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

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Living to Deceased and Deceased to Living in FamilySearch Family Tree

The consequences of a person who is dead showing up in's Family Tree program are interesting. The creation of a "Private Space" for living people results in the following notice showing up on the individuals' Detail Page;

The most important point in this issue is the fact that Family Tree does not compute the likelihood of people being living, even after they are older than 110 years. Users need to mark individuals as deceased and then search for any possible duplicates. The additional consequences of a person being marked living when they are, in fact, deceased are reflected by the additional consequences of the Private Space as outlined in the help menu option "Understanding Private Spaces."
  • Each user of Family Tree has a private space. Private spaces help both protect privacy and allow users to enter information for living family.
  • All living people and relationships are stored in a private space.
  • Currently, private spaces cannot be shared.
  • Each owner of a living record can modify information independently from others.
  • Deceased persons should each be represented only one time in Family Tree and have a common ID.
  • A living person can be represented in multiple private spaces as a different Family Tree person, and each instance has a different ID.
  • Searching Family Tree using the name of a living person returns no results. Searching by the ID Number does not find the living person except the one using the ID entered.
  • Living people cannot be sourced.
You can tell if an individual is marked as living in Family Tree because of the following: (See How Family Tree displays living people)
  • In the tree, the word “Living” appears beneath the names instead of a death year.
  • On the person’s summary card and details page, the word “Living” appears beneath the name instead of a death year.
  • On a person’s details page, the word “Living” appears in the header instead of a death year. In the Vital Information section, the word “Living” appears instead of a date in the Death field.
If a dead person has been inadvertently marked as living, or dies and needs to be marked as deceased, the procedure for doing this is outlined in the Help Center article, "Changing a living person to deceased in Family Tree." Here are the steps:
  1. Go to the Family Tree Person page for the person you want to change to deceased.
  2. In the Death field, click on Living.
  3. Click Edit.
  4. Select the radio button next to Deceased.
  5. Enter the date, place, and reason this information is correct.
  6. Click Save.
If the person was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the membership record of the Church is involved and the procedure becomes significantly more complicated. Please see "Deceased individual's membership record has missing or incorrect information" for the proper procedures.

If a person is marked deceased and is found to be still living, the procedure is also rather complicated. You need to closely follow the instructions in the following two Help Center articles:
Again, if the person is a member of the Church, you should also review:
Information that you can see from LDS Church Membership Records about living individuals (71953)

You may also wish to review:
Rules Used to Determine If a Person May Still Be Living (71928)

1 comment:

  1. One thing that seems to be contributing to the problem of living people being added to Family Tree as deceased is the process of attaching Source Hints to a group of people in a family. Many times the user does not know if a person is living or dead, especially when they are adding a new person they find on the source to the tree when not previously there. The user thinks it very important to have the source attached to everyone, and therefore takes the chance of choosing deceased rather than living. We have suggested to engineers they need to have a "I don't know" button, regarding the living/dead status, but they say it would be way too complicated. So... there you have it!