Monday, June 27, 2016

Vital Information about my family is wrong on Family Tree

Users of FamilySearch.org should be aware that, when you see incorrect information about an ancestor, you can almost always fix it.

This post will address the easiest and most basic fixes--information in the Vital Information section of a person's Details page.

Before you make changes to the Vital Information for an ancestor, I suggest that you find and attach sources that support your change. Doing so helps those changes to stick as it shows that you really do have evidence for your opinion,

Here are the steps to get to the Vital Information page and make changes.


1. Find the ancestor. This could mean you are looking at one of the Tree views and moving around the pedigree. Or you have a person in mind that you want to work on and so you click Find in the  Family Tree menu. 

2. Click the name of an ancestor to see the summary card. The summary card has basic info about the person: the name, the 7-digit ID assigned to the person by FamilySearch.org, birth and death information, a count of sources, discussions, and memories. If you are LDS and signed in with and LDS Account, you also see the status of temple ordinances for the person. (My screen shots will not show the LDS information.) Under this you see two links: Tree and Person.

2. Open the Details page. To do this, click either the name on the summary card, or Person in the dark bar at the bottom of the summary card.   

3. The Details page opens. Unless you have re-arranged the segments of the page, the Vital Information section is at the top, on the left, under Life Sketch. This is where you see the name, sex, birth, christening, death, and burial information, If you see incorrect information in any of these fields, you can make changes. An exception can be sex. If the person shows in a relationship that implies a specific sex, you will not be able to make that change. With sufficient evidence, a data admin can make the change for you. Contact FamilySearch Support to make the request.  \

4. Click the piece of information that you want to change. In my example, I'll change the birth date.
          
4. A new box opens with details about that piece of information, including when it was last changed and any sources that are attached that someone feels are supportive of the current info. I'd suggest you think twice before making changes if those sources are plentiful and, when you examine them, you see that they indeed support the current info. If you have a good reason to make the change, click Edit in the upper right of that new box. 


5. On the next screen, click in the field you need to change and enter the correct information. As you type, a "standard" date or place list appears below the box. Click the correct one to standardize your information. Then ALWAYS add a reason in the Reason This Information Is Correct box. If you tell other users how you know something and your reason is sound, you significantly decrease the chances that someone is going to come into the record and change your change. If all you enter is something like "this date is wrong", folks are not terribly likely to assume you were correct in making the change. Click Save and, voila!, the data is corrected. 


Bottom line: you don't have to be frustrated or live with messed up data regarding your ancestors. You can fix it!




                 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Changing Focus

If you have viewed my blog before, you will notice that the title has changed. I have been pondering what I can do that might make some small difference for people and have decided to focus the blog on effective use of the FamilySearch.org website.

\I have served as a Church Service Missionary for the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since June 2007. Basically that means that I volunteer a substantial amount of time to helping people use the website. I began as one of those people who takes phone calls and answers emails. Then moved to training new folks to do that. Now I create help content for patrons and support agents.

Over the years I have become very familiar with FamilySearch.org and have also come to recognize that few users of the site really get all they could from it. Frustration levels can be high as users try to understand how to use the site to do the things they would like to do.

So, I will post tips here--hopefully on a regular basis--to expand understanding and empower users of FamilySearch.org to use the website more effectively.

I wholeheartedly welcome suggestions for topics to cover. You can email me at nansuty@gmail.com with your suggestions or questions.