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Preparing to stop synchronizing between nFS and FamilyTree, on Beta

FamilySearch is preparing to stop synchronizing nFS (new.familysearch) with FamilyTree. The release of the update to FamilyTree has multiple steps, to test and verify the code changes. They are currently testing the updated FamilyTree in the beta.familysearch.org environment. The engineering teams are inviting you get a sneak peek and to test the updated FamilyTree (FT) on Beta.


A few things to note:

  1. Beta is a snapshot of some of the production data from FT from December of 2015.
  2. Beta does not include some of your personal account data like SourceBox, Memories, Reservations.
  3. Changes on Beta have no affect on the current FT production data and FamilySearch.org (like Memories).
  4. Beta is throw away data and is only for testing. So feel free to test at will.
  5. The update to FT is mostly data related. The screens and functionality should be almost identical to production FT. But some things (like merging IOUS) should now be more possible. 

You can participate and help the teams test the updated FT on Beta today. Login into beta.familysearch.org. This is the same credentials you use on the main FS site.

Focus your testing on FamilyTree as that is the one most affected by the changes. 



If you find a problem, which means the Beta site does not function like production today, please reply to this thread and it will be forwarded on to the proper team. Please provide:

  • statement of the problem
  • steps to duplicate including specific PIDs,
  • screen shots if possible.
I wouldn't expect to get a response regarding your problem reports. Please do not request additional enhancements on this thread.


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  • I’m excited that this is finally happening!
    Clicking on FamilySearch from a person's page does not produce the same results that the current release produces.

    Image 1 is the person with FamilySearch circled that I will click on. I did this for the beta and for the current production.



    Image 2 is the results of the search on the beta.familysearch site:



    Image 3 is the results of the search in production:



    It appears the beta site is limiting the results to the range of the birth record. However, if I am looking for additional sources from a person's page, I do not want the search limited in that manner.
    • view 1 more comment
    • I had corrected three standardization problems on Peter's record in beta, which had been previously corrected in production. The next screen (below in its own message) is the production screen from which I pressed FamilySearch.
    • I just took another look at the images and realized that I had standardized, but not corrected the birth date in the beta. It had been in production.

      I'll go back to the beta and set the date so it is the same as the production.
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  • Now that is interesting. I set the place to reflect the location at the time of the birth event and then pressed FamilySearch in searching records. This in in production:





    So beta and production do behave the same way if all the parameters are the same.

    I will open a get satisfaction problem that there is a problem in the way FamilySearch searches for records when the place is set to British Colonial America.
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  • Thanks Joe!

    In beta, I just merged a previously unmergeable record for James Allred
    22 January 1784 – 10 January 1876

    KWVM-6B5

    I then tried to merge duplicates for his son Isaac and got this message:

    Isaac Allred
    LCTN-M4K
    28 June 1813 – 12 May 1859

    Isaac Allred
    M9QK-1KH
    28 June 1813 – 12 May 1859
    These two people cannot be merged.
    Reference: Beta
    • view 3 more comments
    • Thanks Joe, after further review, one of the wives is read only (for unknown reasons). Eventually it would be nice if the can't merge message would say why. In this case I looked at the first wife and the first 10 children before finding the record that prevented the merge.
    • Mark, there also appears to be too many Notes because the merge limit is set too low for number of Notes. They are aware. Thanks.
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  • Sources: I love that we can now see the indexed record too when opening the source
    IOUS: I deliberately went to Reverend John Lathrop's wife Hanna Howse 9HNK-SC7, a gateway ancestor, who has over 100 duplicate records. (couldn't open the read-only) Anyway, I tried to merge 2 gigantic records for her (MLT4-1LJ), and it wouldn't work. It looked like the merge was taking as children were moved to the left, but on completing the merge, the whole thing was undone. Not going to happen! Evidently these can't be fixed yet?

    Source Section: moving up and down. I like the bar instead of the line when moving a source or down. Easier to see. But adding a source hint and moving sources didn't stick either.

    Clicked the Gear to move sections around. Dragged sections around. Worked just fine.

    Merged several average sized records just fine.
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  • 1
    It appears that "Read Only" records such as Sarah Royce KND8-1SY still prevent merges for those records directly connected to them. Sarah has a large number of parents, spouses and children connected to her. These "Read Only" records need to be unlocked before we can clean up the data base as desired.
    • view 5 more comments
    • Locked people do have a banner, but IOUS records only notify you that they cannot be merged when you try to merge them. In some cases, the two individuals are not independently IOUS records, but because they are both large enough that merging them would exceed the limit (250 duplicates I think), then an attempt to merge them would result in a IOUS warning.

      Example: John Doe (consisting of 200 duplicates) tries to merge with another John Doe (consisting of 200 duplicates). Because the resulting person would exceed 250 copies, the merge is not allowed for IOUS reasons. However, John Doe (200 copies) could merge with John Doe (one copy).
    • You just need to search for George Washington and you'll find tons of records, one of which will be Read-only
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  • 1
    There should be NO such thing as a (read only) or (locked) record in this FamilySearch "Family Tree" database. Either it is an open edit for all, to take their chances of having their ancestors records changed by others, or it is a locked database for all. Scriptures say God is no respector of persons.
    • view 2 more comments
    • Locked (Read-Only) Persons is not pertinent to this thread. Please do not discuss that here.
    • What would be pertinent is that locked (read-only) records are treated the same way in both beta and production versions. A separate discussion would need to be opened to work on the issue and tied to the production version. This is for those sections where there is a difference between production and beta versions.

      But I suggest waiting until the beta is rolled to production before opening any such discussion..
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  • We still find persons that can't merge. This problem will exist even after disconnecting?
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  • Joe wrote (initially): "The release of the update to FamilyTree has multiple steps, to test and verify the code." and "If you find a problem, which means the Beta site does not function like production today, please reply to this thread and it will be forwarded on to the proper team."
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  • Here is an example of two people who cannot be merged in the new Beta.

    Samuel Don Probert (L64C-CM7) and Samuel Don Probert (M34N-LVR). Neither of them appears to be a locked record. The merge screen comes up fine with one copy on each side, but when I attempt to merge them, the message "! These two people cannot be merged" appears.
    • view 5 more comments
    • See Joe's comment below. He clearly wants us to post problems with merges that are not for locked persons, which I did.
    • Yes, I don't have a problem with that. He has changed what he originally wrote for this discussion thread. I'll go concentrate on cleaning up some of my relatives' records.

      My apologies.
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  • There are still situations where a Merge is not possible even without nFS (like locked Persons). Most IOUS situations that couldn't be Merged in nFS should now be possible in FT. If you hit a Merge constraint post it here and they can investigate.
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  • Here are two more non-locked people that cannot be merged in Beta:

    Isaac Allred (KWJG-WDD) and Isaac Allred (LCX7-H4T)
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  • It sounds like there are at least three situations where a merge can't take place in beta, and therefore won't be able to take place after nFS is decoupled.

    1. Either record is locked.
    2. Either record has a relationship (spouse, parent, child) to a locked person.
    3. Either record is a big mess, i.e. numerous children, spouses, parents, etc. such that all can't be possible--these need to be cleaned up before they can be merged.

    It also sounds like they are eventually planning to inform users of what the specific problem preventing the merge is.
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  • Mark, thanks. That's pretty much correct. For number 3 I would check the number of Notes and delete the garbage (mostly from migrated nFS Notes) then try to Merge. I think right now the limit on Notes is 20. Ya, that's way too low.
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  • It appears that the rollout of the beta to production will take place on the 27th. This message is now appearing when I open FamilySearch.org: "The FamilySearch website will be undergoing a technical upgrade Monday, June 27th starting at 12:00 am MDT (6:00 am UTC) and may be down for up to 24 hours as we test the system."

    Given what is being considered, I think we can expect the three partner genealogy programs to issue an update about the same time. I know that Ancestral Quest has been doing beta testing with the beta "sandbox" and I suspect the other two have, as well.
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  • I have discovered a major problem between the Beta and Production versions of Family Tree, In the production version you cannot merge two records if one of them is attached directly to a "Read Only" record. However, in the Beta version you can merge those records provided that the one that is connected to the Read Only record is on the left side. The resulting record cannot be merged with other records that are connected to Read Only records. Thus, preventing any further clean up of the data base.

    Since most of the Read Only records all ready have far to many records attached to them you will soon run out of records that can be merged with no decrease in the number of records attached to the Read Only record. This means that getting rid of Read Only records MUST become the highest priority after nFS is shut down.
    • view 2 more comments
    • Correction: When I do Possible Matches with Robert Royce LDR2-77X I get 22 possible matches all of which are directly connected to Sarah Royce KND8-1SY (Read Only). The system would let me merge Robert LDR2-77X with any one of the 22 provided that record was on the right side. I don't think the prouctions system would allow this merg at all.
    • I must have misunderstood. You cannot Merge a Locked Person, whether its Survivor or the Deleted Person. Sounds like you may be saying its not that the Persons being Merged are locked but that if one of the Merging Persons has a relationship to a locked Person. In that case the locked relative cannot have its relationship changed so that would impose the Merge that the Person with a locked relationship cannot be on the deleted Person side, otherwise that locked person relationship could change to the survivor pid. So Beta sounds like it works like production.
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  • It is my understanding that there will always be some Read Only records (i.e. LDS General Auhorities, famous figures). So we may need a system where we can submit names and PID of run-of-the mill ancestors who have duplicates in the system and/or relationship issues so that the Read Only designation will be deleted. I have been preparing a list of early Colonial New England ancestors and relatives of such Read Only designated records.
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  • In the case of persons who have the IOUS (Individuals of Unusual Size -- meaning the number of records), the secret is to merge the children of those individuals first. Actually, one may need to start "closer to home" and work back toward the IOUS record, merging / cleaning each generation in order.

    That may seem tedious, but merges take place one person at a time. If you merge an IOUS record that has children whose records are also IOUS, and are different PIDs, you will create even larger messes.

    But if you clean up the latest generations, first, and then work back up the ancestral line(s), cleaning each generation, eventually, everything will be cleaned of IOUS statuses.

    However, before performing any merges, each of the records involved in any merge need to be carefully examined and the reason for making the merge fully explained.
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