Monday, October 26, 2015

Using FamilySearch’s Family Tree the right way

I happen to like FamilySearch’s Family Tree.  It is a collaborative tree which is very different than the Public and Private Member Trees on

Before you can use FamilySearch’s Family Tree to its full potential, you need to educate yourself on how it all works.  A lot of people who have no clue will connect and then start deleting people and merging people which messes things up big time for everyone else.  Using one of the programs that can directly sync can make it even easier for you to mess things up for others.

Before you even think about sharing any of your data with FamilySearch, you need to clean up your data.  Again, this is even more important (and easier!) if you are using one of the programs that can directly sync.  Cleanup means making sure all of your data is entered consistently using the genealogy standards accepted by FamilySearch (the formats for names, dates and locations).  If you use Legacy you will want to visit all of the Master Lists and check them for consistency as well as run the Potential Problems Report and the Find Duplicates routines.  Having nicely formatted sources for all of your data is a plus. Once your data is in the best shape that it can be, now you can think about uploading it.

Now that your data is ready to go, you can upload on the website via gedcom.  You can do that HERE.  If you upload via gedcom, FamilySearch is going to make you address possible duplicates right off the bat and that is why you need to know the right way to deal with duplicates.  You can also upload via one of FamilySearch approved software programs.

The Riverton Family History Center’s pdf instructions on how to use FamilySearch’s Family Tree are the best in my opinion.  These are the ones I pass out when I give a lecture on FamilySearch.  You can see them HERE. They are 11 pdfs listed under Family Tree that will teach you everything you need to know.

Once you are very familiar with the above tasks, you can then learn how the direct interface works in your FamilySearch approved software program.  If you are using Legacy, you can watch the Legacy and FamilySearch Family Tree Webinar (free) and download an informative pdf from HERE


Copyright © 2015 Michèle Simmons Lewis

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