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Integration of Time Line and Sources/Source Information in FamilyTree

Most of the information in FamilyTree's "Time Line" is obtained from information keyed into FamilyTree that originates with source records. I currently go through sources and meticulously list information specific to individuals, then arrange the sources in chronological order for research analysis. In some cases where a record, such as a cemetery or death record, lists dates for multiple events such as birth and death, I will create multiple source records in order to chronologically document each event in that source. Hence, this process is conducive to reconstruction of this information into Time Lines.

I have noticed that the new FamilyTree interface doesn't allow for arranging record Sources in chronological order. Therefore, if possible, it would be ideal to integrate the Time Line with Sources listed for each individual in Family Tree.

The ability to tag names in digital film copies of original sources is invaluable, particularly for unindexed source records. The ability to tag names within those individual sources to specific dates of events would be ideal. However, this may require re-evaluating and modifying how we list original source records, specifically pertaining to multiple names and events contained in a single source/record. This should include increasing the size of the source record description and if possible including tags (or specified fields for each event) contained in a source record such as birth, christening, marriage license application, marriage registration, marriage, and marriage return, death, burial, military service, etc. Currently, there is no way to tie/connect a source record to multiple events without creating multiple source records for each event and associated date.

Since FamilyTree is focused on listing information from original sources, and original sources are often difficult to read and/or transcribe, enhancing how source records are documented/listed in the Sources area for FamilyTree is essential for documentation as well as for research and analysis of which Time Lines are invaluable tools.

Great job on the new release of the FamilyTree Interface and historical jurisdiction.
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  • You've covered several issues with your post. Most just require a different method of doing what was done before.

    First, open the source page in its own browser tab. Ron Tanner (FamilySearch.org Product Manager) on September 11th, in the https://getsatisfaction.com/familysea... discussion wrote, "Yes they are on a tab on their own. This is not to diminish their value. Indeed we are trying to surface them more so when looking at a conclusions and the associated sources. We wanted to make it more efficient for users to compare with the data on the vitals. It is very cumbersome to scroll down and then back up. The intent is to open the sources and then click back to the vitals then click back to sources. This is much better than scrolling down and back. I acknowledge that the sources tab needs updating (and the team is working to do so) so that it will not scroll back to the top, but keep the view that it was when you last clicked."

    The underlined portion of what Ron wrote is my problem. With a profile that has a lot of events and a lot of sources, scrolling and finding where I was takes time. By having the sources in their own browser tab, no scrolling is necessary, just click, and I'm looking at the source, and click, I'm back at what I was editing on the details page.

    To arrange sources (move them up and down -- which was the only option available in the old user interface), grab (left-click and hold) the title line and use the mouse to move that line up and down. It does the move immediately as you move the source up and down the list.

    font sizes in the new user interface is a problem, not because they are smaller, but because they are displayed against a much wider display (12" vs 17" on large monitors). The mind sees all that white space and adjusts the size (from the user's perspective) "down".

    I'm not sure what you are talking about with "increasing the size of the source record description and if possible including tags (or specified fields for each event) contained in a source record such as birth, christening, marriage license application, marriage registration, marriage, and marriage return, death, burial, military service, etc."

    When a source is opened on the source page, it is complete with respect to that source.

    What is lacking is the ability to tag any source to "Other Information" events and facts. That needs to be implemented and is something that a number of us have been requesting for a long time.

    When a multitude of information is included in a source, that information should be showing up in the source details (which it does for all source-linked sources). If the source is created manually or imported from another site, the world icon at the left of the title line indicates this. Then it is dependent upon what was imported or created.

    The source-linker does a good job with linking all primary persons. For instance, the only persons that are not linked are borders/servants/etc., who are not part of the family in that household.

    If you have specific questions about sources and source linked (in the new user interface), ask and we'll attempt to answer and provide what to find what and how to handle the linking of any given source.

    If you are talking about something else in your "increasing the size of the source record description and if possible including tags (or specified fields for each event) contained in a source record such as birth, christening, marriage license application, marriage registration, marriage, and marriage return, death, burial, military service, etc.", then please provide a person's ID and the URL or title of the source..
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    You can sort Sources as you like: grab the title and drag it to where you want it to be.
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  • Hi Tom,

    Thanks to you and Juli for info on moving sources. I have often thought that it would be very helpful if there was an online tutor or drop down instructions on how to use different features of FamilySearch (FS) and FamilyTree (FT). This is especially true when using search engines for FS and associated Partners.

    It occurred to me after my initial post that when records are indexed, such as Find-a-Grave listings that often provide information for at least three different events (e.g. birth, death and burial with occasional marriage information), these events appear to be put in respective fields which are loaded into FT when a record is attached to an individual using FS.

    The problem is, not all records are indexed in FS records or digital records accessed through FS partners, etc. Until they are, which may not happen for some of these records, a methodology for developing event fields in source records for automatically tagging/linking them to FT when attached to an individual (or group of individuals as the case may be). This is particularly true for tagging events to individuals in land and probate records similar to 1850 and later census records, etc). If there were fields for events and associated dates and places linked to each individual listed in an original source/record, this information could then be automatically displayed in FT.

    Pertaining to source descriptions, I am merely referring to increasing the number of characters currently allowed for including detailed genealogical information contained in a particular record/source. I often exceed the current limit allowed and thus I have been truncating the information and focusing on creating source records for each individual listed in an original source/record. However, this requires copying and inserting the URL for each successive source created for multiple individuals listed in the same source/record. This can be awkward and time consuming for sources/records that list several individuals.

    I think we corresponded earlier pertaining to my recommendation to tag and link all individuals listed in land and probate records for use as a research tool. When all other records are exhausted, land and probate records often provide clues that are very helpful for establishing familial relationships. This same concept could be applied to all source records that are not indexed or are imported from contributing partners. Unfortunately, most Partners such as Ancestry.com provide links to their sources, but do not provide access to the original sources/records without paying for a membership. Hence, they control indexing of those records. Perhaps a strategic universal format (similar to gedcom) could be developed and used for exchanging information with Partners when accessing their records or vice versa.
    • Hm. Okay, I think I understand what you are asking for.

      With respect to indexed sources provided by other sites, such as Ancestry, Find a Grave and others, FamilySearch is stuck with whatever that site provides. It is usually tied to just one person. Even though Find a Grave may include links to other memorials which are alleged to be related to the person in the Find a Grave memorial, those are created by Find a Grave's users and may no be accurate.

      Likewise, when I transfer a source from Ancestry, that source is formatted how Ancestry has formatted it. It may or many not be divisible by fields.

      The idea of a "standard" such as the GEDCOM for transferring genealogical data from one family tree management system to another is a very good idea.

      The GEDCOM standard was developed by the Church, probably in its Family History Department, which oversees FamilySearch and previous iterations of that organizatoin. From there, various groups expanded the standard, but any adopted standards were basically approved by FamilySearch.

      With all the work with respect to FamilySearch, I'm not sure there is an interest in developing any source specification. As it is, FamilySearch's initial source citations were very limited in scope, being mostly a URL to a full source record.

      Lately, they have expanded some source citations, notably U.S. Census citations to include additional information so that any films of a given census would be used and the original image located more easily on that film. The films were not produced by FamilySearch.

      So there may be hope for an open "source standard" that would spell out how a source should be structured so that it could be exchanged between various genealogical programs, both online and locally-located. But I'm not sure how soon such a standard could be published, or who should publish it.

      The Family Search API largely controls the content that is swapped between FamilySearch and all other systems. Given the change in how and by what means data is currently exchanged, there may not be enough interest.

      That said, I do like the idea and appreciate your response.
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