Thursday, February 23, 2012

My intro to New Family Search Tree: From Sublime to Ridiculous

I emailed Ron Tanner asking to become a part of the Beta Test for the New Family Search Family Tree. I just received an invitation today. I had to wait around today for a water heater repair person so was able to get started on my Tree right away. I was a little confused about how it all worked but soon was rocking'n rolling. First I had to sign into the New Family Search which I was able to do with my Family Search Password. I then clicked the Me and My Ancestors Tab. From there I needed to add myself and living relatives until I could get to the point where I could link with an existing tree. You are given options regarding which individuals to link with. For instance I submitted two trees with my father's name. One of those trees was actually just my mother's line so I didn't provided much info about my father. I was given both of my submissions to choose from.
Like I said, it took me a little while to get with the program. I guess I was thinking the Tree I was looking at was mine alone. No it isn't; it's a collaborative tree. I thought I was looking for my own tree submissions intact. No you won't find your own separate submissions laid out that way. Instead my tree has been merged and re-merged  with everyone else's; in some cases creating a confused jumble. I found several cases of siblings listed as someones children etc.. It's really a tangled mess in some of my lines. I don't have the power yet to make the necessary changes. Since I am not LDS I can make only limited changes. I don't seem to be able to delete  people such as wrongly attached children or spouses. It's a little frustrating to see all the errors and not be able to correct them. 
Yes my Grandfather traveled from Indiana to Nicaragua then
I am happy that I was able to make some corrections. One problem I am noticing is that one of my corrections has already be changed back. I have documentation proving my correction is correct. If my corrections are changed I will continue to re-correct them indefinitely until the other person gives up LOL. I've decided to check the tree daily and re-change any changes. I will also add my sources and some notes about why I believe my conclusions are correct. 
I can see some uninformed people have made some of the wrong connections, but I am not sure that accounts for every error? It's possible some things got jumbled up due to bugs in the new system?
Merging Screen
I found the Family Tree set up to be intuitive; and easy to learn to use. It's set up very much like all other genealogy software. It's a stripped down version of these programs with only basic functions for viewing individuals and families. Matching and merging is the MOST  important feature which is fairly easy to use.  Although I thought some of the wording was a little confusing. There is a screen showing all merges for an individual and who did the merging. The map feature is fun. It's interesting to see my grandfather's moves mapped out like that. At this point it doesn't look like you can add sources for events? You can add sources for an individual from a limited list of catagories.
I would say that maybe 80 percent of the info I've seen looks good. I even found a lead I need to look into. According to someone Margaret Caldwell wife of James Forgey was born in Dromara Co. Down Ireland? I've just scratched the surface today. I will see if I can come up with anymore leads and maybe useful collaborations? I like the New Family Search Tree and will like it even more when I can make more changes.


MHD said...

Great, Annette! I'm looking forward to hearing how the Tree progresses...I hope the current restrictions on changes are relaxed soon. I think I'm going to wait a while before I try to jump in. Hope to see you soon!

Annette said...

Thanks Marie! Nice hearing from you :)! Yes, it might be wise to wait. Many changes seem to be in the works before it's open to everyone. Hopefully making changes will be less time consuming and more straight forward. Making changes is complicated now. Hope to see you soon too :)!

Stewart said...

You're looking at "new FamilySearch" not "Family Tree" . . . Ron Tanner's presentation at RootsTech was all about "Family Tree" overcoming the faults of "new FamilySearch".

"Family Tree" is entered from the regular site after you have signed-in . . . via the "Family Tree" (top line) menu option.

Happy hunting!

Annette said...

Actually they are both the same. You make changes to that very same tree at New Family Search. You see the same tree both places but you can only make changes to it at New Family Search. That's the same thing Ron Tanner was talking about. When you go into the New Family search you can combine duplicates you find in this shared tree.