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

Friday, June 29, 2012

Another FamilySearch Family Tree White Paper

If you sign in to and check the Help menu, you will see extensive documentation for Family Tree at the bottom of the Help page. If you also expand the list to see the extra items, you will see three White Papers listed. One was added on 29 June 2012, the other two I wrote about in an earlier post today. The new addition is called "Sources in Family Tree." There are also copies of the two of the White Papers in the "Learn How to Use FamilySearch" link from the startup page of after you have logged in.

The summary of the latest White Paper is as follows:
In genealogy and family history, sources are critical for finding information and documenting where it came from. Because sources are so important,, Personal Ancestral File and similar programs, and Family Tree all let users enter sources. The Family Tree’s source feature is easy to use and will allow the tree to become the most accurate, collaborative genealogical database available.
There seems to be some difference between entering sources and the programs "letting you" enter sources. I would certainly put Personal Ancestral File into the category of "letting you: enter sources. Letting you do it, as in the Personal Ancestral File program, does not mean that it does it easily or well. However, Family Tree is in a completely new category, entering sources is both easy and well done. You may quibble with the format, but all the essential information can be entered. If you are really concerned with the format of the citations, then you can format them in a word processing program and copy and paste them into the source fields on Family Tree.

This source White Paper specifically refers to a future feature of Family Tree for user uploaded documents and images.

It looks like Family Tree is about to become a very useful and interesting online program.


  1. I have a confusing family trees with step and half family members, is this program able to effectively let you add these types of people and show them effectively?

    1. So far we haven't seen the ability to add family members or ancestors, so we will have to wait a while to see how all that works.

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