Finding 'My Tree' Within FamilySearch Family Tree's 'Our Tree'

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FamilySearch’s Family Tree is an important step forward in open collaboration with the ultimate goal of a single tree of all mankind. While a powerful paradigm, many crave better visibility into their portion of “Our Tree”. This presentation shows how existing features and new research can help uncover “My Tree” within the larger Family Tree.

I gave this presentation at the 2014 BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy.

Published in: Self Improvement

Finding 'My Tree' Within FamilySearch Family Tree's 'Our Tree'

  1. 1. © 2013 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. Finding ‘My Tree’ Within FamilySearch Family Tree’s ‘Our Tree’ BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy July 30, 2014 Ben Baker bakerb@familysearch.org
  2. 2. What is Family Tree? Why Do People Refer to Family Tree as ‘Our Tree’?
  3. 3. Main Types of Family Trees User Specific FamilySearch Genealogies … Most other online trees and desktop records managers Collaborative FamilySearch Family Tree …
  4. 4. User Specific Family Trees … Mary Beus 1851 - 1936 Michael Beus 1811 - 1888 Marianne Combe 1813 - 1910 User1 … … … Mary Beus 1851 - 1936 Michael Beus 1811 - 1888 Marianne Combe 1813 - 1910 User2 … … … Mary Beus 1851 - 1936 Michael Beus 1811 - 1888 Marianne Combe 1813 - 1910 User3 … …
  5. 5. Collaborative Family Trees … User1 … User3 … Mary Beus 1851 - 1936 Michael Beus 1811 - 1888 Marianne Combe 1813 - 1910 User2 … …
  6. 6. Goals of Family Tree • Freely available to anyone worldwide • Reduce duplication of effort • Increase collaboration to arrive at the best information • Information added outlives contributors • Link person profiles to additional information We can all go further faster by working together
  7. 7. How is Family Tree Like a Wiki? “A wiki is a web application which allows people to add, modify, or delete content in collaboration with others.” – Wikipedia Like Wikipedia and other wikis, Family Tree is maintained by volunteers and changes made to data on pages is reflected to all users and change tracked.
  8. 8. What Does Finding ‘My Tree’ Mean?
  9. 9. What is my-tree-itus? mytreeitus mī-trē-ˈī-təs (noun) An inflammation common to many genealogists, particularly heavy users of PAF. Symptoms include extreme anxiety over others modifying their extensive genealogical research, possessiveness of ancestors and unwillingness to work in collaborative family trees. Usually occurring in more mature adults and rarely seen in those under 40. Learning to use FamilySearch Family Tree has been shown to be an effective treatment for this affliction.
  10. 10. But I Just Want To See “My Family” I’ve had people ask me or others I know questions like: “Can’t I just print out my family from Family Tree?” “Can’t I export all of my relatives from Family Tree?” Sadly the current answer is mostly no, but a follow up question to ask is: “Who do you consider to be your relatives?”
  11. 11. How Many People Are Really in ‘My Tree’? <400,000 persons related to you very closely ~1,000,000,000 total persons in Family Tree Your Relatives Everybody Else Even if you go back 10 generations and down 2 more to have all the children and grandchildren of your direct ancestors, this is still likely less than 0.04% of the number of people in Family Tree. Of course you haven’t found them all yet or you wouldn’t be at this conference.  Regardless, you aren’t very closely related to the vast majority of persons in Family Tree, even if you are relatively closely to tens or hundreds of thousands of them.
  12. 12. Remember You Are In ‘Our Tree’ … User1 … User3 … Mary Beus 1851 - 1936 Michael Beus 1811 - 1888 Marianne Combe 1813 - 1910 User2 … … In other words, multiple users ‘My Trees’ intersect and collapse into the same ‘Our Tree’. Another way to say this is your 3rd great grandfather is also many others 3rd great grandfather, 2nd great grandfather, 2nd great uncle, etc.
  13. 13. Get The Big Picture Print out Charts of Your Relatives
  14. 14. Printed Charts from a Person Page
  15. 15. Printing Charts from a Tree View
  16. 16. 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. https://familysearch.org/tree-data/pedigree/K2V7-PV5/spouse/K2V7-P92/pdf?show_ords=false&locale=en • If you’d like to print without Family Tree person IDs, add &showPIDs=false to the URL Ex. https://familysearch.org/tree-data/pedigree/K2V7-PV5/spouse/K2V7-P92/pdf?show_ords=false&locale=en&showPIDs=false
  17. 17. Difference Between Family and Family With Sources Options
  18. 18. 7-Generation Fan Chart
  19. 19. Portrait Pedigree
  20. 20. View Memories of Your Relatives
  21. 21. 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, children and grandchildren.
  22. 22. Use the Watch List
  23. 23. 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
  24. 24. Navigation
  25. 25. Filtering on Names
  26. 26. Filtering on Places
  27. 27. Filtering on Dates
  28. 28. Filtering on Deleted Persons
  29. 29. Sorting – Part 1
  30. 30. Sorting – Part 2
  31. 31. Changes to People I’m Watching
  32. 32. Changes to a Specific Person
  33. 33. Changes by a Specific User
  34. 34. Changes of a Specific Type
  35. 35. Use the History List
  36. 36. 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 • Select Add Unconnected Person to add a new person to the tree that isn’t connected to anyone else with relationships.
  37. 37. View Your Family in Other Ways and Directions
  38. 38. Use Other “Tree” Views
  39. 39. Descendancy View
  40. 40. Fan Chart View
  41. 41. Portrait Pedigree View
  42. 42. Use a Desktop Records Manager Synchronize It With Family Tree
  43. 43. Many Family History products are compatible with FamilySearch. For a full list, see https://familysearch.org/products/. Different products have varying levels of support with Family Tree • Tree Access – Can read data from Family Tree • Tree Share – Can read/write data in Family Tree • Sources – Supports attaching sources from the product • Discussions – Supports adding discussions from the product • Change History – Can view change history from the product • LDS Features – Product supports LDS temple ordinance features
  44. 44. Synchronize With a Desktop Records Manager
  45. 45. How Desktop Records Managers and Family Tree Interact … Mary Beus 1851 - 1936 Michael Beus 1811 - 1888 Marianne Combe 1813 - 1910 User1 … … … Mary Beus 1851 - 1936 Michael Beus 1811 - 1888 Marianne Combe 1813 - 1910 User2 … … … Mary Beus 1851 - 1936 Michael Beus 1811 - 1888 Marianne Combe 1813 - 1910 All Family Tree Users … …
  46. 46. Exporting GEDCOMs from Family Tree via a Desktop Records Manager
  47. 47. GEDCOM Upload Is Not Evil I promise!
  48. 48. GEDCOM Upload is Not Evil
  49. 49. Process to Submit a Tree 1. Upload GEDCOM to FamilySearch 2. Compare each person with those in Family Tree 3. Add persons not already in Family Tree Note: Contrary to popular belief, duplicates are no longer automatically added to Family Tree when uploading.
  50. 50. New Research
  51. 51. Research Questions 1. How do I most effectively traverse and retain information about the relatives most closely related to a particular user? 2. How do I sort or prioritize these relatives by closeness despite many different types of relationships? 3. How can I provide a human-understandable representation of how the user is related to persons in their tree?
  52. 52. Weighted Relationship Distance WRD(g, c, m) = α(|g| + 1) eβc eγm g – Generational or “vertical” distance Number of generations from base person c – Collateral or “horizontal” distance Minimum generations to a closest common ancestor m – Marriage distance Number of marriages between base person α, β, γ – Weighting factors to control growth rates 2013 Family History Technology Workshop – Beyond the Relationship Calculator Using a Weighted Relationship Distance Metric to Prioritize, Categorize and Visualize Relatives http://fht.byu.edu/prev_workshops/workshop13/papers/baker-beyond-fhtw2013.pdf http://www.scribd.com/doc/131495480/Beyond-the-Relationship-Calculator-Poster 2014 Family History Technology Workshop – Retrieving a Sorted List of Hundreds Closest Relatives from FamilySearch Family Tree in Seconds http://fhtw.byu.edu/static/conf/2014/baker-retrieving-fhtw2014.pdf http://fhtw.byu.edu/static/conf/2014/baker-retrieving-presentation-fhtw2014.pdf
  53. 53. Father-in-law WRD (1, 0, 1) = 8.27 Husband of Grandmother WRD (2, 0, 0.5) = 6.10 Sample Relatives and WRD values Base Person WRD (0, 0, 0) = 1.0 Father WRD (1, 0, 0) = 2.0 Grandfather WRD (2, 0, 0) = 3.0 Grandmother WRD (2, 0, 0) = 3.0 Uncle WRD (1, 1, 1) = 22.49 1st Cousin WRD (0, 2, 0) = 7.39 Brother WRD (0, 1, 0) = 2.72 Niece WRD (-1, 1, 0) = 9.57 Son WRD (-1, 0, 0) = 3.52 Wife WRD (0, 0, 1) = 4.14 Mother-in-law WRD (1, 0, 1) = 8.27 Brother-in-law WRD (0, 1, 1) = 11.25 Niece WRD (-1, 1, 1) = 39.59 Sister-in-law WRD (0, 1, 1) = 11.25 Sister-in-law WRD (0, 1, 2) = 46.53 Mother WRD (1, 0, 0) = 2.0 Daughter-in-law WRD (-1, 0, 1) = 14.56 Aunt WRD (1, 1, 0) = 5.44 Uncle WRD (1, 1, 0) = 5.44 Aunt WRD (1, 1, 1) = 22.49
  54. 54. Thomas French Alice French Thomas Howlett Mary Howlett Mary Hazen Peabody Mosely Jonathan Mosely Mary Mosely Jirah Eaton Baker Sarah Helen Baker Helen Cornelia Buck Helen Lucille Cockle George Richard Baker Benjamin Baker Thomas French Mary French Samuel Smith Samuel Smith Asael Smith Joseph Smith Sr. Joseph Smith Jr. John Huckins Eliza Huckins Gersham Lewis Nathaniel Lewis Elizabeth Lewis Emma Hale Hope Huckins Hannah Nelson Jabez Wood Joanna Wood Sarah Horton Betsy Wheeler Elizabeth Shade Pierce Mary Elizabeth Butler Flora Sheldon Prescott Sheldon Bush George Herbert Walker Bush George Walker Bush Laura Welch WRD(0,0,0) = 1.0 Base Person WRD(1,0,0) = 2.0 Father WRD(2,0,0) = 3.0 Grandmother WRD(3,0,0) = 4.0 Great Grandmother WRD(4,0,0) = 5.0 2nd Great Grandmother WRD(5,0,0) = 6.0 3rd Great Grandfather WRD(6,0,0) = 7.0 4G Grandmother WRD(7,0,0) = 8.0 5G Grandfather WRD(8,0,0) = 9.0 6G Grandfather WRD(9,0,0) = 10.0 7G Grandmother WRD(10,0,0) = 11.0 8th Great Grandmother WRD(11,0,0) = 12.0 9th Great Grandfather WRD(12,0,0) = 13.0 10th Great Grandmother WRD(13,0,0) = 14.0 11th Great Grandfather WRD(12,1,0) = 35.3 11th Great Uncle WRD(11,2,0) = 88.7 1st cousin 11times removed WRD(10,3,0) = 220.9 2nd cousin 10times removed WRD(9,4,0) = 546.0 3rd cousin 9times removed WRD(8,5,0) = 1,335.7 4th cousin 8times removed WRD(7,6,0) = 3,227.4 5th cousin 7times removed WRD(6,7,0) = 7,676.4 6th cousin 6times removed WRD(6,7,1) = 31,758.3 Wife of 6th cousin 6 times removed WRD(7,7,1) = 36,295.2 Mother of wife of 6th cousin 6times removed WRD(8,7,1) = 40,832.1 Grandfather of wife of 6th cousin 6times removed WRD(9,7,1) = 45,369.0 Great Grandfather of wife of 6th cousin 6times removed WRD(10,7,1) = 49,905.9 2nd Great Grandmother of wife of 6th cousin 6times removed WRD(11,7,1) = 54,442.8 3rd Great Grandfather of wife of 6th cousin 6times removed WRD(10,8,1) = 135,658.4 3rd Great Aunt of wife of 6th cousin 6times removed WRD(9,9,1) = 335,234.3 1st cousin 3 times removed of wife of 6th cousin 6times removed WRD(8,10,1) = 820,135.3 2nd cousin 2 times removed of wife of 6th cousin 6times removed WRD(7,11,1) = 1,981,652 3rd cousin 1 time removed of wife of 6th cousin 6times removed WRD(6,12,1) = 4,713,353 4th cousin of wife of 6th cousin 6times removed WRD(5,13,1) = 10,981,904 4th cousin 1 time removed of wife of 6th cousin 6 times removed WRD(4,14,1) = 24,876,593 4th cousin 2 times removed of wife of 6th cousin 6times removed WRD(3,15,1) = 54,097,274 4th cousin 3 times removed of wife of 6th cousin 6times removed WRD(2,16,1) = 110,288,728 4th cousin 4 times removed of wife of 6th cousin 6times removed WRD(1,17,1) = 199,863,897 4th cousin 5 times removed of wife of 6th cousin 6times removed WRD(0,18,1) = 271,643,200 4th cousin 6 times removed of wife of 6th cousin 6times removed WRD(-1,18,1) = 956,184,065 4th cousin 7 times removed of wife of 6th cousin 6times removed WRD(-1,18,2) = 3,955,848,641 Wife of 4th cousin 7 times removed of wife of 6th cousin 6times removed Extreme Example Relationships Between Benjamin Baker and Laura Welch (Bush)
  55. 55. Future Applications Enabled • Identifying the closest relatives where historical record hints have been identified but not attached yet as sources. • Promoting e-mail campaigns to point out what others have added to your relatives such as new photos, sources, stories, etc. to draw users back to the site. • Easily identifying end of line relatives and likely places for successful descendancy research. • Facilitate LDS temple work for closest relatives first and sharing more distantly related people with others. • Producing to-do lists sorted by closeness of relation on any task a user may want to undertake (Ex. fixing data anomalies, merging possible duplicates, providing missing data, etc.) • Automatic watching of relatives via e-mail alerts based on closeness. • Applications across a set of users (Ex. closeness of relation to the user for all LDS temple submissions or photo uploads on FamilySearch) • Sorting items such as memories, watched persons, LDS temple reservation lists, etc. in order of those closest to the user. • Pointing out relatives who have been identified as prominent or have participated in significant events. • More . . .
  56. 56. Alpha Test Invitation To participate in an alpha test of this research: • E-mail a RootsMagic database or GEDCOM file to bakerb@familysearch.org • If you send a RootsMagic database that has been synchronized with Family Tree, I will be able to include information on FamilySearch, including temple ordinance status • Indicate which person you’d like to compute the relationships from • Sometime later, you will receive an Excel spreadsheet similar to what I showed at the conference. • I would appreciate any feedback on how useful you think this is and any suggestions for improvement
  57. 57. Thank You!

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