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

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Beginning of the End for

If you try to connect to lately, you will see this ominous notice: Will Be Turned Off on February 1, 2015

The warning is a long time coming. The body of the notice states:
The next step to fully implement FamilySearch Family Tree on is to disable the ability for users to login to and access This milestone is planned to occur on February 1, 2015. 
On February 1, all public APIs (application programming interfaces) will be turned off, as will be the ability to access the program. This step is necessary as we enter the final phase, which is to transfer and synchronize all of the remaining data from to FamilySearch Family Tree. It is anticipated that this final phase of data testing, transfer, and retesting will require a year to complete. Once this phase is completed in early 2016, will be completely shut down.
This should not be new news to all of the previous users of It has been a long time coming. As you can see from the notice, this does not end the process of transferring all the information etc. over to Family Tree, it is merely one more step. There is still the vague projection that the final shut down will not occur until "early 2016."

The last part of the notice is the most important. It states:
It is important to note that many highly desired features of FamilySearch Family Tree cannot begin to be developed until has reached the final milestone and is completely shut-off. Once that has happened, work can begin on features such as:
  • Merging of gateway ancestors and other people with large records.
  • Highlighting and fixing other data eccentricities, such as when a person appears to have been married before birth, a child older than a parent, a child who is the spouse of parent or grandparent, and so on.
  • The ability for users to change the gender of an ancestor.
  • The ability to see a spouse’s ancestral line by default.
I note that there are a significant number of people editing these "gateway ancestors and other people with large records" without realizing that there is still work to be done on the program before these entries will be fully functional. Editing is done with the risk that future changes to the Family Tree will cause those edits to be lost. This issue also has an impact on the fact that these gateway ancestors or IOUSs, cannot yet be merged properly. If people are attempting mine "green arrows" among these ancestors, they do so with the risk that the ordinances have already been completed and they are merely duplicating work. There are no notices in the Family Tree program that would let users know they are dealing with one of these individuals.

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