New FamilySearch Integration With Legacy Family Tree

by JL Beeken on 1-27-2011

FamilySearchLast night I watched two hours of Geoff Rasmussen explaining the new FamilySearch integration with Legacy Family Tree.

Geoff was in fine form, obviously excited about this new addition to Legacy. And it does look like a fine piece of programming. The LDS church has both the religious doctrine and the funds to drive this massive project of attempting to unite all the genealogy trees of the world into one. For non-LDS members there’s not much to see yet, (registration is possible, logging in is not) but it was interesting to see what’s coming for the rest of us eventually.

FamilySearch Integration With Legacy Family TreeYou’ll get a much better view if you go watch the webinars yourself.

There will be the opportunity to upload correct information through the FamilySearch connection in Legacy as well download information from other contributors.

I’m sure my database could use some correcting, especially on those 5th and 6th cousins. Maybe the thousands of people who have been to JGEN looking for their family and never contacted me will be more willing to share their information with FamilySearch than they have been with me directly.

Since I signed up for web statistics on January 1, 2007, this website has had about 80,000 visitors according to StatCounter. Most of the traffic has come to JLog but, guessing from an average day’s split, I would say about 8,000-12,000 visitors have been to JGEN looking for additions to their family tree. Some or many of those may have been return visitors but, to put this in perspective, I’ve been contacted by 10 of them which is about 0.1%.

I would love the opportunity to also do some correcting because I’ve seen more incorrect indexing in FamilySearch of my own close peeps than I could shake a stick at.

I have a few reservations. FamilySearch can give multiple versions of any record, i.e. every record that’s been uploaded. If the incorrect records have been recycled multiple times, (and I’m sure they have been; the other 99.9% who are copying other people’s data) the preponderance of a particular wrong record could make it look right. So I don’t know if accuracy will be getting ahead in any significant way.

If FamilySearch keeps recycling incorrect information this will be an ongoing genealogical disaster. If people are willing to share what they know ‘for sure’ we might be able to cut through some of that.

Standardizing location names is tidier if nothing else.

The source that’s downloaded with any record is “FamilySearch” which is not exactly descriptive but this can be circumvented by contacting the owner of the record by email or in the discussion area. The new FamilySearch can look, on the surface, like The Lazy Man’s Guide to Genealogy but if you want accuracy and source documentation you’re still going to have to walk the long road.

On the upside, and I think there is one, it will easily put you in touch with other people researching the same data, at least the ones willing to share with the new FamilySearch.

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