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

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Find-A-Record in the FamilySearch App Gallery is a free app from the App Gallery that searches the Family Tree program for research opportunities. More importantly, after signing in to, the program points out inconsistencies and mistakes that need to be corrected in the Family Tree. Correcting these issues is a sure way to find more candidates for inclusion in the Family Tree program. The program also points out that some of the problems cannot be fixed. The categories of items addressed include the following:
  • Sources
  • Person
  • Relationships
  • Problems
  • Cleanup
  • Ordinances
The major difference between Find-A-Record and the iconic notices now visible in the Family Tree is that Find-A-Record makes a list of the issues showing the people in the Family Tree that have any or all of these problems. The program also tells you when a date or a place is not been standardized. For example, lack of a standard date prevents a list of children from being sorted chronologically. As you correct the problems, the people disappear from your list.

When you click on an individual problem, the program makes a few suggestions for a solution. For example, one of my relatives has the suggestion to "Find a Death Place." The Details of this suggestion have the following steps outlined:

  1. Review the record hints in FamilySearch.
  2. Do broad searches on popular genealogy websites using the links below or using the RootsSearch Chrome Extension.
  3. Ask for help at the Genealogy and Family History Stack Exchange website.
  4. Visit a local Family History Center.
  5. Hire a researcher from the Genlighten community.
I am not quite sure that any of these "solutions" are appropriate. When I visited the Details page of that particular individual, yes, the death place was missing. However, there were no pending hints from FamilySearch. At this point the program would have me go to another website, rather than click on the "Search Records" link right on the Detail page of the website. In addition, the links in the suggestions list had me installing a program on my browser or seeking help from others.

In this case, the issue was with the name of the female ancestor. Her death was recorded under her married name, not her maiden name. A very brief search showed the omitted death place because a source showing the death place had already been attached to this person and the information had just not been copied from the source to the Details section.

There are several programs that are searching the Family Tree for information and presenting it in a more usable fashion, but I would suggest that the problems encountered in the Family Tree should be solved by using the program and other resources such as the Partner programs, whenever possible and seeking outside help, only after spending some time trying to solve the problems ourselves first. 


  1. I agree with your assessment of this program. But many people swear by it. More experience needed.

    1. It is very good at pointing out corrections that need to be made, just weak on explaining how to go about making the corrections.

  2. I love this program. It gives a succinct list of what can be done and I go directly to the person from the link that is provided.I have the search set up for just Record Hints, Missing a Given Name, Name and Surname, Multiple Parent Relationships and All Problems and Cleanup. I then go after Everyone for the line.

    What I had found is that I would get things cleaned up on my direct line and it would get mucked up because someone from an ancillary line added people that then needed to be merged with my ancestors and there were duplicates all over the place. It was a constant battle. I am finding that if I clean up the ancillary lines as well (data, merges, sources) that my lines stay clean. Lots of work but the data is getting so much better and the cleanup usually goes pretty fast.

    On the dates. I think beyond the children sorting, the dates need to be standardized to pick up record hints as the program can't read the dates unless they are standardized.