Thursday, March 3, 2016

Adding a Life Sketch to the FamilySearch Family Tree

I updated my family tree information for Moses Smith (1732-1806) of Walpole, Massachusetts last week in RootsMagic when I wrote 52 Ancestors - Week 113: #136 Moses Smith (1732-1806) (posted 26 February 2016).

I also worked in RootsMagic to add events, standardize dates and places, and match parents, spouses and children in the FamilySearch Family Tree entry for Moses Smith (K2QK-D51).  Then there are Sources and Notes.  

One item on the FamilySearch Family Tree profile that I cannot add or edit from RootsMagic is the Life Sketch.  I have to do that from within the FamilySearch Family Tree.  I think that the Life Sketch is one way to add significant content to the Family Tree that might be found and read by other descendants or researchers for Moses Smith (and other of my ancestors).

To do this, I had a choice to use the Person Note in my RootsMagic program or to use the Notes in my blogp osts.  If I do the latter, I need to add the Sources also in the Life Sketch.  I chose using the RootsMagic Person notes.  Here is the RootsMagic General Note for Moses Smith screen:

I highlighted and copied the text of the Note above.

I opened the FamilySearch Family Tree, and went to the Moses Smith profile:

The "Life Sketch" right at the top of the profile in the left-hand column.  To Add or Edit information, I need to click on the right-arrow to the left of the words "Life Sketch."

I did this and clicked on "Add" and a window opened into which  I could paste the copied text:

I checked the spelling items noted, and then clicked on the blue "Save" button on the screen above.

The resulting Life Sketch area on the Moses Smith profile looks like this:

One problem with doing this is that some Life Sketches may contain more than 10,000 characters.  Moses Smith's Life Sketch had 2,888 characters, so there were 7,112 characters available.  There are some profiles where I have exceeded the 10,000 characters!

As I complete my 52 Ancestors biographies, I try to update the profiles for my ancestors in the FamilySearch Family Tree.  

Readers may note that I have some "Data Problems" in the right-hand column - I need to fix those by editing the Vital Information and selecting standard dates and places.

Are you working in the FamilySearch Family Tree on a regular basis?  I have matched almost all of my ancestors and their families back about ten generations.  The challenge is to select the best FSFT person when there are duplicates.  And to try to merge the duplicates.

My biggest challenge is when there are children in the FSFT family that are incorrect.  I just disconnected a second Aaron Smith (1765-1841) who was included in the Moses Smith family.  The wrong Aaron Smith was born in Alabama and died in Arkansas with a different wife and daughter.  I managed to Remove him from the family of Moses and Patience (Hamant) Smith using the online screens on the FamilySearch Family Tree.


Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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Melissa Finlay said...

When I have a life sketch over the 10,000 character threshhold, I add it as a story in its entirety, and cut it down for the life sketch. I actually add all life sketches that I write in as stories as well, as life sketches are publicly editable, whereas stories I submit are only editable by me.

Nicole Dyer said...

I usually do a very short description of their life in the life sketch and put everything desert in the stories section like Melissa.