Monday, May 12, 2008

New FamilySearch Tree Sagas - Week 1

The time has come and a new saga begins in my life. Finally I am going to start working in new FamilySearch. I was involved in beta 1 and beta 2 but now this animal is alive and it is breathing down my neck. As I drive in my car or wake from my sleep I wonder when am I going to start and of course also write about my frustrations, pleasures and desires in working in new FamilySearch.

I found writing my weekly article on my Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing has created a beautiful habit. I wanted to move that forward and keep a chronicle of my new adventures in working on the Family Trees in NFS. My first assignment to myself was what day will I commit to working on NFS. If I don't have a set time and place it's really hard for me to develop the habit. Naturally I would love to do it on Sunday's but that's my indexing time. I have puzzled over and wondered to death on what day of the week I could commitment to working on NFS.

Monday seems to work for me. My family doesn't have Family Home Evening that night because my husband is working. Instead of working with my living family on Mondays I am going to work with my deceased family instead. In doing so I hope I can also connect to my extended family and pull us closer together and accomplish more with their help. When I finally settled on the day and sat down to begin to write I could just feel the flood gates open and my deceased family members surround me in my little computer room.

I know this article has to be written. That my saga will also become your saga and we will learn together as I wind my way around the trees. Yes, this is a big moment. I am going to place my hands on The Book of Adam's Children and leave my mark. I will be numbered among the valiant souls that labored to clean it up and make it one day presentable to the Lord. Can you not feel humbled by what you are stepping into? This is a project that is starting to be combined and I am alive to see it. In fact I feel like this combining generation is the only ones with the patience and ability to move the ancient records into the modern era. This generation has used both pen and paper and computers and knows how to make the transition. We are the chosen pioneers to embark at this epic in time.

I feel like I am marking the workings of my life with this beginning. I don't know if I will ever complete it in my life time, but then again who does ever complete their genealogy.

To begin one must sign into new FamilySearch. The website is located at http://new.familysearch.org . I don't have any figures as to how many people have access to NFS right now but at last count I have 34 temple districts live. All the Family History Center directors have access and those lucky enough to attend special classes offered by the FamilySearch department have logins. I attended a FHL class for FHCons. with the added bonus of receiving NFS access back in early Feb. That is how I received my access to NFS. It was right before the roll-out was put on hold and no one else could get access - so I was lucky. I don't know when or if those classes will resume. I will let you know when I hear word.

You have to have your membership number and confirmation date in order to login. I did this a while ago so I'm kind of rusty on the login part now.

The first thing I do when I learn something new is to visit all the tutorials available. I think it is especially important to do so when you login to NFS for the first time. You need to capture the vision. I noticed that the "Introduction to FamilySearch" that takes 10 minutes has a new "player" being used. I like the tans much cooler. It is a nice overview and I am not going to recreate it for you, you need to view it when you get access.

At the end of the introduction I realized that our FHC needs to get some headphones so patrons can listen to the introduction. All of our computers have the sound turned off so as to not disturb anyone. We really need to encourage people to listen to the tutorials so headphones would be nice. I had an older pair somewhere... I think I need to find them and make a donation.

At the end of the introduction they have two PDFs for you to read.
  • Introduction to New FamilySearch - Chapter 1 in a User's Guide to the New Family Search. This is 16 pages long.
  • A User's Guide to the New FamilySearch - 138 pages.
I downloaded both and have given myself the assignment to read then during the week. I know many people will skip these over but it's really important to read the directions. How long can it really take you. Think of the many hours of frustration you will avoid if you don't. Since I have some experience in NFS and have attended classes I just briefly skimmed over Chapter 1 of the User's Guide.

One thing I was trying to find was a mention or warning about making sure you create a sign-in name or contact name that you can live with. I went to the help center and found this article.
"You cannot change your sign-in name, contact name, password recovery questions, or information that came from your Church membership record, including full name, address, birth date, confirmation date, and membership record number."
I have all my contact information viewable and have my name as Renee Zamora. I've heard of some kids entering slick or cool names and then regretting them later. So a warning to you parents make sure your kids or yourself pick names that you can live with for the rest of your life. I figure my name is good enough - even if my husband died and I remarried I would probably still go with Renee Zamora since my kids are all named Zamora.

There are other helps and guides to teach you how to use NFS. I just played the one called "Help Me Get Started with Family History". After viewing it I made my first feedback/suggestion to FamilySearch.
It's short and sweet but I feel it doesn't give enough emphasis on making sure you have combined and searched for duplicated before submitting names for temple work.
Combining is the major emphasis that I will be working on in NFS. I felt like that 5 minute video missed a major point. I know FamilySearch listens to our suggestions so it's important to contribute to making it better for every one else down the line.

Now I do what I've been dying to do. I look around at the information NFS has about "Me and My Ancestors". My old Ancestral File submission has been linked to me so that makes it nice. I notice already that I submitted my children's birth places with the name of the hospital in the field. That's not how I feel it should be. The hospital name should go in the notes. WAHOO!! I could actually change my old submission stuff. Major coolness.

I realize that no one else is going to ever really see this information on my living children but me, but I am sorta playing and trying out the system. After I changed the locality to the standardized place I made sure to add the hospital in the notes and added myself as the source of the information. I remember giving birth!

It wasn't until my third and last child that I realized the flow is kind of messed up for editing an event. If you change the place and then go into add notes or sources when you come back the changes to the place are gone - unless you saved it earlier. But if you save it (hit done) then it takes you out of the edit screen and you have to re-open it to make the change. I sent a feedback on that. It's those types of little things that makes working in the system become even slower. Can you tell I like to give a lot of feedback.

My main objective was to finally see if there was anyone out there that has contributed information on my deceased mother. I could only find one other person (other than Church membership records) and I think it is my father's submission on Ancestral File. I had no combining to do for her. I looked at my grandparents and there were no duplicates for them to combine either. Well all this has taken until 11:30pm and I need to go to bed.

I will write more as I work in new FamilySearch. This is going to take me FOREVER!

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is alway another genealogy day!

1 comment:

Roland said...

Wait until you go back 6 generations - then you see lots of dup records.

But be very careful not to combine records with bad data - it will really mess things up.