Thursday, September 11, 2014

Getting the most out of FamilySearch–Family Tree (part 3)

All screenshots taken from the FamilySearch website

Now I am going to start showing you some specific things in Family Tree.  The first thing are the four options.

FT 1

The Tree link will bring you to a interactive “map” of your Family Tree.  The default view is a traditional pedigree chart though you can change that.  I will show you how in another screenshot further down.  You are the anchor person.  As you link to family members your tree will grow.   What you see on this particular page is your simple direct line only (parents, grandparents, great-grandparents) etc.  To get to the siblings of a particular person you will need pull up the Person page for one of the parents.  To get to collateral lines you do the same thing but you will have to navigate to them.  Just remember, when you go to the tree itself you will only see your direct line but you can navigate to all of the people that are connected to you. 

One thing I want to mention right now is living people.  When you add someone to the tree that is alive no one but the person who added the living person can see him/her.  You can work with them just like anyone else but only you can.  IMPORTANT:  Make sure that anyone you add that you know to be deceased is marked as deceased or add something in the death field which will automatically mark them as deceased.  If you are working on the website itself this isn’t much of a problem as long as you mark the little box that says deceased but if you are using one of the programs that directly interfaces with Family Tree then you will need to make sure that there is something in the death field.  Simply having them marked as deceased in your program isn’t going to work.  If FamilySearch does not see something in the death field when the person is imported it will mark them as living.   This also applies to any gedcoms you upload. If you don’t know an exact death date you can simply add an estimation such as abt. 1850, bef. 1900, after 1765, bet. 1820 and 1830.   FamilySearch will then mark the person as deceased.  What you don’t want is someone born in 1793 to be listed as living because no one else will be able to see him. 


The Person link will bring you to this page.  Here is my favorite person, Silas Simmons.

FT 2

This is the screen you will use when you are actually working on someone, if you are doing it on the website and not using one of the programs that directly interfaces.  I can’t screenshot the entire page.  What is missing at the bottom is the spouse/children information and parents/siblings information.  You can navigate to these people from this screen.  The only thing I want to point out on the screen right now is the word Person at the top (it is highlighted in green).  There is a drop down arrow there that will bring up a history list of who you have been working on. This list works like bookmarks. You can easily navigate to people this way.   FamilySearch recently added a new feature so that you can now delete people off of this list (little x to the right of their name).  Your list will then only include those people you are actively working on.  You can also hand type in an FSID number to get to someone if you need to. If you are using one of the programs that interfaces, like Legacy, you will have all of these FSID numbers at your disposal.  I will be coming back to this screen in a future blog post to point out some important things.

The next link is Find.  This is a simple search screen you can use to find people in Family Tree.  The person does not need to be connected to you. 

The last link is Lists.  This will bring up a list of all the people you have put on your “Watch List.”   If you look at the screenshot of Silas’ page, just to the right of his photo you will see “Watch.”  If you click that it will put that person on your Watch List.   Once a week FamilySearch will send you an email with a list of everyone on your Watch List that has been modified in anyway.  This is a great feature but only those persons that are using the website exclusively need to use this.  Legacy has an internal way to tell you that someone on FamilySearch as been changed and you will see this immediately not once a week.   If you click the Lists link you will be able to see who all you have on the Watch List and you can remove them from here if you want to.  If anyone adds, deletes, or merges anything on a person on your watch list you will be notified.

Now we are going to go back to the Tree link because I want to show you how to change the way it displays.  On the screenshot I whited out the living people (except me, you already know who I am anyway). If you click on the arrow at the end of a line you can expand the tree.  The screenshot show the default view.

FT 3

You have 4 choices of views.  I have mine at the default which is Traditional.  I am not going to show you the other three.  I will let you play around with that yourself.  I will tell you that if you use the mobile app for Family Tree you might want you use the Portrait view which is the same as what the mobile app displays.  To navigate the page you just use your mouse to drag the chart around.  Under the dropdown box for the different views there is a print button and a + and – to make the view bigger.


Copyright © 2014 Michele Simmons Lewis

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