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

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Blocked from Sealing Adopted Grandchild to Grandparents

I got an interesting error message last night while helping a patron at the Brigham Young University Family History Library. During the wars in Europe, there were many instances of women who had children out-of-wedlock with partners who could not be identified by genealogical research. In the patron's case, the children were "adopted" by the grandparents, the parents of the women. The patron went to request the sealing of these children to their grandparents as is allowed in the rules for sealing children, and was blocked by an error message that said, "Mother to old to have children." Of course, the mother was too old to have children, she was the adoptive grandmother of the children.

This points out an interesting issue with genealogy programs in general. They are failing to keep up with the complexity of the data. We are in a world-wide community now where information can move across international boundaries in seconds. My wife was recently carrying on a text conversation with one of my daughters while the daughter was in Italy. I routinely get email and posts from around the world and carry on conversations with people in Australia, New Zealand, India, Europe, and Africa.

I read a statement recently that said essentially that our biggest challenge was not technological change, but our own ability to process and adapt to the changes. I have been in the process of restructuring how I gather information and how I use it. I will continue to adapt, maybe fast enough to take advantage of the Information Technology Revolution.

1 comment:

  1. I have conversed with my husband (a talented computer programmer, also very familiar with the complexities of genealogy) at length about issues like these. His conclusion, and he has convinced me, is that computer programs will never be able to be programmed to interpret all the complex data involved in compiling family trees and do it by itself. There are too many variables that only a human brain can ferret out. Thus a problem like you encountered. Humans will always be better at interpreting complex nuances in data. I assume you have contacted FamilySearch so a human can approve of these ordinances. I have had to contact them several times about complex ordinance situations and/or their computer restricting my lengthy, well-sourced stories (they always fix it right away and tell me, yes, the computer does not like long lists of sources in stories and we have to manually approve them.) hmm... Technology has still made family history research and compilation so much easier. I think it is a good thing that humans will still always have to think it through to the correct conclusions, others may disagree.