Thursday, February 18, 2016

Descendants With Tasks List on the FamilySearch Family Tree App for Android

Another cool feature of the Family Tree app for Android is the Descendants with Tasks list that you can get from any person page. Handy when you have a few idle minutes and want to use it doing something productive instead of staring out a window, or watching a stupid TV show, or playing a mindless game. (Although meaningful conversation with friends and family is also an excellent option).

Here's how it works.

Get the app from Google Play Store. Search for FamilySearch Tree and be sure it says FamilySearch International. Tap and download it. It's free. Launch it and sign in to your FamilySearch or LDS account. The app downloads 6 generations of your ancestors from FamilySearch Family Tree, if you have information there. If not, you can use Quick Start to get your ancestors into the app and start building your tree.

Well, using the app in general is not the purpose of this post. So, on to the Descendants with Tasks list.

From your pedigree view, tap one of your ancestors 3-6 generations away from you. The Details screen shows. Tap the three dots icon in the dark bar that has the ancestor name.

Tap Descendants with Tasks on the list that appears. The system searches three generations of descendants of the person. If you are LDS, you see the temple icon for those needing ordinances and a blue hints icon for those who have record hints. If you are non-LDS you see only the record hints.

This is much like the Ancestors with Record Hints list, but focused on the descendants of a specific ancestor. It shows you cousins as well as direct line people who have hints or need temple work. In other words, you'll see some duplication between the two lists.

Give it a try. I'm guessing that similar features are available for the app for iOS devices. But my phone and tablet are Android, so that's what I'm familiar with.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Ancestors with Tasks for the Family Tree app for Android

In a recent update to the FamilySearch Family Tree app for Android they added the ability to see a list of record hints for your ancestors. The system takes advantage of the fact that the app download 6 generations of your ancestors to your Android device.

I love this new feature. If I have a few minutes to kill and am in a place with a wifi connection (or you can use your data plan), I can look at records hints and attach sources to my ancestors instead of killing time playing scrabble or spider solitaire.

Here's how it works.

Launch the app. Then tap the three dots icon in the upper right corner of the screen. The top item on that list is Ancestors with Tasks. Tap it. It takes a minute to load--longer if you have a zillion hints waiting for you. But the names pop up as they load, so you don't have to wait to get started. Here is what the list looks like.

Tap a name to see the hints for that person. 

Tap one of the items on the list to see the basic info on the record. Tap Review to review each piece of information and decide whether to attach the record or not. Unfortunately, the app does not give you the ability to take a look at the image of the original record. So, if you aren't sure of a record, it's a good idea to go to online and take a look at the image before you make your decision. No sense in attaching records that are not really about your ancestors.  If you can tell from the indexed info that the record is not about your ancestor, tap Not a Match, just to the right of the Review button.

Pretty slick! A good way to make productive use of idle moments and source your ancestors on Family Tree. Have fun!!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Working with Sources in FamilySearch Family Tree

Since June 2007, I have served in FamilySearch Support. I help patrons through live chat solve their Family Tree problems; I provide support and training for family history center directors; and I help to author help documents you see in the Help Center.

As I help patrons, I am often reminded that some things that seem obvious to me are not obvious to those who are not as immersed in the website as I am. So, from time to time, I think I'll share a tip or two that I have found helpful.

Today's post is based on a patron I helped recently. He had accidentally attached a source to the wrong person and wanted to know if there was an easy way to detach it from that person and get it attached to the correct person.

So, let's look at some of the features of what we call Quick Attach for sources that can be helpful for this and other situations.

Most users who have followed record hints are familiar with the window that comes up when you click to review and attach a source. The information from the record appears on the left. Information about the person from family tree appears on the left. You review each piece of information and decide if the record matches or not. You have the option to add pieces of information to the Family Tree record and then attach the record as a source to people on the tree. That is pretty straight-forward.

But, what if the Quick Attach is not showing all the people who are on the record as possibilities for attaching? Or what if you, like my patron, attached a records to the wrong person and you want to fix it? A common example is marriage records. I see the parents of both the husband and the wife. But, because I found the record as a hint for the husband, an option to add the parents of the wife and attach the record as a source of that family relationship does not show on Quick Attach.

So, let's look how to get around this problem. At the top of the Quick Attach tool, you have two Change options. On the left, if you click Change, you can tell FamilySearch that you want a different person in the record to be the focus. For instance, click the wife's name here and then you can attach the record to her parents as well as to her. 

Sometimes you realize that you attached things to the wrong person or family. A quick way to fix it is to use the Change link on the right side. This allows you to change the focus person in Family Tree. First, find the record of the person the record should be attached to and note the ID for that person. Also note the ID of any people to whom it is incorrectly attached now so you can easily get back to them to detach the record as a source. 

You can then enter that ID in the Change Focus Person box and attach the record to the correct person while you have it in front of you.  

Then, return to the record of the person or people to whom the record is incorrectly attached as a source. Scroll to the Sources section of the person page. Click the title to open the record. Then, just click Detach and that source is gone.

Incidentally, if a reader has a mess in Family Tree or some feature is confusing, add a comment or send me a private email at nansuty@gmail and I'll be happy to address the problem in a post in the future.