Sunday, October 21, 2018

2-Year Temple Reservations Expiring Soon

A recent posting on the home page of FamilySearch.org refers to this. It may be confusing, as the article it points to in the FamilySearch blog is from last year. Oops!


But the November-December time period is when Temple Reservations have expired in recent years, so we expect it will happen soon.

What Happens:
Ordinances reserved prior to 1 May 2016 will be released.

Exceptions:
1. Any ordinance for that person has been completed since 1 May 2016. (This re-sets the clock.)
2. The ordinances have been shared with the temple.

Note:
If you have printed a card but the ordinances have been released the card remains valid. But just before using it, check that no one else has printed a card for the same ordinances. If they have, please destroy your card to avoid duplication of ordinances.

For further information, please click the link above.

Ordinances Ready

Ordinances Ready
A recent addition to the FamilySearch Family Tree mobile app is Ordinances Ready. It allows you to quickly find a few family names to take to the temple. The basic concept is to provide you with enough to accomplish during a single visit to the temple. So you can print cards for up to: 5 baptisms and confirmations, or 5 initiatories, or 1 endowment, or 5 sealings to spouse or 10 sealings to parents. And you are allowed 90 days to complete them, or they revert back to their previous status. This tool is for hastening the work, not for reserving large numbers of ordinances that never get done. I like it. To print additional cards for youth baptisms, I need to sign in as a Helper. Or have the youth print out their own cards.

From Ordinances Ready you can print the temple cards, or give the 16-digit number to the temple office and ask them to print the cards.

A web-browser based version of Ordinances Ready can be tried out on the Temple tab at https://beta.familysearch.org/  When the beta testing is completed, we expect it to be available at https://www.familysearch.org In the meantime it works in the iOS and Android versions of the Family Tree mobile app.

Tip
For the latest information, a good source is Ron Tanner's video blogs. He is the general manager of the FamilySearch Family Tree. https://www.facebook.com/pg/familyhistoryron/videos/

Ron's blogs gave me additional information on using Ordinances Ready, beyond what is given in the
knowledge article Using the Ordinances Ready feature to easily find names for the temple (542303)

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Missing Apps and Missing App Gallery

A few weeks ago the FamilySearch App Gallery became the Solutions Gallery. The link at the bottom of most screens takes us to the re-designed page. https://partners.familysearch.org/solutionsgallery/s/

What is the difference? Presumably it allows the scope of offerings to be expanded beyond apps. But in the short term, about 30 apps have ceased to be available there. This includes some favorites such as Find-a-record, and All-the-stories. According to the information at findarecord.com, a change to the FamilySearch API (application programming interface) makes it too costly to conform to the new specifications. That is really unfortunate. I hope that new Solutions will become available to fill the gaps, but old favorites will be missed.

One popular use of find-a-record was to find family names to take to the temple.Some other apps for that purpose seem to have vanished as well. But there is something new. Check out the Ordinances Ready function in the Family Tree app.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Some Current Issues

As of mid-October, some patrons are experiencing these issues;

1. Unable to view the new Person page. WindowsXP/Vista may be able to view the Person page when using Firefox even if it is not visible in Chrome. Older Macs may need to use Family Tree Lite to view the new Person page. https://familysearch.org/tree/lite This should work for other older computers that cannot view the new Person page.

2. The Submit button on the ordinance request form does not activate. This usually occurs when requesting ordinances under the 110-year policy. Try putting data in every possible field and removing parentheses from the phone number. (Even if the system puts them there.)

3. If the system does not allow you to edit the sex of a record, do a screen shot of the screen, then remove all relationships from the wrong-gender record, edit the sex and then add the relationships, using your screen shot for reference. Another alternative is to delete the wrong gender record and create a new record eith thr correct gender.

4. With the introduction of the new Person page, there arrived a new popup blocker that prevents doing searches from the Person page using ancestry.com, findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. I am unaware of a connection between the two items, but there might be one. Please see the screen shot below.


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Approximate Dates for Temple Submission Systems


Until the 1980s all submissions were done on paper.

1980s – computer submissions began: Submissions created in PAF were run through TempleReady in a FHC to check the IGI on CD-ROMs for completed ordinances.

1999 - FamilySearch.org went online (FamilySearch became the trade name for services of the Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.) We were still using TempleReady and IGI.

2007-2013 - Submissions were done using http://new.familysearch.org (This parallel web site was a vast improvement in preventing duplicated research and duplicated ordinances, as submissions were checked against completed ordinances in real time rather than against CD-ROMs that might be a year or more out of date. Only Church members had access to new.familysearch.org, but the general public had access to FamilySearch.org.)

2013 to present -   Family Tree replaced new.familysearch.org 
Family Tree is an integral part of the FamilySearch web site. Family Tree is an open edit, source-centric database that resolved some major issues with nFS, and added Memories and easy sourcing using our billions of historical records. It is still not perfect, but it is better than the systems that preceded it.

Some day we hope to have a system as good as the record keeping that goes on beyond the veil, but we are not there yet. 

History of FamilySearch:
The Genealogical Society of Utah was organized by the Church in 1894. 
Later it was renamed the Genealogical Department, and it is currently the Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We use FamilySearch as a trade name. 
(This can be confusing as the leader has the dual titles of "Managing Director of the Family History Department ..." and "Chief Executive Officer of FamilySearch International". He reports to a committee headed by Elder Bradley Foster of the Seventy, who report to the Apostles and the First Presidency). 

So basically GSU became the Genealogical Department, which became the Family History Department AKA FamilySearch.

Friday, May 25, 2018

A Farewell to the FHC?

After 8 years of serving in the Riverbend FHC, last night I completed by last scheduled shift and turned in my key. It seemed strange. I will still be available as an occasional substitute, but I will not have a regular schedule. Nearly 4 years ago I was released as director, and my wife and I began serving as volunteers, since our new ward was not in the Riverbend Stake. Her health has been declining gradually, so it will be a blessing to not need to drive into Edmonton to serve a shift every Thursday.

In the future I may have fewer opportunities to post about FHC concerns, but as I continue my mission in FamilySearch Help Division, and I continue to help ward members with their family history, I should still have suggestions from time to time.




Friday, May 11, 2018

What can we do to help patrons use their own accounts?

1. I saw a support case this morning where someone had reserved ordinances at a FHC by sitting down at an unused computer where the previous patron was still logged in to familysearch.org. But they did not realize what they had done until later.
"Can't FamilySearch just give me back my temple reservations?"
"Sorry, but to us it appears that the other patron reserved the ordinances. You can use private messaging to explain to the other patron and ask them to unreserve the ordinances or share them with you."

2. In my FHC someone had set 4 of our 5 computers set to remember the passwords. Ouch! It doesn't hurt to check periodically.

3. In the case of email, sometimes we are automatically logged into someone else's email account by simply going to that email page. This can be embarrassing for staff and patrons. All we can do in this case is remind patrons to log out of their email account and not just close the page.

From the FamilySearch knowledge base we have these instructions:

53344 Set up browsers to not save passwords at a family history center

Family history center patrons should not save passwords to websites when using a center computer. Use the instructions below to configure each browser so it does not remember passwords.

Microsoft Edge

  1. In the top right portion of the screen, click the 3 dots icon.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the list, and click Settings.
  3. Scroll down, and click View advanced settings.
  4. In the Privacy and services section, find "Offer to save passwords."
  5. Click the blue button so that it turns white and you see "Off" to the right of it.

Firefox

  1. In the top right corner of the browser toolbar, click the 3 lines
  2. Click Options.
  3. At the top of the Options window, click Security.
  4. In the Passwords section, click to uncheck the box beside Remember passwords for sites
  5. At the bottom of the Options window, click OK.

Internet Explorer [IE does not work well on our site]

  1. On the browser tool bar, click the down arrow beside Tools
  2. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options (the last item on the list). 
  3. In the Browsing History section, click to add a check to the box beside Delete browsing history on exit
  4. Click OK.

Chrome

  1. In the top right corner of the browser tool bar, click the 3 dots
  2. Click Settings.
  3. At the bottom of the page, click Show advanced settings.
  4. Scroll to Passwords and Forms. Click to remove the check mark beside Offer to save your web passwords