Monday, October 22, 2012

Sourcing in the FamilySearch Family Tree

Firstly go to and click Sign In
This will take you to a form where you input your user name and password, and click the Sign In button.

Now you will return to the home page, but your name will be shown in where Sign In used to be, and there will be a new Family Tree menu beside the FamilySearch logo. Click it to view your family tree.

If your tree is not displayed, you may need to refresh the screen. If you have not yet been given access to the Family tree, click Help and search for the term: Family Tree access
Then open the document about access to the family tree, and click the internal link to get access.  

Now your tree will be displayed, with your children on your left and your ancestors on your right. You can browse your tree or click on Search to search for an individual. Click on the name, then View Person to view the information about that person. You can scroll down to see all of the information.

Scroll down to the Sources area.

To create a new source, click Create a New Source.
In our example, we will add a photograph of Thomas George Ing and his wife Martha Jane Forsbury.

We will include notes and the web address (URL) and save this source.

And now their marriage certificate:

And of course, when we have added them to Thomas, who else will we add them to?

This is where the FamilySearch Source Box is handy. We do not need to re-create the source, we just need to click on Martha's name and scroll down to her Sources. Open the Source box and attach the sources to Martha. It takes less than a minute. Compare that with adding sources on other sites and in software you may have!

This is very cool! If you have linked to a photo or document, anyone viewing the person's Details page will be able to see the photo or document by clicking the link! Try it. Search for KXVY-4H6

When we find something when researching in FamilySearch, it only takes a click to add it to our Source Box. Then we go to the person's Details (View Person) page, scroll down to Sources , open the Source Box, and Attach the source. It only takes a minute or so.

When creating sources, popular sites for uploading photos and documents include Picasa and Flickr, and of course the Public folder of your own Dropbox account if you plan to maintain it over time.

Once you have attached a source to everyone it applies to, you can safely remove it from your Source Box. (But do not remove the image from the remote website.) The source will remain attached to the people you attached it to. This will help to keep your Source Box to a manageable size.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Online Training Video Problems

Online Training Video Problems

We have some excellent free training videos especially on the new FamilySearch Family Tree
but you may experience problems.  

These videos can be found at by clicking on Help, and then looking below the search form on the left-hand side of the screen. They can also be found at / or 

Some users are finding that some videos play without a hitch, but the videos in MP4 format are impossible to use. This document should help.

I can't play many of the FamilySearch training videos available online

The link doesn't work! It brings up an error message.
The sound is muddy/it sounds like it has an echo
The picture is too large or the wrong shape for my screen

The videos that cause problems are usually in MP4 movie format, and the computer is running Microsoft Windows. (MP4 is a common Apple movie format.) The video on sourcing in the Family Tree is a typical problem case. This video can be found in the Family Tree area of the Help Center.

Your computer may not have a suitable player installed. If this is the case, you can install a free player that supports MP4 movies. Popular choices include Apple Quicktime and VLC media player

If the sound seems muffled or has an echo, you probably have the file open multiple times and the copies are playing out-of-sync with each other. In that case, close the extra players, and the sound should become crisp and clear.

If you can only see part of the picture, pressing Crtl+F may resize it to fit your screen.

Download the video:
In many cases, downloading the file will give you better control of how it looks and sounds. To download it, right-click on the link and select Save target as/Save link as, then choose a location for it. The Quicktime and VLC software have a variety of settings in the View or Video menu. In Quicktime, Ctrl+3 is the shortcut to resize the image to fit the screen.

These videos provide excellent training. If you plan to use them for a class, workshop, or other group setting, try them in advance to make sure everything is working. This is especially true if you are using an unfamiliar computer that may not have an MP4 movie player installed.