Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Important updates to the Website and with the Family Tree

Every so often, FamilySearch sends out a blog post summarizing the new developments included in the website and particularly involving the Family Tree program. When the program underwent a major upgrade in June of 2016, that freed up a lot of programming potential to be directed at resolving some of the issues and adding additional features to the website. As you use the Family Tree and other parts of the website, you will likely begin to see more changes. The reality of all popular online websites is that they either evolve or die. There is a strict online rule that applies to the survival of the fittest and evolutionary changes are a way of life for website developers.

This month's blog post is entitled appropriately, "What's New on FamilySearch -- August 2016."

Now, what is new? The biggest news is that you can now link unindexed images to a person in the Family Tree. What does this really mean? Essentially, you are providing the indexing links to your own entries in the Family Tree. Here is a screenshot showing the location of the link to attach an unindexed record.

In order to do this, you need to create a source as shown in the sidebar instructions that come up when you click on the link.

The name of the record is automatically entered into the required field.

You next select a person from the link at the bottom of the sidebar.

To do this, you have to back up some and find the ID number for the person you found in the record. I suggest opening a new tab or window and finding the person named in the record and copying their ID number.

You can add most of the people in the record by checking on their names. In this case, my Great-grandfather is "Read Only" so I cannot add the record to his detail page. After providing a reason for attaching the record you can attach a copy to all the people checked.

In this case the record was successfully attached to 15 people. Here is a screenshot showing the link to the attached record.

I will come back to the other new developments in a subsequent post.


  1. I am delighted that this feature has been added to FamilySearch/FT; but I worry that the example given used an unsourced family group sheet. That is a sure fire way to promulgate the spread of past errors. The FGS are a great way to point a possible path to new research, but they don't belong as sources in a public tree.

  2. I totally agree with Linda. Only a small percentage of the Family Group records have source citations that are understandable. A few have great written source information on the back of the group sheet.

  3. I disagree with the previous comments, James. a 'source' is a source of information that you've mentioned in a work (positively or negatively), not necessarily a source of so-called facts. Far too many people assume that citing a piece of data on a tree means that (a) it came from an incontrovertible source, and (b) that it is certainly for the person in question. If those people had to write proof arguments for such associations then we might see better quality trees. Looking at works beyond mere trees, and even beyond genealogy, sources may be of opinions, compiled works, etc. In other words, it's what you do with it rather than simply what it contains.

    1. Yep, that's why I wrote two more blog posts on the subject. Thanks