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

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Future of FamilySearch Family Tree

FamilySearch Family Tree (aka has a future? Oh, well enough of sarcasm.
This presentation is by Ron Tanner and yes he is my cousin.

Where do we want to take Family Tree?
  • Remove bad data and relationships
  • Better sources to validate
  • Communicate with contributor
  • My-Tree-itus - ownership of the information
Reviews problems with New FamilySearch. Look, if you don't know the problems with New FamilySearch, you haven't used the problem.

They will be opening up all the data. I'm laughing too hard to write, sorry.
How many want to fix bad data?
Let everybody clean the fridge (data)
Everybody helps to to clean up the data?

What can the system do to make you feel better?
  • Valid sources
  • Talk to contributors
  • Work together
  • Know when someone changes the data
  • Where's the proof?
  • Change it back if it is wrong
Put New FamilySearch in and open it to everybody, member or not.
Document the genealogy of mankind for generations to come.

Family Tree tools
  • Justification of any changes
  • Change Log and ability to reverse changes
  • Link to Sources
  • Accountability, your name is on everything you change
  • Notifications of changes
  • Change bad things not change good things
  • This ancestor is correct and properly sourced
Two ways you can contribute
  • GEDCOM contributed or removed without duplications
  • Searchable and preserved and updatable 
  • Working together in Family Tree
Family Tree before the end of 2012? No comment.
Upload scanned images and link to source material.

(This is looking a lot like a wiki, without saying the word)

Automatic source creation from whatever location on the Internet...

Watch lists
Attach sources to relationships

Family Tree
The World's Genealogy


  1. Wiki? I thought the same thing as I was watching the presentation. If so, I think it would be a good thing. But in reality, this good thing already exists at WeRelate. I love what WeRelate does and have found it a great place to build my tree and connect with others.

  2. Corrections? 10,000 skilled genealogical researchers, 10 years ought to do it for the most part. And an additional 2,000 monitoring real-time entries for evidentiary correlations. And an additional 1,000 arbitrating wikiwars.

    Major misdirection in implying to present users that a source is acceptable rather than specifically evidence, and that sources are web-based. A couple of years ago Gordon Clarke stated that about 5% of genealogically evidentiary documents were on the web; no one pressed him to say how this estimate was derived. I estimate that at present the true figure is more like a 100,000,000th of that quantity, given the presence of practically no Asian and African genealogical material. For German material alone, the IGI extracts don't even count because the extractors omitted names of baptismal sponsors (whose identities constitute close to 50% of the genealogical content of each record). Duh.

    On the positive side, caution is being exercised regarding use of computer algorithms which would inevitably compound the horrorshow character of the present mess to make it even worse than's OneWorldTree.

    A great pity that genealogical accuracy had not been the prime governing consideration before the thing was compiled.

  3. You are a great notetaker, James. Thanks for this summary of what we heard.