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

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Updates to FamilySearch Family Tree

It is the nature of all things intimately involved in technology to change as the technology changes. In addition, those who program and maintain the software and hardware associated with computer technology are constantly making adjustments. I remember watching an old TV show where some people were attempting to drive an automobile across the United States without stopping. They had running boards all around the car so that they could refuel and change tires while they continued to drive. That is sort-of the way computer programs like's Family Tree operate. They have to keep the thing running while they perform all sorts of maintenance and changes. But in another sense, they are actually building the program while they operate it.

So here are the latest updates as posted in a blog post entitled appropriately, "Recent Updates to FamilySearch Family Tree."

Deleting Relationships

Although this sounds like something out of newspaper advice column, it is really about fixing the mistakes made in the past where individuals were incorrectly shown as married or incorrectly included in families. Here is the explanation for the change:
Deleting relationships from Family Tree is simple, but it is so easy that people sometimes delete a relationship when they should do something else instead. 
When you delete a relationship, you now see a screen with more information to help you make better decisions about whether to delete the relationship or not. For example, you now see how many sources and events are attached to that relationship. The delete button remains unavailable until you: 
  • Enter a reason why you are deleting the record.
  • Click both check boxes, certifying that you have reviewed other relationships.
  • Entered a reason statement.

Changes to Photos and Stories

This change involves adding a reference to documents to the menu selection on a person's detail page. When you click the link you see both documents and photos together on the results page.

Photos of Living People

You can now see photos of living people in Family Tree if you have permission to see their records.

Attach FamilySearch Historical Records without Adding to Source Box

You can choose whether or not to add a source to your source box when you view a record in the Historical Record Collections. You may not have been aware that the program was adding all the sources to your source box, but now you can choose whether to do that or not. This was apparently an issue for somebody. I tend to think that adding the source to the Source Box was a good idea, just in case you wanted to find it again in another context, but we have the option one way or another.

Attach Browse-Only Images as Sources, and Edit the Title

Quoting from the post:
When you are viewing an image from an unindexed (“browse only”) collection on FamilySearch, you can now attach that image to a person in Family Tree as a source. You can also edit the title of that source, since the title that is automatically generated may not have much meaning. During the attaching process, you have the option to include this item in your source box or to leave it out. 
An important thing to note: The option to attach an image (rather than an index page) is available for browse-only images. For indexed images, you must still begin the attaching process from the page containing the indexed information.
It is getting a little bit complicated to remember all this stuff when you are using the program. 

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