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

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

FamilySearch Family Tree and Anticipating RootsTech 2013

I have been watching the weather here in Utah rather carefully. We left Mesa, Arizona, where I live with daily temperatures above 90 degrees and still well into the 80s. But here in Utah the weather has been chilly and windy with threatening rain and snow. I have been on the computer constantly making arrangements for meetings and interviews with different people at RootsTech 2013 so I haven't been outside that much. It looks like it will be a busy and productive conference. It always turns out that everyone is so busy that the conversations and visits I hoped to accomplish don't always go as anticipated. But I have lined up several interviews so far and will have some exceptional news to report.

I have been regularly checking's Family Tree to see what might be added or updated around the time of RootsTech and sure enough, there was an update of the Reference Manual available from the Help Menu.  The new updated Reference Manual is dated 4 March 2013. Since these changes are made incrementally and not announced, you have to dig a little to find out what might have changed, especially since the Release Notes haven't been updated since 15 November 2012. I am sure the "new" developments will be announced at RootsTech.

Here is the addition or change I have found so far. Bear in mind that there will likely be more changes either this week or shortly thereafter. I am quoting from the Reference Manual.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can sign in to help other
registered users of use the Family Tree, whether or not they are Churchmembers. When you sign in as someone’s helper, you see the Family Tree as if you had signed in with that person’s username and password. You can then do work in the tree inbehalf of that person
The Reference Manual still lists uploading photos, stories and documents as coming. We have known for some time that photos could be uploaded and added to Family Tree and stories were added recently. The ability to upload documents has yet to be added. It is likely that all of these features will be prominently discussed at RootsTech and there may even be an announcement of the addition of new features.

Some of the areas most in need of development are the find duplicates and merge functions. I don't think the solution to these areas has been worked out and I would be really surprised to hear much about this issue at RootsTech. But I can always hope.

There has already been some publicity about linking to the website and some developments that only affect members of the Church. I would still expect some comments and emphasis in this regard. 

If there are any other major or minor changes to, I haven't yet picked them up, but I will keep my eyes and ears open and report any developments.


  1. Other recent changes that I've noticed: Stories, Merge now has Merge by PID and Not-a-Match.

    1. Technically, the merge function is not working. If you look at the Reference Manual it is listed as "Coming Soon." Notwithstanding the Manual, it is partially functional and works for any individual who is not an IOUS (Individual of Unusual Size).