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

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Problem of Hoarding Ordinances on the FamilySearch Family Tree

I was given a recent reminder of the problem of hoarding ordinances on the Family Tree when I read an email raising a question about another user of the Family Tree that had over 28,000 names reserved. I understand the there are users with reserved lists with substantially more names than 28,000 and the highest number I have heard discussed was over 600,000. Despite the difficulty in imagining that anyone could do that much research and verify that many names, there is the basic problem that no one person or family or ward or stake could do that many names in many years.

Recently, there has been some statements, including a presentation by Ron Tanner of FamilySearch, that there will be an imposed limit on the number of names that can be reserved. Numbers like those above also raise some serious issues about the quality of the work being done. I am well aware of people who are doing "private extractions" of thousands of names from European records and I am not doubting their sincerity and dedication, but when the numbers get up into the tens of thousands, I can only question the validity and accuracy of that many records done by the same individual.

There is also a fear that limits will impose some disincentives and slow down the Temple work. But with the Ordinances Ready program, family members are supposed to go online and get their own names so there is no need for a huge reserved list. In fact, with the Ordinances Ready app, family members will likely get the same names that are released or shared with the Temples. The council from some time has been to reserve only as many ordinances as you can be sure to finish in a reasonable amount of time. See

Just recently, the expiration date of the ordinances has been appearing on Temple lists, but there is nothing yet about a number limit. If you start to see a number limit, let me know.

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