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

Friday, June 29, 2012

FamilySearch Family Tree White Papers

Back in April, 2011, FamilySearch circulated a "White Paper" called "The Case for Moving to "Our Tree."" This document was passed around on the Internet and was the basis for a considerable amount of discussion. The thrust of the paper was the move from the existing (NFS) website to a new "Family Tree" type organization. The 2011 White Paper addressed most of the concerns that had evolved about the NFS program.

Since the 2011 White Paper, many of the proposed changes in the online family tree program have been implemented by the introduction of FamilySearch Family Tree at RootsTech 2012. Family Tree is now an active, available program on Now, two more "White Papers" have surfaced.

"Managing Ordinance in Family Tree" dated 21 June 2012
"Dealing with Duplicate Records of People in Family Tree" dated 21 June 2012

Copies of the White Papers are available on When you sign in, you can find the three papers under a link to "Learn How to Use FamilySearch."

Both of these papers deal with current issues present in NFS and the residual effects of those issues that appear in Family Tree. Here is an example of the summary for the Duplicate Records paper:
Both and Family Tree have duplicate records. Family Tree will provide a better solution for handling these duplicate records. It:
  • Allows users to merge duplicate records, choosing which information to keep and which to archive.
  • Fixes IOUS (Individuals of Unusual Size) records and prevents their creation.
  • Allows users to correct records that were combined or merged inappropriately.
  • Prevents the merging of wrong records with a new “not a match” feature.
The Ordinance White Paper address similar concerns in area of LDS Temple ordinances.

I strongly suggest that anyone concerned about either NFS or the Family Tree program review these publications in detail. I am personally aware of Family History Consultants who are not getting information about the imminent change-over to Family Tree from NFS. As a result, classes teaching NFS are being scheduled. There are going to be some people who are upset, it they spend a few weeks or months learning NFS at this point if they are not made aware of Family Tree.  No "official" announcement, other than a number of emails, RootsTech, this blog, and etc. have made it clear that Family Tree will be replacing NFS. Get the word out!

Now an editorial comment. Family Tree seems to address nearly all of the issues present in NFS. Keep up the good work and move ahead.

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