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

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Read the entire instructions before attempting to use this product

When you are trying to use the Family Tree and the rest of the website do you ever feel like you are lost in the woods? Perhaps you should look around a little on the website and notice that there are some signs offering help to find your way out of the fog.

In fact, there are many different parts of the website that offer support and help. First, what you see on the website is determined to some extent by whether or not you are registered and sign in. The website is "free" and most of the content is visible whether or not you register and sign in, but there are portions of the website that can only be viewed by registered users who sign in. Also, there are some additional parts of the website that are limited to viewing by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My position on this is that since the website is free and sponsored by the Church, there is no reason to expect otherwise.

There are many levels of support and help for the website and all of its parts. In the upper, right-hand corner of the screen there is the Help Menu.

Each of these links goes to a different type of help and support. But the basic, question answering help is in the Help Center. When I am asked a question, I usually sit down with the person asking and show them the answer in the Help Center.

There is another set of help links on the Family Tree program. They are referred to as "Tips" and appear as a link in the lower, right-hand corner of the screen.

The Tips menu is contextual and changes to accommodate the particular pages or sections being viewed.

Now, if you want to learn the website and Family Tree in depth there are two very good sources. First, there is an extensive, audio supported section in the Learning Center called Family Tree Training Lessons and Videos by Leland Moon. Next there is an entire website called The Family History Guide that takes you through the entire process of family history research and the website.

There is really no excuse for not "reading the instructions" before getting lost and befuddled with the Family Tree and the entire website.

One final note, before you get frustrated, remember that the live support for the website and the Family Tree is provided by volunteers. Cut them some slack.

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