FamilySearch Insider Tips and Tricks - Presentation


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There are many powerful tools available on Many features of these tools are not well documented in manuals or easily discovered in the products themselves. This presentation shows some tips and tricks from a FamilySearch engineer to be more productive in using the resources on

I gave this presentation at the 2014 BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy. While there are some portions of the presentation that are not yet complete, I decided to upload the presentation as is and plan on updating it in the near future with additional information.

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  • FamilySearch Insider Tips and Tricks - Presentation

    1. 1. © 2013 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. FamilySearch Insider Tips and Tricks BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy July 29, 2014 Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group January 10, 2015 Ben Baker
    2. 2. My Background • 5 years as Software Engineer at FamilySearch • Currently work on Family Tree, but tries to use all of our products • Not an expert at everything, but feel an engineer’s perspective can help others • Way too much to present everything in the time allotted, so want to know what items are of most interest • Review syllabus and presentation later for items not covered. See for this and other presentations I’ve given in the past.
    3. 3. Essential Tips Everyone Should Understand These
    4. 4. Purpose of FamilySearch The purpose of the Family History Department is to help Church members fulfill their divinely appointed responsibility to discover their families and submit their names for temple ordinances
    5. 5. Key Indicator Reports Ask your • Family history consultant(s) • High priest group leader • Bishop • Stake president about this report for your stake/ward.
    6. 6. Share Your Knowledge As shown from the purpose statement and key indicator report, increasing participation among all members is paramount. Share what you know with: • Your family, from immediate family to distant cousins • Your friends, from ward members to those not of our faith
    7. 7. Why Youth Are Needed Elder Neal L. Anderson challenged the youth at RootsTech 2014 “to set a personal goal to help prepare as many names for the temple as baptisms you perform in the temple.” Why? Because temples shouldn’t have to provide names when your own family needs your help and Experiencing “both halves” of the blessing builds faith NO MORE TEMPLE WELFARE!
    8. 8. Critical Paradigm To Understand – Part 1 Where you can help the most 1. Find your relatives in indexed records and link them to persons in Family Tree 2. Upload photos, stories and documents of your relatives and link them to persons in Family Tree 3. Help index historical records 4. Clean up data in Family Tree 5. Reserve temple ordinances for your family Family Tree Digitized Images Indexed Records Historical Records (Microfilm and original documents) Living Memory Photos, Stories, Documents, Audio Completed LDS Temple Ordinances
    9. 9. Critical Paradigm To Understand – Part 2 The best way to find people who need LDS temple work is to find people who are NOT in the tree yet The best way to find people not in the tree yet is to find them in a historical record with someone who is already in the tree
    10. 10. Embrace Change Embrace change, don’t be afraid of it Click on new things to see what they do I don’t think you can mess up anything in a single click, but be sure to read warnings.
    11. 11. Keep up to Date Read the FamilySearch blog at for updates on new features and other happenings. Subscribe to the blog via RSS Google “how to subscribe to an rss feed” for helps – I use Outlook and feedly Use the categories and search for information you’re most interested in
    12. 12. Family Tree Specific Tips and Tricks
    13. 13. Family Tree is “Our Tree” • Freely available to anyone worldwide • Reduces duplication of effort • Increases collaboration to arrive at the best information • Information added outlives contributors • Link person profiles to additional information • More on this topic in another presentation of mine titled “Finding ‘My Tree’ Within FamilySearch Family Tree’s ‘Our Tree’” We can all go further faster by working together
    14. 14. Record Hints are Awesome! • Searches indexed records for you • Will find records based on all information, including maiden and married names • Often overcomes errors in records • Only presents high confidence matches • Significant increase in sources attached since rollout
    15. 15. Congratulations! You have just found someone in a record that is not in the tree
    16. 16. Record Hints in the Descendancy View
    17. 17. Search Records Link Starting point Search section for how to refine
    18. 18. Starting Point for Further Refined Searches
    19. 19. Example Search Refinement
    20. 20. Use Other “Tree” Views
    21. 21. Descendancy View
    22. 22. Fan Chart View
    23. 23. Portrait Pedigree View
    24. 24. Use Underused and Powerful Features of the Watch List • Navigation to distant relatives • Filtering by various criteria • Sorting by various criteria • View latest changes over the past 30 days • Filter and sort latest changes
    25. 25. Navigation
    26. 26. Filtering on Names
    27. 27. Filtering on Places
    28. 28. Filtering on Dates
    29. 29. Filtering on Deleted Persons
    30. 30. Sorting – Part 1
    31. 31. Sorting – Part 2
    32. 32. Changes to People I’m Watching
    33. 33. Changes to a Specific Person
    34. 34. Changes by a Specific User
    35. 35. Changes of a Specific Type
    36. 36. Printed Charts from a Person Page
    37. 37. Printing Charts from a Tree View
    38. 38. Fillable Pedigree Charts and Family Group Sheets • Same as official LDS paper forms • Can save and modify later • Easy to share with others Insider Techie Tips • If you are LDS and want to print without LDS temple ordinances, change show_ords to false in the URL Ex. • If you’d like to print without Family Tree person IDs, add &showPIDs=false to the URL Ex.
    39. 39. Difference Between Family and Family With Sources Options
    40. 40. 7-Generation Fan Chart
    41. 41. Portrait Pedigree
    42. 42. Printing Pages Without Defined Forms 3 Ways to Initiate Browser Print • Right Click and Select Print… • Select Print from main or File menu • Ctrl + P
    43. 43. Synchronize With a Desktop Manager
    44. 44. GEDCOM Upload is Not Evil
    45. 45. Process to Submit Tree 1. Upload GEDCOM to FamilySearch 2. Compare each person with those in Family Tree 3. Add persons not already in Family Tree
    46. 46. Editing Relationships
    47. 47. Visualize Relationships Parent Child Relationship Father Mother Child Mother Child WifeHusband Parent Child Relationship with Single Parent Couple Relationship
    48. 48. F M C F M C F M C F M C F M C F M C F M C F M C F M Tips • Visualize or even draw out the relationships when trying to decide how to fix something • Pay attention to person IDs • Remember how to edit and delete relationships M C WH WH WH … …
    49. 49. Managing Your Settings
    50. 50. Make Your E-mail Public
    51. 51. Use the History List Dropdowns • Use Tree and Person Lists to Jump to Tree View or Person Page View • Use the Go To: textbox to jump directly to a person ID • Click on your own name to go back to you • Click on your starting person ID to jump to that person • Click on a person in the list to jump to that person • Start typing a name or person ID to filter the list • Select Add Unconnected Person to add a new person to the tree that isn’t connected to anyone else with relationships.
    52. 52. Viewing Changes of a Particular Type
    53. 53. Sort Sources With Arrows or Drag and Drop
    54. 54. Memories
    55. 55. Documents added to the memories section can also be attached as sources to persons in Family Tree by following the steps below. 1. Go to the person page for the person to add the document to 2. Click on “Create a New Source” in the Sources section 3. Select the “Add a Memory” radio button 4. Click “Add File” 5. If you’ve already uploaded the document you want to add as a source, select it from the memories shown on the screen. If you haven’t uploaded the document yet, drag it to the plus sign or click it to find it on your computer. 6. Enter an appropriate title, citation and notes and click the Save button.
    56. 56. Scope of Interest Internal term used to define those persons who will show up in this section of memories and also in temple opportunities. The system is showing you persons four generations above you along with their spouses and children. This may be expanded in the future.
    57. 57. How to Contact User Who Uploaded a Memory
    58. 58. Search
    59. 59. LDS Church members can now gain free access to the resources at the 3 other major family history sites. • Ancestry • FindMyPast • MyHeritage To sign up, go to
    60. 60. Example Using Facets to Narrow Down Collections Show me all collections that contain birth, marriage or death records in Illinois between 1800 and 1849
    61. 61. Collection Specific Search Select a specific collection Search within that collection only
    62. 62. Temple
    63. 63. Sort By Vitals
    64. 64. Sort By Ordinance Type
    65. 65. Sort Into Family Groups
    66. 66. Sort By Date Reserved/Modified
    67. 67. Sort By Two Columns
    68. 68. Filter By Name
    69. 69. Print Your Reservation List 3 Ways to Initiate • Right Click and Select Print… • Select Print from main or File menu • Ctrl + P
    70. 70. Share or Unreserve Work You Can’t Do
    71. 71. Indexing
    72. 72. Develop Your Skills
    73. 73. Provide Feedback
    74. 74. Family History Resources on and
    75. 75. Other Useful Tips
    76. 76. Attendee Suggested Tips