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

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Add your own photo or document to Family Tree souces and other new developments

Thanks to a tip from The Ancestry Insider, I saw the newly added feature to's Family Tree program allowing users to add a photo or document to a newly created source. Interestingly, FamilySearch also added a new link at the top of the Family Tree pages that says "What'e New."
Here is a screenshot of the What's New link:

OK, the What's New link takes you to the Blog Archive but guess what? The Archive doesn't have anything about the most recent changes. As I mentioned, the most important change notice came from The Ancestry Insider and the other changes, such as the notice about the What's New link came from the FamilySearch Blog, so apparently "What's New" isn't all of what's new. Here is a screenshot of the blog:

The two new updates are described as follows:
  • The Family Tree now has a What’s New link. 
  • This week, the FamilySearch home page will show more data from your family tree when the Family Tree image is active on the carousel (that part of the home page with the pictures that change from Fan Chart to Photos, Family Tree, etc.)
OK, now that we have that straight (or do we?) I can get back to adding a source to FamilySearch Family Tree which hasn't shown up on the Blog or on the What's New link yet. We have been waiting for this feature for some time and the programming that it took probably explains why we were having a hard time with the operation of this past week. 

Here are a series of screenshots showing the process. One problem is that if you have an existing source referring to the photo or document you already have loaded into the Photos and Documents program, you will probably have to redo the entry to show the link from a new source. I guess there is some introduction necessary here.

To start out with, if you want to attach a photo or a document as a source to an individual in Family Tree, you will have to have already uploaded the item to the Photos and Documents part of the program or have a link to a URL where the item can be found. So you might want to be careful how you add photos and documents that you intend to use as sources and identify them with descriptions and titles that will make them easy for you to find among all your other photos and documents. You will also have to be able to see the document to add it in as a source so you can see the information you need to add as the title and description. This will be easy if you are using a separate genealogy database program and have already created a source citation for the document in your own program. 

Here is the first screenshot. I will give the screenshots with the explanation about what is going on at each step in sequence (I hope).

Step No. 1
When you go to an individual's Detail Page, you scroll down to Sources and you will see the link to create a new source. I repeat, even if you have already created a source that refers to a document or photo in the Photos and Documents program, you will have to create a new source to attach the item. I suggest then you simply delete the first source reference without the link. Clicking on this link brings up the following screen:

Step No. 2
When this screen comes up, focus on the second block of text. There are now two selections; add a URL link to a source or add a document or photo. Fill in the information on this page with the title of the source and the description and then click the link to the Photos and Documents program to get the item attached. When you click on the Attach Photo or Document link, you get a button to click to Attach the File. Clicking on that button takes you to a page with all of the photos and documents you have added. Here is a screenshot of the page when you get in the program:

Step No. 3

You will have to scroll down until you find your document, click on the little round link on the photo or document and then the Upload button at the top of the page will be active and you can then attach the source.

Step No. 4

I mentioned that you might want to have another window open to view the document in the Photos and Documents program so you can copy the information over from the document itself. This is a screenshot of the document I am adding to the source. Note, you can make the document bigger on the screen by clicking on the Options link at the bottom of the document window.  When you add the document and the explanation, the Source page will look like this:

Step No. 5
You can then same the completed source and you will see an entry in the source list that looks like this:

Now, when you open that source, you will see a thumbnail of the document and you can click on that thumbnail to see the original in the Photos program. 

It really is about this complicated. But the explanation makes it harder than it really is. Remember you can always remove a source and start over again. Good Luck. If you have any questions please add them as comments and then I can give a more detailed explanation of the process in subsequent posts. 


  1. I am surprised (and disappointed) that you cannot add a photo or document to an existing source. I have created a large number of sources in Family Tree and would hate to have to go back and delete them all and then re-enter them. If you edit an existing source, the instructions say "Link to a Web Page or Attach a Photo or Document," but when you click "Add" you only have the option of entering a URL. You can't attach a photo or document to an existing source. I'm wondering if maybe this capability will be added in the future?

    1. Well, documents can be either JPG or PNG or PDF files. I guess I am guilty of referring to jpeg images as "photos" even if the photo shows a document. There is a fine line here. I am guessing that they think that links between the individual and any photos is enough.

  2. Having to first upload a document image to the "Photos and Stories" site is a major annoyance. It would be much preferable to be able to upload directly from one's computing device. Unfortunately this would bypass the site ownership's desire to review each uploaded image for what it deems unsavory and/or improper without waiting for a complaint.

    1. I would guess if that was going to happen, they would say something about it at RootsTech 2014. You are right about the review, but they also review documents as we have found out in some cases.

  3. Documents are fine but photographs? it get tiresome of repeating the source, where the record is found and descriptions of photographs separately. Elder Moon said documents only. Photographs stay where they have always been.

    1. Likely. Does anyone really know what they will decide in the future?