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

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Incremental Changes to FamilySearch Family Tree

There have been some significant, but incremental changes to the Family Tree program this week. Three of the changes occurred on the Details Page for individuals in the program. Here is a screenshot showing where two of the items were added:

The two added items were a link to printing a Family Group Record with sources and a link to Report Abuse. There was one more obvious change in the Family section. Here is another screenshot showing that change:

This change adds a selection box when there are more than one spouse, so that you can select the Preferred Spouse. This preferred spouse will then appear automatically in your Pedigree view.

It might seem rather straight forward to have a Family Group Record with sources, but if you have a number of sources entered, you might want to check carefully how many pages will be printed. In one case, I had quite a few sources and the proposed Family Group Record would be 13 pages long. In this case, you will get what you ask for but may not expect.

The Report Abuse link emphasizes the importance FamilySearch places on cooperation and maintaining the integrity of the data. Here is a screenshot of the selections if you need to report abuse:

There are five options:

  • Offensive Wording
  • Spam or Advertising
  • Political Statement
  • Inappropriate Statement 
  • Other

I suggest that most of these overlap or could, to some extent. In other, I would assume that you could report repeated changes without any supporting documentation. FamilySearch indicates that they will delete the reported item. The system also allows the users to delete the items, but I would also assume that repeated postings would be a reason for reporting the matter to FamilySearch. FamilySearch has indicated in the past a willingness to bar offenders from the system.

There may be more changes but that is what I observed today.


  1. There is another one and I don't know if you saw it or not. It shows up in "Possible Duplicates", a warning notice in yellow box.

  2. About those grey bars.. They show up if there are obvious duplicate spouses or children having ore than 1 father or 1 mother to resolve or even multiple marriage records, some are half blank, some are duplicates, some outright blanks.

    Clean them up. Grey bar disappears. It disappeared after I cleaned them in my lines.

  3. Some seem to expect that the Preferred selector will make other spouses disappear from the Person View pages. The teensy 'tool tip' explanation (that appears if you happen to put your cursor on the word "Preferred") is that it will "determine which descendants appear on your tree."

    By "your tree" they mean the pedigree view but do not say so. There is no other explanation of this feature.

    Why is there not a "What's New" page with a direct link on every tree page?