Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Playing with FamilySearch Family Tree

My choice of subject for this month, is Family Tree on I work with many on learning about the Family Tree as well as using it, so I have heard a lot of mixed feeling about a global tree that everyone can work on together.
Why would one want to work on a community tree? Lots of good reasons, finding new family, learning information you did not know before, finding pictures of family that you did not have, companionship over tearing down a brick wall, and accomplishing so much more.
A negative I frequently hears is "you have to learn to play nicely with people who don’t agree with you". There is a solution, if you don’t agree, the one can show the sources and proofs that a fact is true wins. Do I sound like your mother who was questioning you and your brother when ya’all were called in after a squabble?
For those of you new or who haven’t started using it yet, I will share just a little and then point you in the direction of the wonderful videos that have been made by FamilySearch to assist everyone in using the program correctly. I REALLY recommend it so you don’t end up deleting a treasured family member. Holy smoke! I did that following the wrong person’s advice, since that moment in time, FamilySearch has put in some safe guards. Whew!
I have found many people don't know to go beyond 'search' when using They don't know how to find the collections or that the 'learn' at the introduction of a collection is invaluable source of information. It will tell you what is included in the collections. My illustration is numbered 1 - 5. If you scroll down from the top of 1 to 2, then you can choose a country, 3. choose your place you want to search, 4. your collection, and 5. learn more to find out what is in the collection.
Hope this helps.

 This link will tell you more about the FamilySearch Wiki.

The newest features on FamilySearch Family tree are:
The ability to search from the person on the tree by clicking on the link “search records” under: Research Help which will include the person’s information in the search.
The new Memories link at the top, when clicked on, shows how many documents, pictures or stories have been added.

There is also a link at the top labeled Sources, which when clicked on, takes you to the sources listed. If you click on the source, you will see a link to the source as well as why it was added.

There is the ability to generate reports by clicking on the one of the labels in the box call Print.

There is also a thing called Life Sketch above the person’s details.
 Randy Seaver on Genea-Musings did a wonderful job showing how to use this.

Now the videos…
The route to learn more through videos is not intuitive.
1. You click on “Get Help” on the upper left hand corner of the page. A drop down appears, now you will choose Learning Center Video Courses. Don’t get distracted by all the wonderful courses and videos; we are going to do one more step.
2. In the Search Box type “Family Tree”. This will then give you all the helps with Family Tree you can use to make it a pleasant experience.

I hope this has been a pleasant journey, and invite you join me on Family Tree. I trust the owners of FamilySearch to do as they promise: to preserve the stories, pictures, and genealogy for generations to come. They are dedicated.


  1. I need to revisit. The net changes so quickly, how can we keep up?? Well, we struggle, and try, and then, revisit! Thanks Fran.

    1. Carol, I revisit often, and I love helping others fix it. ;)

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  3. Fran I have been building my tree on Family Search Family Tree and have now started to encounter some of the problems.
    Today I was trying to remove the wife and children from a brother of one of my ancestors.
    He had been married to the incorrect spouse on the tree and the correct spouse is also in the tree. The biggest problem is knowing in what order to change things so you do not delete an individual just remove the relationship.
    I watched the Rootstech presentation earlier this month but I think I will watch again as even though I am not a beginner I find the process confusing.
    Can I recommend that if anyone missed the presentation they watch it before they attempt to add their own information.

  4. Thanks for sharing your advice here. I think perhaps I will leave my online family tree where it is! It's on my own Web site (with sources), and it's also on Rootsweb's WorldConnect. For some unknown reason the source references don't display properly there at the moment, but I will try again with a new GEDCOM.

  5. Thanks for sharing your experiences Fran. Like Judy I am leaving my online tree on my own site on the web for the moment.

  6. Thank you for such a detailed and helpful post. it is a long time since I have used Family Search and you have encouraged me into giving it a further look.

  7. This was really interesting. I'm a big believer in the concept of genealogy being a community affair and that it takes a village to learn about our ancestors. My tree is currently public on Ancestry. But I will be studying the community tree to see if I have anything to contribute.

  8. I'm gonna spend more time with FamilySearch. I was one of those person's who don't go past the SEARCH engine. I'm probably losing valuable information. Since the site is revamped I will try again. Thanks for the illustrations and links. Great Info and Post.


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