How to Get More Involved in Your Family History Despite Limited Available Time

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You have the technological skills and desire to do more family history work, but aren’t sure where to start and don’t have much available time. Here are some ideas of simple an non-time consuming things that can be done to move the work forward such as Indexing and some basic features in FamilySearch's Family Tree like adding sources, correcting bad data, etc. Also shows a prototype system to better prioritize and visualize people in your family tree beyond just direct ancestors that may need LDS temple work, data correction, sourcing and so forth.

Presentation given at SORT 2012

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How to Get More Involved in Your Family History Despite Limited Available Time

  1. 1. How to Get MoreInvolved in Your Family History DespiteLimited Available Time Ben Baker
  2. 2. Thinking vs. Doing• According to a 2008 BYU study – 95.9% of members think that doing family history is very important – 84.6% of members spend less than one hour per month doing family history• Only 2.6% of adult members have submitted a name for temple ordinances during the past year• Find a way to end “Temple Welfare”
  3. 3. Family History Department Mission StatementTo help church members fulfill their divinely appointedresponsibility to find their families and qualify them for temple ordinances Discover people you don’t know about already Should be doing temple work for your own family
  4. 4. Family History Process Flow
  5. 5. Simple Ways to Move Your Work Forward• Indexing• Family Tree – Add sources – Edit bad data – Flag non-matching duplicate people• Prototype Method for Prioritizing Relatives
  6. 6. Records Being Added Daily• Over one million images processed every day• 23% of vault is digitized• Expect to have all 2.4 million rolls of microfilm at vault digitized in 3-4 more years• Over 200 cameras at archives throughout world
  7. 7. Indexing http://indexing.familysearch.org Makes it possible to easily find people in records Anyone can help – Can do in short time periods – Great for youth – Practice mission language or learn a new one
  8. 8. Family Tree• Will replace new.familysearch.org soon• Public access, not just LDS church members• Ability to attach sources• Can edit data/relationships others contributed• Provide justifications for all changes
  9. 9. http://www.familysearch.org/invite/familytree_tabhttp://www.familysearch.org/invite/public1https://familysearch.org/tree-training
  10. 10. Sources• Links historical documents to people in the tree
  11. 11. Search for Records
  12. 12. Find Relevant Resultshttps://familysearch.org/blog/familysearch-webinar/
  13. 13. My Source Box
  14. 14. Add Sources To Person in Family Tree
  15. 15. Edit Bad Data • Edit or delete conclusions and relationships with change history • Justifications for changes
  16. 16. Possible Duplicates
  17. 17. Merge Duplicates or Mark Not a Match
  18. 18. For more information, see manual, handouts and webinars athttps://familysearch.org/tree-training
  19. 19. Who is My Family? “I would invite you to read carefully in the sections in the Doctrine and Covenants that focus on this sacred responsibility. And the language that says that you are to perform these ordinances not for the dead, but for your dead.” ~Elder David A. Bednar• See Doctrine and Covenants sections 124, 127-128• Direct Line Ancestors• Descendants of direct line ancestors and their families• Probable ancestors (Ex. Same town and surname) http://broadcast.lds.org/elearning/FHD/Local_Support/Consultant/Temple_Policy-Name_Submissions/player.html
  20. 20. Temple TabOnly useful if you already have already submitted names for the temple
  21. 21. Hunting for Icons
  22. 22. Who are my closest relatives that … – May already be ready for LDS temple work? – Have data that needs correcting? – Have potential historical record matches? – Are missing sources to document conclusions? – Are end of line ancestors? – Have probable unknown children? – Are not being watched for changes by others? – Have potential duplicates that should be merged? –…
  23. 23. Prioritization Scheme WishDirect Ancestors Collateral Relatives Relatives Through MarriageParents SiblingsGrandparentsGreat Grandparents Spouse2G Grandparents Aunts/Uncles3G Grandparents4G Grandparents 1st Cousins5 G Grandparents Great Aunts/Uncles Parents-in-law or step-parents6G Grandparents7G Grandparents 2G Aunts/Uncles8G Grandparents Siblings-in-law9G Grandparents Grandparents-in-law
  24. 24. Weighted Relationship Distance WRD(g, c, m) = α(|g| + 1) eβc eγm• g – Generational Distance• c – Collateral Distance• m – Marriage Distance• α, β, γ – Weighting Factors
  25. 25. Generational Distance• Number of generations from base person• Positive or negative integer• Examples: – Father: g = 1 – 2nd Great Grandmother: g = 4 – Child: g = -1
  26. 26. Collateral Distance• “Horizontal” distance from base person• Positive integer• Examples: – Sibling: c = 1 – 1st Cousin: c = 2 – 4th Cousin 3 Times Removed: c = 5, g = 3
  27. 27. Marriage Distance• Number of marriages from base person• Positive multiple of 0.5• Examples: – Wife: m = 1 – Brother-in-law: m = 1, c = 1 – Additional wife of great grandfather: m = 0.5, g = 3
  28. 28. Generational Distance Weight• WRD(g, c, m) = α(|g| + 1) eβc eγm• G = α(|g| + 1)• Absolute value to handle negative generational distance• α – Weighting factor to apply• If g ≥ 0 then α = 1 else α = 1.76• Use of α = -1 for negative values of g• Generally corresponds to number of generations – i.e. linear
  29. 29. Collateral Distance Weight• WRD(g, c, m) = α(|g| + 1) eβc eγm• C = eβc• β – Weighting factor to apply, default 1.0• Exponential as collateral distance increases
  30. 30. Marriage Distance Weight• WRD(g, c, m) = α(|g| + 1) eβc eγm• M = eγm• γ – Weighting factor to apply, default 1.42• Exponential as marriage distance increases• Higher default weight causes faster increase than with collateral distance
  31. 31. Assigning Weights to People g c m G C M WRDSelf 0 0 0 1 1.0 1.0 1.00Parents 1 0 0 2 1.0 1.0 2.00Siblings 0 1 0 1 2.7 1.0 2.72Grandparents 2 0 0 3 1.0 1.0 3.00Children -1 0 0 3.52 1.0 1.0 3.52Great Grandparents 3 0 0 4 1.0 1.0 4.00Spouse 0 0 1 1 1.0 4.1 4.142G Grandparents 4 0 0 5 1.0 1.0 5.00Grandchildren -2 0 0 5.28 1.0 1.0 5.28Aunts/Uncles (only children of grandparents) 1 1 0 2 2.7 1.0 5.443G Grandparents 5 0 0 6 1.0 1.0 6.004G Grandparents 6 0 0 7 1.0 1.0 7.00Great Grandchildren -4 0 0 8.8 1.0 1.0 8.801st cousins 0 2 0 1 7.4 1.0 7.395G Grandparents 7 0 0 8 1.0 1.0 8.00Great aunts/uncles (siblings of grandparents) 2 1 0 3 2.7 1.0 8.15Parents of spouse or other spouse of parent 1 0 1 2 1.0 4.1 8.276G Grandparents 8 0 0 9 1.0 1.0 9.00Nieces/Nephews -1 1 0 3.52 2.7 1.0 9.577G Grandparents 9 0 0 10 1.0 1.0 10.00
  32. 32. Other Potential Applications• “Doneness” of a person’s family’s temple work up to a specified threshold• Relationship to a person’s temple card given to you• Easily view relatives with the same relation to you (Ex. All siblings of 3G Grandparents)• Average closeness of all temple name submissions• Average closest relative needing temple work for all users• …
  33. 33. Prototype Demo
  34. 34. Q &A
  35. 35. Images Used• Slide 1 – Right image – https://mediafinder.ldschurch.org/entry/4b26f30d8400488088d3798b81b89a12 – Bottom left image –https://mediafinder.ldschurch.org/entry/e05e8929cd9d4158aa0898a60a55d6d8• Slide 2 – Top right image – Image from my personal collection (my great-grandfather, grandmother and great-uncle) – Bottom image – Screenshot I created of a portion of new.familysearch.org• Slide 4 – Image - Diagram I personally created• Slide 6 – Bottom left image – https://mediafinder.ldschurch.org/entry/05147849c33340fda426cd3ec79be3f5 – Bottom right image – https://mediafinder.ldschurch.org/entry/7689f631f0f345ac88c835919a79e37f• Slide 7 – Left image – Screenshot I created from indexing.familysearch.org• Slide 9 – Image – Screenshot I created from familysearch.org• Slide 10 – Top right image – Image from my personal collection (my father) – Middle image – Screenshot I created of familysearch.org – Bottom image – Screenshot I created of census record publicly available on familysearch.org• Slide 11 – Image – Screenshot I created from familysearch.org• Slide 12 – Image – Screenshot I created from familysearch.org search results• Slide 13 – Image – Screenshot I created from familysearch.org• Slide 14 – Image – Screenshot I created from familysearch.org• Slide 15 – Image – Screenshot I created from familysearch.org• Slide 16 – Top image – Screenshot I created from familysearch.org – Bottom image – Screenshot I created from familysearch.org• Slide 18 – Image – Screenshot I created from familysearch.org• Slide 19 – Image – Screenshot I created from familysearch.org

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