I have been fascinated with the Puzzilla.org program since it appeared online as an Alpha product. It has now progressed into a fully certified FamilySearch.org product and appears on the startup page. Here is a screenshot of FamilySearch.org showing the importance placed on the program:
In the most recent edition of the Church News, the official weekly publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as part of the Deseret News, there is a report about a presentation made by Elder Bradley D. Foster of the Seventy on 8 February 2014 at the Family Discovery Day, an LDS oriented component of the #RootsTech 2014 conference. He talked about a variety of subjects dealing with the ability of technology to connect past, present and future generations. At the end of the report in the Church News, he is quoted as follows:
“Now, many of you will say that your tree is full,” Elder Foster observed. “But actually there is so much to do, and it brings us to the third way technology is helping to hasten the work. Let me introduce you to Finding Your Cousins.”Very innovative and catchy. More importantly, I think it puts the Puzzilla.org program into a very good perspective. I realized immediately the value of the program in responding to the common claim by members of the Church that their genealogy is all done. Nothing could be further from the truth. My own personal experience with Puzzilla.org has me working on a line that apparently has been neglected by over 150 years of Tanner genealogists. If you find yourself complacently thinking that all your genealogy has been done, it is time to watch the Puzzilla.org videos and see what you and your family are missing.
He then invited a couple to the stage and displayed their family tree on the screen. An actress then appeared portraying the man’s third-great-grandmother. She thanked them for all the work they had done on her line but said her heart aches for her other children and grandchildren. “Will you help me find them?” she asked.
That would have been impossible until now, Elder Foster said. But he showed a new program calledPuzilla.org, a computer program that allows a user to see hundreds of an individual’s family line from an aerial view with compact patterns revealing patterns of incomplete research.
Elder Foster gave the acronym ELIJAH.
“The ‘E’ stands for ‘Enter Puzilla.org and look from your ancestor’s perspective,’” he explained.
“The next step, ‘L,’ stands for ‘Look for end lines.’ … This brings us to the next step, ‘I,’ which stands for ‘Investigate.’ We investigate that end of the line. Here’s how. We can click on the dot and go to his Person Page in FamilySearch. … Now we just need to click ‘Search Records.’ Look. All these records come up. …
“Using the records … is step ‘J’ in our process: ‘Justify,’ adding new family members to the tree by finding them in the records.
“Now it is time for step ‘A,’ ‘Add’ them to your tree. …
“Finally, you can complete the last and most important step: ‘H,’ which stands for ‘House of the Lord,’ where you can take the names to receive needed temple ordinances. The work is not done until they are linked and sealed to their families.”