Saturday, January 17, 2015
What's New on Your Family Tree?
Many people complain about the changes in Family Tree, the online family tree program from FamilySearch.org. It is important to understand that there are several features built into the program that minimize the impact of changes made by other users. One of the most valuable of these resources is the ability to "watch" any of your ancestors in the program. Here's a screenshot showing the location of the Watch link. In this case, the Watch link is saying "Unwatch" because I am already watching that person.
Every time there is a change made to any of the individuals in your ancestral lines that is changed by any other user, you will receive a notification weekly about all the changes. You can see a screenshot of the notification. This notification comes by email so if you do not have an email in the system you will not receive a copy of the notification. Obviously, if you are not watching any of your ancestors you will also not receive a copy of the notification.
Notification accomplishes two things; first it notifies you that others have made changes to your watched ancestors, but it also provides a record of the changes you made to your own ancestors during the past week. If the changes made to any of your ancestors are wrong or otherwise improper you can reverse the changes or simply make the corrections necessary. In either case, if there is a problem with the changed data, it is important to contact the person who made the changes and ask for an explanation of the reason why the change was made or provide that person with information about the correct data that should be put in the program.
In addition, it is extremely important that all those who participate in the Family Tree program and sources and explanations for the information as it is corrected. I have noticed a dramatic decrease in the number of changes made to my ancestors as I have added sufficient sources to document each date and place in the ancestor's detail section.