Lesson 1

Worshop 1 - Family Tree

Welcome and Lab Policies

Powerpoint: These policies are outlined on slide 2 of the Workshop 1 PowerPoint.

1. Welcome to the Lab! We’re glad you’re here.

2. Please no food or drink (besides capped water bottles). This is a computer lab.

3. Please use the resources we have.



            -Lab TAs (email, website, facebook, chat, open lab hours)

Learning Expectations

Powerpoint: There is a slide about hands-on learning on slide 3 of the Workshop 1 PowerPoint.

The best way to learn how to do family history work is to do it. So let’s practice that today.

In these labs, you have a computer in front of you so that you can follow along with what we’re doing on the screen. We’d like these labs to be an opportunity for you to apply what you’re learning to your own family as you go along. So use the computer in front of you. Look things up. Discover things that maybe we’re not teaching and then share those with us. How much you learn is up to you.

Our Vision

Powerpoint: These quotes are available on slide 4 of the Workshop 1 powerpoint so students can participate.

Elder Scott said, “The real value of research in identifying ancestors is providing the ordinances for them in the temple.” That is what we want to do: help you learn how to find family names that you can to take to the temple. It won’t necessarily be easy. In that same talk, Elder Scott said, “Success comes from a word that’s hard for us to sometimes accept, and that’s patience.”

However, he also ended with a promise: “As one of the twelve Apostles, I would like to invoke a blessing on you that as you pray you will know how the Lord feels about what you are doing. . . . I would like to also invoke a blessing that as you prayerfully ask for guidance in this sublime and important work, that you will have feelings from the Holy Ghost that will guide you.”

So pray about this work. Start praying today. Pray to know where to search. Pray that your heart will be touched by the Spirit of Elijah. I promise as did Elder Scott that you will be guided by the Holy Ghost and that you will have success.

5 Step Research Process

Family Tree helps us fulfill steps 1 and 2 in the Five Step Research Process. Step 1 is to identify what you know about your family. You can do this by:

●      Gathering documents you have around the house about yourself, your immediate family, and your ancestors.

●      Asking your family members what they know or remember about their lives and the lives of their predecessors.

●      Logging on to Family Tree to see what information others have submitted to the church about your family

Step 2 is to decide what you want to learn about your family:

●      Is the marriage date missing for your great-grandparents?

●      Have you always heard that your great uncle had a twin brother that died as a baby? What was his name?

●      Is the information in Family Tree approximated? Do you want to make that information more accurate?

Once you’ve seen what information is there, you can ask questions and determine how you can best contribute to your family tree.


The key here is to be specific. When you look at your family tree it can seem big and intimidating. If you focus on one family it makes things a little simpler to handle. From there, go even more specific. Example: I want to find my 3rd great grandmother Lily’s death information. Once you find (or don’t find!) this information you can move on to something different. This is so much easier to research than “I want to find out everything I can about my dad’s side of the family.”

Today’s Lesson

Today we’re going to talk about another place where you can record your research. It’s called Family Tree.

●      How many of you have already talked about Family Tree in your classes?

Family Tree

What it is (and isn’t)

Family Tree is the Church’s program for creating a family tree for the whole world. It’s how we submit names for Temple ordinances, and I like to think that it will be the basis for the book that will be worthy of all acceptation when it’s complete (D&C 128:27).

▪     If students bring up New FamilySearch, you may address the differences. Otherwise, you don’t need to mention it.

Registering for an LDS Account

Students will need their membership record number (they can often find this on their temple recommend, patriarchal blessing or from their ward clerk) and birthdate.

●      Go to FamilySearch.org

●      Click on “Sign in” in the top right-hand corner

●      Select “Create an Account” in the top right corner of the page

●      Give the desired information and click “Create an Account”

Once you’ve set up an account, you can get to your family tree from the FamilySearch.org homepage. There is a tab entitled “Family Tree” at the top of the page, or you can select the fan chart or family tree options from the main rotating image.

Navigating through the tree

Powerpoint: Slide 4 of the Workshop 2 powerpoint lists navigating goals the students should try to learn how to do.

Give students one or two minutes to navigate through their family tree and get familiar with how to do that. Walk around and answer questions.

o      Is there anything you couldn’t figure out how to do that you wanted to?

o      Was there anything you found strange or difficult that you would like to discuss?

May want to review:

●      Summary Card: By clicking on a name, it will bring up the person’s summary card—a card that shows basic birth and death information about a person.

●      Tree/Person: a quick way to get back to yourself or someone you have recently viewed in case you get lost in your tree.

●      Find: A quick way to search for someone within the entire Family Tree database.

●      Lists: The list of people you’re ‘watching’. We’ll go over what it means to ‘watch’ someone later in the lesson.

●      Descendancy/ Fan View: Gives you a different ways to view your family tree. Descendancy can be used for researching forwards in time and the fan view just lays out your pedigree in a different format.

Living People

How many of you have living family members that aren’t showing up in your family tree (like siblings)? Why do you think that is?

●      Viewable information is limited – privacy laws

●      You cannot merge living individuals

●      Adding living individuals just creates duplicates

o      Cases where adding a living individual is acceptable: if the living person who doesn’t show up on your tree is your direct line ancestor. You will have to add them before you can connect to their ancestors.

o      Cases where it’s not necessary: every other situation, including your siblings. Living people are likely in the database, you just cannot see them because their privacy is being protected.

Adding People to Your Pedigree

●      Search: If people are missing from your pedigree you can search them to see if they already exist in the database. You can start by clicking on the add husband/wife button. (Simply clicking the “Search” tab at the top of the screen will not allow you to add the person you find into your pedigree).

o      Always search for a person first before adding them into your pedigree! They may be there, just attached to another line of the family.

o      If you found the correct person you can go ahead and add them into your pedigree and whoever is linked to his/her pedigree will also be linked into your pedigree.

●      Add New Person: If your search comes up with no matches, you will need to add that individual’s information into the family tree database.

o      Click “Add” at the bottom of the search results.

o      Type in the individual’s information that is asked for and select “Continue.”

o      The system will search again for duplicates to verify that the record does not already exist and then add the new information into your pedigree. (Keep in mind that if the individual is living, they will not be searchable.)

Merging Duplicates

Why do you think there are multiple records for the same person on Family Tree? Why do you think we should take the time to combine them?

●      Click on a person’s name in the pedigree view to bring up his or her summary card.

●      Select the “Person” button at the bottom of the card. This should bring up a screen detailing information and sources for that individual.

●      Near the bottom of the individual’s info screen on the right-hand side, there should be a box titled “Tools.” Click on “Possible Duplicates.” This will take you to a screen with a list off all the possible duplicates for that person.

How do you think you could determine whether or not a record is a duplicate? What kind of things do you think you should you look for?

●      Review the duplicate matches Family Tree produced. Two links will appear to the right of the possible match: “Review Merge” and “Not a Match.”

o      “Review Merge” will allow you to compare your record to the selected record in more detail. It will also allow you to merge the information from the selected record with your record and delete the record for the selected individual.

o      “Not a Match” will eliminate that record as a possible duplicate. It will no longer appear when you search for possible duplicates. NOTE: There is not currently a feature to reverse this choice so use it sparingly.

●      If one of the records has information similar to your ancestor’s, click “Review Merge” and compare the information in further detail to determine whether or not they are the same person.

o      If you decide to merge the records, choose which information from the selected record you want to combine with your record. “Replace” or “Reject” each piece of information. Then scroll to the bottom of the screen and click “Continue.” The records will then be merged.

What should you do if you can’t tell whether the record refers to the same person you have selected?

●      Please don’t combine records if you’re not sure they are the same person. By the same token, please combine them if they are the same. If you’ve done your research, it should not be difficult in most cases to determine which records are duplicates. If you can’t tell, that might mean you need to wait to combine until you’ve done a little more research.

We’re going to give you a few minutes to search for duplicate records in your family tree. If you find a record that you’re sure is a duplicate, go ahead and merge the records. If you’re not sure, the TAs will be walking around and can help you think through it.

Research Help

Just mention “search records” so that they know if they click there it will automatically do a search for their ancestor with the information in family tree. Explain to them that we will go more into depth with the feature within the next few labs.

Latest Changes

This menu allows you to see what has recently been changed on an individual’s page. This is also where you would come to reverse incorrect changes you or another person made.

Viewing/Editing/Deleting a Person’s full information

●      View Person.

●      Click on the information you want to change.

●      Click “Edit”.

●      Change it, then add a reason why.

●      If you decided that the information you just added is incorrect, a small box with the heading Latest Changes will show all the recent changes that have occurred for that individual. You can click “show all” and select the information that you have just changed, then click “restore” next to that information. This should revert that individual's information back to what looked like before that change was made.  

Editing Relationships

You can modify the type of relationship between family members (biological, adopted, guardianship, or step). To do so:

●      Open the details page of the child, father, or mother.

●      Scroll down to the Family Members section, and hover your mouse over the name of the child whose parent-child relationship you want to change. An “Edit Relationship” link appears.

●      Click on that link to bring up the relationship page.

●      Underneath each parent’s name, there will be a “+ Add” button. If there is no relationship type listed, or if that relationship type is wrong, click the “+ Add” button to add a new relationship type. Select the type of relationship from the dropdown list and explain why you are specifying that type of relationship. If you are replacing an existing relationship type, be sure to delete the incorrect option.

You can also delete relationships on this page. All relationships between persons must be deleted before individuals can be deleted. To delete a relationship:

●      Follow the steps above to bring up the relationship page

●      Click on the “Delete Relationship” link under the “Tools” heading

Note: The above steps will allow you to edit a parent-child relationship. To delete a marriage relationship, go to an individual’s details page, scroll down to the Family Members section, hover over a spousal relationship, and click on “Edit Relationship.”

Creating a new source

Why do you think it is important to add sources to Family Tree? Why are sources significant?

●      Without sources, information is just family tradition. Family traditions must be verified which means as long as there are no sources, every generation will be repeating the same research that has been done countless times before.

●      By adding sources to Family Tree, others can quickly verify the quality of the sources and then move on to research other family members who may still need ordinances done.

How much information should you include with your sources? Is a URL enough?

●      Anything is better than nothing. However, the more information you add, the more likely others will be able to locate your source, which means they will be less likely to have to redo the research you’ve already done.

●      Any work worth doing is worth doing well. Sourcing is worth doing.

Add a new Source

●      Source Title—what you want to title this source i.e. Birth Record for Henry Martin Tanner

●      Web page—a URL or link to the record

●      Where the record is found—a thorough description of where to find the source. This should be thorough enough to be able to track that record down physically if the internet died tomorrow.

●      Describe the Record: type in the information you acquired from the source (i.e. on a census, you might fill in all the family members’ names, on a death certificate you could type in birth and death dates, etc.) [Consider copying and pasting the transcription right into the box.]

●      Reason to Attach to person—why this source is useful i.e. shows his birth information from government records

This will only add the source to the person. To relate it to his birth, select the source, click “Tag” and check any information this source is applicable to. Then when you click on that fact (e.g. the death date for your person), the source will appear at the bottom of the box as evidence.

The source is kept in your source box.

●      If you wanted to cite a source you have already entered for a new individual, click on the individual you want to source, scroll down to the sources section, and select “Go to Source Box.” From here, check the box next to the source you would like to use and click “Attach” on the right.

We will go over how to add sources from Family Search within a couple of weeks.


●      Discussions: found at the bottom of every person’s information screen.

o      add comments

o      discuss errors or points of controversy

o      collaborate with other people

●      Watch: click on the “Watch” button at the top of a person’s information screen to be notified when there are changes to that person.

Photos and Stories

Adding photos and stories is a great way to collaborate with others, help others get interested in their family history, and preserve your work and keepsakes.

●      Photos: at the top of an individual person’s information screen, click on the “Memories” tab.

o      Here you can view all photos in which this person has been tagged

o      Click “Add Photo” to add a new photo. This will take you to a new page with all of the photos you’ve added. To add a photo, click on the green plus sign labeled “Upload”

o      Drag and drop or click to find your photo. Be sure to review the upload guidelines and submission agreement before sharing your photos

o      If you have already uploaded a photo of the individual to whom you are adding pictures, you can attach that photo to the individual by checking the small gray box at the bottom of the picture and selecting the “Attach Photos” button at the top right corner of the screen

o      A “GO TO: ______” link should be at the top of the page to return you to the specified person in Family Tree

●      Documents: at the top of an individual person’s information screen, click on the “Memories” tab.

o      The process for adding a documents is much the same as adding a picture. The system supports jpg, png, and pdf files.

o      Use this to upload maybe a picture you found from a microfilm or a picture you took of a gravestone. Anything that pertains to the person but is not a picture of the person.

●      Stories: at the top of an individual person’s information screen, click on the “Memories” tab.

o      The process for adding a story is much the same as adding a picture. However, you cannot drag and drop stories. Instead, just copy and paste your text into the box and fix the formatting.

o      Additional family members can be tagged in stories and photos can also be added to illustrate them

Family Tree—In Progress

Family Tree is a new program—released in October 2012. As a result, it’s still a work in progress. Problems are being fixed and things are being added every day. If you stumble upon a problem as you’re using Family Tree, feel free to submit feedback using the green “Feedback” button on the side of each page. Also remember to be patient. Sometimes you may not understand how to get the program to do what you want it to. Or maybe it doesn’t yet have the capability. Stay calm, ask questions, and keep working. The Lord is hastening His work; just think: we get to be a part of it.

Zipping Multiple Documents into a Single Folder to Upload onto Learning Suite

Your professor may require you to upload your assignments to Learning Suite. Learning Suite will only allow you to upload one file per assignment. If your assignment requires multiple files, you will need to zip those files into a single folder.

●      Open the jump drive or folder where your files are located.

●      Hold down the Control key and click on each file you need to include in the zipped folder

●      Once all the files are selected, right click on one of the highlighted files, select:

        Send to→ Compressed (zipped) folder

●      Rename your folder if desired