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

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

More information about FamilySearch Family Tree

I keep referring to the new Family Tree program by that name, because there are so many other "family tree" programs out there on the Internet. I just got another update from FamilySearch, but the link is broken and I can't open the original. Apparently, this came out in my Reader but is not online. The post is called, "Frequently Asked Questions About Family Tree" as is dated 4 September 2012. There are several really interesting comments in this post, that are slightly different that what has been previously released for public consumption.

First the post says:
Why was Family Tree Created?
For what it was intended to do, has done its job. But, based on user feedback and internal assessment, more functionality, user friendliness, and features were needed. That is exactly what drove the development of Family Tree—the desire to create a world-class family tree application as well as a user-friendly tool for clearing names for temple work. The engineers at FamilySearch have taken the best of what provided and added to it powerful tools for data accuracy, usability, and collaboration.
This confirms much of what has been said previously.

How can I learn more about Family Tree?
A great way to learn about Family Tree is to try it! For special training on the different aspects of the new system you can refer to the Family Tree Training site. The training website allows you to take a training course, view tutorials, access a user guide, take part in webinars, and much more.
I already wrote about this in my last blog post. The link is to the Help Center.

Here is another interesting comment which adds some insight into what is going on between and Family Tree:
Do I need to use both Family Tree and new.familysearch?
Over the next few months, information added to Family Tree will be automatically added to and vice versa. However, cannot display all of the types of data and corrections that Family Tree can. Therefore, the information in will increasingly become outdated.
With the introduction of Family Tree, the “combine” and “separate” features in are being turned off. These features create serious problems with the information in Family Tree. When you find duplicate records, you can resolve them with the powerful new merge feature in Family Tree instead. You can also use Family Tree to correct records that were incorrectly combined in
We anticipate that early in 2013, will no longer be available. At that time, all Church-related family history activity—including qualifying names for the temple—will be done with Family Tree.
There is a reference to the features of combine and separate being turned off. Hmm. I wonder when in the process this will happen? It also references the merge feature in Family Tree. This is the feature I have been anticipating to move further back on my family lines. When will all this happen? We heard that would go away by the end of the year. Apparently, this is now into 2013 some time? Or maybe later in 2013? Or whenever?

Two more questions answered:
Is FamilySearch going to allow public users to have access to Family Tree?
Family Tree is going to be available to everyone, whether LDS or not, beginning this fall.
Will Family Tree be on
Yes. Family Tree will be hosted and available as a service of This combined tree and search experience offers many efficiencies, including the ability to attach sources you find on to individuals in your tree and to keep all your notes in one location.
  Not going as smoothly as anticipated?


  1. As you have previously pointed out, the biggest issue by far at this point is that changes made in Family Tree are overridden when records are combined and separated in nFS. It's hard to justify spending a lot of time cleaning up Family Tree since all your work is lost when someone combines a record in nFS. One other issue I haven't heard talked about is that it is very easy to "hijack" a record in Family Tree. You can take a record that is incorrect and "fix" it by entering the corrected name, birth/death dates, etc., but then the temple work at the bottom of the form may well be for a completely different person! The users's manual talks about needing to review the "qualifying information" and if the temple work is for the wrong person that will have to be corrected as well. That sounds like a very tedious task when you have thousands of people in your tree.

  2. The current plan is to release the first version of the merge/unmerge feature the end of September or early October, at which time combine/separate from new.familysearch will be disabled. The plan also has new.familysearch going away in early 2013.