Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What happened to

For some time, featured on the startup page with a link called "Finding Our Cousins." is a very valuable aid to finding the limits of research done in's Family Tree program. Suddenly, without warning, the link on the startup page goes to a new Family Tree Descendancy View. As it turns out, is still alive and well. What has happened is that several of the features developed by have now shown up in the new Family Tree Descendancy View. The two programs provide some of the same information but the graphic representation of the information is so different, it may be hard to tell that you are really looking at the same thing.

I think the graphic view of is elegant and conveys information about the Family Tree file in a succinct and useful fashion. Basically, the program provides end-of-line information.  You might want to refer to my previous post entitled, "What is and how does it work?" for more information about the mechanics of the program. In this post, I am going to compare the functions of and the new Descendancy View in Family Tree. I think you will see that both programs are valuable and assist in identifying needed research in Family Tree, so don't make any assumptions about the change on other than it is a change.

The new Descendancy View for Family Tree shows all of the wives/husbands and all of the children of any selected ancestor. Here is a screenshot of the descendancy view of one of my ancestors:

You will notice the large blue rectangles at the right-hand side of the screen. There are several different types of markers that indicate problems with the data, additional research opportunities, lack of source citations, possible available Temple work and data problems. For example, if I click on the blue icon next to my Great-grandmother's name I see the following message:

In some cases, the icon will be green and show an outline of the Salt Lake Temple. Here is a screenshot showing that icon expanded:

You will note that the icon specifically refers to the need to merge duplicates before allowing the Temple ordinances to be done. In some cases, there are three icons. Here is a screenshot showing all three types:

If you expand the red icon, you get the following message, depending on the problem with the data:

You can see that these are certainly valid issues with the data in the file. In some cases, the suggestions will also point out the need to do more research:

Although this is not the same information conveyed by It is similar and can lead to the same productive research.


  1. This coming Saturday, June 21, Bill Harten, the author and President of will be the keynote speaker at the Riverton FamilySearch Library. It starts at 9:00 AM.

  2. Bill Harten is also a developer of the GEDCOM standard.

    1. Thanks for the heads up. Too bad I am not already in Utah yet.