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

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Do You Really Want to Take a Family Name to the Temple? Here's How - Part Two

At the end of the first part of this post, I asked the following questions:
But there is a more important question. So you found a green temple icon, how do you know you are related to the person with the icon? Is all the information and connections between you as an individual and that person correct? Does it matter if you aren't related?
Let me start with a quote from the article entitled, "Individuals for whom I can request temple ordinances."
A letter from the First Presidency dated February 29, 2012, states "Our preeminent obligation is to seek out and identify our own ancestors. Those whose names are submitted for proxy temple ordinances should be related to the submitter." If you want to perform temple work for a friend or other person to whom you are not related, please contact FamilySearch by phone, chat, or email. You can also click the link for more information: What Ordinances Should I Not Perform? Can I do temple work for a friend?

You are responsible to submit names of the individuals below:
  1. Immediate family members
  2. Direct-line ancestors (parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on) and their families).
You can also submit the names of the individuals below:
  1. Biological, adoptive, and foster family lines connected to your family.
  2. Collateral family lines (uncles, aunts, cousins, and their families).
  3. Descendants of your ancestors.
  4. Your own descendants 
  5. Possible ancestors, meaning individuals who have a probable family relationship that cannot be verified because the records are inadequate, such as those who have the same last name and resided in the same area as your known ancestors.
It would be fair to say that we are not encouraged to do temple work for someone to whom we are not related as set forth above. I would think then that we have a responsibility to at least verify that the people we do work for are related or covered by the instructions.

As you click back in your portion of the Family Tree, you need to examine each individual in the line to see if there is a valid connection. The way to determine these relationships is provided by the Family Tree in the form of Record Hints, adding new records by doing research and by verifying existing records by adding sources to records.

To accomplish this has millions upon millions of records. In addition the program provides a number of instructive icons that advise users of the status of the records. Here is a screenshot of the types of icons used to mark the records.

What I have found is that by adding the Record Hints and following up on the Research Suggestions and working through the Data Problems, I can find more people to legitimately add to the Family Tree with a high degree of confidence that I am related to those people. Here is an example of entry that would indicate that going any further back in time on this line would be inadvisable.

In this case, the first red warning icon indicates the following:

By looking at the birth dates, you can see that the father, Jacob Morgan was only 11 years old. But even if the red icons do not appear, before assuming that some one is related to you, you need to look carefully at the entries and see if the information in the entries is substantiated in some way with sources and that the source actually support the conclusions summarized in the entries.

The Family Tree contains unsubstantiated entries submitted for over 100 years. Unfortunately, we cannot assume that the entries are all correct. By working with members of my family, we have been able to do research, in some cases supplied by the Research Hints and add many dozens of new family members to the Family Tree. By carefully documenting the existing entries in the Family Tree we are reasonably sure that the newly added entries are people to whom we are related.

Here is the first part of the post.

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