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Simplify the process of deleting a FamilySearch account

When patrons want to delete their account, FamilySearch makes it unduly difficult. When a person wants to delete a free account, they should be able to go to the bottom of any page, and ask to be unsubscribed and they are out. Our process of having them go to GSC is just the type of trick that most people dislike about a service they may want to try but, if they don't like it, they can immediately leave. Please consider simplifying this process.
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  • GSC: Acronym for Global Service Center Customer Support for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints"

    Doesn't this work? It sounds fairly simple.

    "How do I change my username/delete my account?
    Send an e-mail to support@familysearch.org requesting that the unwanted account be deleted. Please include your name and the user name of the account, or call support for help."

    If you just want to stop notifications (emails), change it in settings - or simply delete all the items in your profile and I think you effectively delete the account.
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  • I'm sorry I don't always understand the intent.
    What do they want: to nolonger access FamilyTree, to nolonger access FamilySearch, to remove their private data...?
    Once we understand the intents we can look at solutions like:
    Let the user remove their access on FS, or their LDS account (for members)?
    Let the user remove all their private data, preferences...
    Would the user expect that if they delete their account they could never recover it, say if they change their mind, or they hit the buttons by mistake?
    I wonder if by going through the GSC this is explained as the operator works with the user?
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  • Ron Tanner (FamilySearch.org Product Manager) January 18, 2017 17:12
    All you need to do is call FS support and say you want to delete your account. They will disable the account and it will not be usable and nobody will see the living information you put in.
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  • I’m frustrated
    2
    because i have no control over my own research and cannot even edit mistakes
    i wont be adding anymore, its littered with mistakes. and i dont need the hassle of trying to make fone calls across half the world to do simple editing. so i will simply write it in a book instead .its far too complicated for me to work out compared with anything else ive encountered anywhere else.
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    • You don't have any tree to delete. Since there is only one Tree in FamilySearch that we are all working on together and that tree contains documentation of every change that has been made on its entries, you cannot be erased as a contributor to any item in Family Tree or from any Change Logs.

      You can, of course, quit working in FamilyTree and keep your account to access the rest of FamilySearch.

      But please don't give up. Review Tom's suggestions below on the secrets to working in FamilyTree, keep trying to contact your distant relative, and try to figure out how the two of you can work together.
    • Ok thank you. I'm just frustrated. Thanks again for taking the time to reply.
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  • The secret to working with FamilySearch FamilyTree (FSFT) is this:

    1. Make sure every person you work with on FSFT is fully sourced with citations that can be used to locate the original record, not only with sources from FamilySearch Historical Records, but also from other sites as well as material that may not be available online.

    Be sure that every conclusion (fact) that is in a person's record actually applies to that person and that you have included your reasoning why that conclusion is the right one. Remember, there is no room for speculation; they are not fact. Speculation should be placed in notes or discussions on the person's page.

    2. Every time some one makes a change or merge that you feel is incorrect, use the FamilySearch message system to leave them a kindly written message as to why you feel that what they have done does not apply to that person. If they have not provided a source or a reason, remind them that sources are crucial to establishing conclusions and facts, and that a person's reasoning is needed to let others know what research and thinking was done to reach the conclusion.

    3. Be prepared to not receive a response from the person and sometimes, what they did was the result of a merge that needed some after the fact cleanup. Thank them for helping reduce the number of duplicates and let them know what you did to clean up the record and your reasoning behind your changes.

    4. Keep in mind that not everyone works with FSFT every day or extensively, so there are many different levels of knowledge being applied. Where you can, help others understand things like the differences between primary and secondary sources and that published family and locality histories often contain errors and are not sourced. Let them know that unsourced material needs to be treated as hints, not as facts.

    By taking an active part in working with a few of your relatives, you will find that bad changes will come to a stop. I have an end-of-line ancestor whose New England connection was the result of a bogus D.A.R. application that contained speculation. The D.A.R. has since removed that individual from their index, and there is no evidence to connect my ancestor with the New England families. The last change to make that connection took place in October of last year.
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  • 1
    its far too complicated to use for elderly people like me and should be made basically simpler. it ends up like trying to write a novel, it should just be made simple with a delete and erase and or edit and post. far easier.we are not all computer wizards especially in our late 60s. .it needs simplifying.otherwise its just easier to write it down in a book
    • I am in my mid 70's. My background is in genealogical research of over 50 years. I also know enough that working with a collaborative tree takes a different approach than when you work with a personal and private tree.

      The key difference is that with a private tree, you don't have to worry about collaborating -- working -- with others. If you mess it up, then it is messed up and no one will come along to correct it.

      Years ago, I ran into a relative that had many Family Group Sheets, often of the same person and family. No one group sheet agreed with any other. She had no sources and just want to copy, copy, copy, and wasn't careful when she did.

      That is what is so wonderful about working with others. They can help catch the mistakes I make and correct me. I don't mind because I know that I do make mistakes. Not just because I'm getting older, but because I am far from perfect in all I do.

      You are likely a candidate for FamilyTree Lite, which is a simplified approach to working with FamilyTree. If your complaint is about the tree and not indexing, then you should probably read about Family Tree Lite here: https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/...
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  • 1
    Problem I have is I made a mistake in putting in the maternal parents of my paternal grandparents. What I call the autofill feature went back probably a dozen generations or more so instead of one error to correct I have at least a hundred automated errors to correct. It is a real mess and I have no recourse but to contact the site. Gotta say I am not a happy camper.
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    • That threw me for a minute, also, but when the merge was originally done, the name was not Bose B (Richard) Bowers. The name on the ID was Charles Howard Smith. The display would not have changed to Bowers until the ID name was changed to Bowers in the most recent entry in the Change Log. It's a very deceptive, misleading quirk in the Change Log. When Charles gets his name restored, all the Bose's on the left hand of the merges displayed in the Change Log will revert back to Charles.

      It does sort of make sense if you consider the name a stand in for the ID number and that what is displayed is the current name for the ID number not the name for the ID number at the time of the merge.
    • If you put the incorrect parents in, you can disconnect them in one step ... not a hundred. Click the link by the child name under the wrong parents and remove the parents. You will be back where you started.
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  • Looking at ID LCPZ-TWF and examining the Change Log:

    This individual was originally created at the start of Family Tree as

    Charles Howard Smith, born 16 Oct 1866 in Dewitt, Iowa

    with parents Asa Beale Smith and Nancy Ellen Mummey. These are still his parents, fortunately. So no errors have been propagated up the tree.

    The record was not touched until 28 June 2017 when a Charles Smith with wife and several children were merged in. I’ll assume this was done correctly. Then a burial and several sources for Charles Smith were added. Then a duplicate record for him, attaching duplicates of his wife, and a son, was merged in. The record, still on 28 June 2017 was further cleaned up by merging the duplicate wife and child and merging another record for him that was attached to another duplicate of his wife and a duplicate daughter and these family members also appear to have been correctly merged. A few more sources were added.

    Then the record was quiet until 1 May 2018 when someone standardized his marriage information, and improved his death information. A photo was added.

    Next editing came today, May 20, when a child, Pearl Catherine Bowers, was added as a child to just Charles Howard Smith without a mother.

    This appears to be where the first mistake happened.

    Then, instead of removing what appears to be an incorrect child from Charles Howard Smith, the same person completely changed Charles’ birth information from Iowa to Georgia and changed Charles Howard Smith’s name to Bose B Bowers.

    Of course the rest of the tree looks horrid now! And the twenty sources for Charles Smith that are on “Bose Bower”s page look really out of place.

    These three mistakes are the first three items in the Change Log:



    What should have been done, was for Pearl Catherine Bowers to be removed from the family and put with her correct parents, without any changes being done to poor Mr Smith.

    This will take you about 2 minutes, tops, to fix.

    1) Go to Pearl and click on the little edit relationship icon next to her name, then click Remove across from her name:



    2) Go to the Change Log for Charles/Bose and scroll almost to the bottom and click restore next to his name and his birth information. (Don't click on the restore button for his death information as someone did add better information for it than "deceased")



    Then go put Pearl where she belongs.
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  • Problem is Pearl is where she belongs as my paternal grandmother.

    The mistake I made was inputting my maternal grandparents as my paternal grandparents, when starting initial input to the family tree. Not disagreeing with you suggestions; just saying to me it seems backwards to say correct Pearl as a child of Charles Smith. The problem is Charles Smith is not a parent of Pearl who's father is Bowers.

    Lets also keep in mind I created my account today and all this happened in the initial creation of my family tree. Seems to me a lot of first time users would be prone to make most mistakes when they begin and get better as they got more experience. Maybe a good idea would be to have the first (or first several) inputs from new users be easily backed out of the big tree.
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  • 2
    Great to hear that you just opened an account. Welcome to Family Tree! Hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do.

    There are a lot of things to get to know with the web site, but there is a massive amount of help available including:

    1) The resources under the help menu.

    2) This discussion board.

    3) The Family History Guide at http://thefhguide.com .

    4) Your local Family History Center which you can locate at https://www.familysearch.org/ask/help

    5) Your local LDS Temple and Family History Consultant who would love to come to your home and give any explanations or suggestions you need. If you are LDS just find out who this is from your bishop. If you are not, just call the closest LDS meeting house and ask how to contact a consultant.

    Family Tree is designed to allow both new and old users to quickly correct anything they do. This is done primarily through the Change Log as I discussed above.

    Since you are just starting here, and since Family Tree is an open edit, collaborative tree where we can help each other, I did go ahead and fix your problem. Using the Change Log, it took just about a minute to create a new Bose Bowers as Pearl's father, to revert the changes to Charles Smith so he shows properly again with his wife and children and to remove him as Pearl's father.

    Also, since I feel obligated to improve any record I might work on, I attached the United States 1910 Federal Census record for a Pearl Bowers born 1908 in Macon, Georgia with father B B Bowers. Please check this. If this is not your Pearl, just detach the source by clicking on the source title then clicking "detach." If it is your Pearl, you can use this source to quickly create records for Pearl's mother and the four siblings listed in it.

    I also think you should take a look at the record for L8SX-GCZ Richard Roan Bowers at https://www.familysearch.org/tree/per...

    He is married to Dora Arnold and listed with sons Alfred and Howard. The B B Bowers in the 1910 census is married to a Dora and has sons Alfred and Howard. You do have that your Bose B Bowers was also known as Richard. It is also noted that Richard Roan was also known as B B or Bose B. Someone has been working on the record this year.

    Sure looks like the same person and if so you need to merge the two records. Richard shows with his father, mother, and step father, one set of grandparents, and one set of great-grandparents. Richard has nine sources on him and four record hints.
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