Add Sources Directly to FamilySearch Family Tree from Historical Record Collections

A new update to FamilySearch.org's Family Tree allows you to search for and then add sources directly to an individual from the Historical Record Collections. When you sign in to Family Tree and click on an individual to see their Details Page, you will see a new link under the heading for Research Help with a link to Search Records. Here is a screenshot showing the link:


Clicking on the link takes you directly to a Record Search with the information from the Details Page already filled into the search parameters. Here is an example:


As an example, I could now choose to click on the entry for Sophia Overson in the 1880 U.S. Census. This shows the following record:


The arrow shows where you can click further to Attach to Family Tree. Clicking on this button brings up a question asking whether any of the suggested people match your person?


One more level of checking to make sure the Record will be attached to the right person shows if you indicate that you have the right person:


If you have been opening multiple tabs, like I do, you will have to refresh or reload your Details Page to see the attached source. Once you have attached the source, it shows in the Sources section of your ancestor's Details Page.


A copy of the link to the source also shows up in your Source Box. This procedure eliminates a couple of steps in the process of attaching files, but it also allows the source to be attached to others listed on the same source. It seems to me that FamilySearch is contemplating adding a specifically identified source to each person in the Family Tree. So you would search for a record individually named for each individual. However, this is a significant waste of time since you have already searched for and recorded a source one of the family members. I see no reason not to use the same record over and over for different members of the family that show up on the source record.


3 comments:

  1. This is really nice. The old Source Box method was a real kludge.

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  2. at this rate they will catch up with Ancestry in the next decade.

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  3. You note: "It seems to me that FamilySearch is contemplating adding a specifically identified source to each person in the Family Tree. So you would search for a record individually named for each individual. However, this is a significant waste of time since you have already searched for and recorded a source one of the family members. I see no reason not to use the same record over and over for different members of the family that show up on the source record."

    FS is already noting when such record-extracts are attached to a person in FS-FamilyTree. FS does not want you to use one person's detail page (in a multiple-person record) as source-citation for other persons.

    This logic does not work when the item is found elsewhere (such as if you used TreeSeek to attach the same Census record -- the actual image -- as found on InternetArchive).

    This logic also does not work where there are uploaded estate-related items that will not be completely indexed in the future, such as a will devising to persons related in various ways (e.g., sister Grace, Aunt Lida, grandson Charles); FS is assuredly not going to index more than the testator's name. And so far there is steadfast resistance to expanding the FS-FamilyTree tagging system beyond the most simplistic (culturally biased) conceptions of relationships. There is not even capability to tag a record as indicating that X was child of *one* parent instead of to a couple -- most annoying if a Court of Common Pleas record does not indicate the latter at all.

    Some desktop genealogy programs allow assigning individualized roles in such records, which is supported by last versions of the GEDCOM format. Possibly some drastic improvement in the FS-FT/GEDCOMX program will be made in the future.

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