Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Familysearch.org Needed Changes

In previous blogs I’ve mentioned my concerns about data loss and record inaccessibility (see Ancestry Site Changes – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly 6 Jun 2015 & Poof Be Gone-How Quickly Records Can Disappear 3 Jun 2015).  A wonderful option to preserve your research would be to include it at Familysearch.org's Wiki Tree.  Unfortunately the site is not user friendly if you are not an LDS members.  Let me demonstrate-
To access the Wiki, first sign into the site.  If you don’t have a sign-on, you may create one even if you aren’t an LDS member, however, you won’t be able to link between Ancestry.com and Familysearch.org to sink data.  
I have an extremely large well sourced tree that I would love to have on the Familysearch site.  I'm going to outline the steps below of what I would have to do to build my husband's paternal line on the Wiki.  Below, on the right hand side, you can see that there are no parents identified on my Wiki Tree for William Lewis Samuelson.  




There may be other Wiki Tree users who do have William's parents.  To discover if there is, one must click on the +Add Husband (or + Add Wife).  Then, type in what you know.  I typed in Gustaf Theodore Samuelson 29 Apr 1870 Baileytown, Portage, Indiana as the birth info and 9 Oct 1947 San Bernardino, San Bernardino, California as the death info.  After clicking "Add," 25 parent choices are presented.  You may select 1 provided or by scrolling to the bottom, include a new couple.  

In this case, I would "Add Couple" 1 - Gustav and Lulu Mae Cook.  Once added, the Wiki Tree changes to the following:
That wasn't very time consuming but here's where my problems begin.  I have 19 facts for Gustav Samuelson on my Ancestry tree:
Familysearch has 4 citations:

Really, Familysearch only has 1 source - the Legacy user that imported the information cited for 4 events but did the user did not include where he/she found the evidence.  Truly, I'm not impressed with Familysearch's sources for Gustaf.  This is no improvement over the earlier trees that the site displayed.  I equate this practice with only citing an Ancestry Family Tree that was unsourced to begin with. The citation is meaningless.
I could add the sources I found plus the 18 photos and the several additional records that I've scanned and uploaded to my Ancestry tree to the Familysearch Wiki but that takes quite a bit of time. I feel like I'm duplicating what I've already accomplished by re-entering the citations from Ancestry to Familysearch.  Instead, I would prefer to spend my time further building my tree.  
Perhaps, if down Gustaf's line, Familysearch's sources improved AND the tree was filled in I would enter my citations for Gustaf but let's compare Gustaf's parents in the Wiki to what I have in Ancestry:

Way too much to have to add!  Way too time consuming!  
So I thought maybe I would just add 1 photo to Wiki and keep the lines simple by just adding my direct line (no collaterals - no sibs!).  Last evening I added my maternal grandparents, Ivan "John" and Mary Violet Kos Koss.  I compared sources from ancestry to familysearch and added the difference.  Then, I selected ONE photo for my mother, grandmother and grandfather and uploaded to Familysearch.  This is what the photos looked like:
Dorothy Koss Leininger
Mary Violet Kos Koss
Ivan "John" Kos Koss














There's nothing wrong with these 3 photos and I did agree that the site would first approve them before posting but its been a day and they're still not displayed.  At this rate, it would take me YEARS before I had my tree on Familysearch and it wouldn't even be my complete tree.
I understand that the LDS Church has an agreement with Ancestry.com and to quote an old commercial, membership has its privileges, but there needs to be an expedient alternative for genealogists, such as uploading an existing tree to the Familysearch site. 
I vocalized this to a church Elder when I visited the Family History Library in March.  He mentioned why uploading a gedcom wouldn’t be conducive and why PAF was discontinued.  I understand the evolution of technology and don’t long for the Windows 3.1 days or dial up internet. 
I am also extremely thankful and do appreciate the dedication of thousands of LDS members who have preserved and published records over the years.  To make all that work free to the general public is commendable and more than generous.  The LDS members, however, are not the only compilers of trees.  If non LDS members have a sourced tree I don't understand why LDS wouldn't want it.  I strongly believe that it would be in EVERYONE’S best interest if nonmembers could easily synch their records onto the WIKI. I would even pay to do this and I bet other genealogists would, too.

3 comments:

  1. Hi Lori,

    I'm wondering where your Kos Koss are from? I have Kos ancestors on my paternal side, they are from small town Ozymina (Ozimina) in current Western Ukraine. Would love to know if your Kos Koss are connected to that town. Thanks, Ulyana

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  2. Hi, Ulyana! My Kos' are originally from the Isle of Kos in the Mediterranean. They moved inland about 2000 years ago and settled in Durbrana, a village then outside of Zagreb in what is now Croatia. It was originally Roman, then Austria-Hungary at the time of my grandparents births (late 1800's-1900). My 2nd cousins are half Ukranian on their dad's side - original spelling was Uveges but was changed to Weigus when the family emigrated to the US in 1909. I believe Kos is a common name in Croatia, meaning blackbird. My people do move around alot so we may be related! Lori

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    1. Thank you for sharing this information, Lori. I will keep this in mind while doing my research. Perhaps something will pop up that will allow us to make a connection. Take care! Ulyan

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