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

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Notes and Life Sketch Show up in FamilySearch Family Tree

Two new features showed up in's Family Tree program: a section entitled "Life Sketch" and another section entitled "Notes."

The new Notes section seems to be populated with notes inherited from the distant past of Personal Ancestral File, when many of the users were recording sources and quasi-sources in their Notes section of the program. Here is a screen shot of some of the notes appearing in this new section:

Here is another screen shot showing the notes expanded:

You can click on the image and read the entires, but to save you that step I will cite a couple with comments:

Line 12767 from GEDCOM File not recognizable or too long: CHR DATE 25 1852

Well, first of all the "Christening Date" for this person who was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is totally inappropriate. It may have been the date of a "Baby Blessing" but from the information, the entry should be deleted as the date is incomplete even if we were to assume it was supposed to be a blessing date. Blessings and Christenings are not the same thing.

Here is another note:

From Ancestral File (TM), data as of 2 January 1996.

They could have saved the bits on this one. Who knows what it means? The rest of the notes are not at all helpful and will simply require deleting more of the stuff. 

Now the other new section is somewhat more helpful. It gives the users the chance to enter in a brief "Life Sketch." I like that idea a lot. Good job here. 

Actually the Notes is a really good idea also, but adding in the old PAF stuff just makes more busy work. 


  1. I really like the new Life Sketch feature. I have entered a couple of biographies already for John Tanner and Adeline Springthorpe Sparks Thomas and put up screen shots on my blog. Here; I'll put a link to the post:

    Life Sketch: New Feature in FamilySearch Family Tree

  2. The "Notes" section has created a huge mess for me. There are 5 or 6 "Notes" for every single ancestor and as James says it is mostly meaningless information. This means I am going to have to delete out thousands of Notes on my lines. It's unfortunate that we have to spend some much time on meaningless administrative tasks in FT instead of on substantive research.