Session taught by Diane Loosle, Senior Vice President of Patron Services at FamilySearch, Director of the Family History Library and both a certified and accredited genealogist and David Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA, employed as the Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch. A professional genealogist since 1977, he is an Accredited Genealogist CM with ICAPGen SM in Ireland research and a Certified Genealogist SM with the Board for Certification of Genealogists®. He is a past-president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies.
The Innovator Summit is an opportunity to listen to subjects that are not usually discussed in genealogy conferences and certainly not the subject of much discussion among entry-level genealogists. It is also a small window into a world that most of us rarely have contact with who are neither software developers or work for large genealogy companies. The rooms at the Salt Palace are set up for the huge classes planned for the #RootsTech portion of the conferences and it makes it look like the attendance is very light. In reality, it is the segment of the market that is small and the classes are a good representation of the interest.
The purpose of the presentation is to advance the issues that need to be resolved though innovations in family history.
First is the need to have a word space between the raw data and the conclusions. We need a work space that is apart from the FamilySearch.org Family Tree. Some use spreadsheets. I use both spread sheets and Google Docs documents to hold information while it is being evaluated. We need tools that can help in this situation to narrow the possible related individuals in a record such as a census.
There should be lists of name variants used in a search. As we search records, there may be discrepancies. Our analysis consists of comparing several records of different types that may resolve the inconsistent or incomplete data. This comparison process is labor intensive and could partially be assisted by software that would provide a structure for making these types of comparisons.
Example of comparing census records for various years by extracting similar surnames from the same area to determine relatives. This is an example of moving beyond simply looking at the data and analyzing it for patterns. Computers do well with patterns and so this process should be amenable to computer analysis.