Thursday, May 19, 2011

The New FamilySearch Family Tree - Post 5: Adding Person Identity Data to the Tree

Previous posts in this series can be read in the New FamilySearch Family Tree Compendium.

In this post, I'm going to attempt to add the correct information about Isaac Seaver (1802-1870) into the New FamilySearch Family Tree while online in the tree database. 

Starting from the Details page for Isaac Seaver (PIN LWL3-LN4):

At the bottom of the page above, there is an "Add Information" link (not shown above).  I clicked on it and saw this form to select the information types to be added:


I checked only Birth and Death from this form, and clicked on the "Continue" button and saw the "Add Information" form with entries for the name, the birth and death data:

I added the name, the birth date and place, and the death date and place, to the form.  Even though I entered "20 Dec 1802" for the date, the form standardized it to "20 December 1802."  The system lets you define "On," "Before," "After," or "About" for the dates.Likewise, once I started typing "Westminster, Worcester" the form let me select "Westminster, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States" from a drop-down menu.  I had some trouble getting to the next form field in this process.  I'm pleased to see these standardization features in the online tree.

On the right side of the form above is "Where did you get the information?" with "Select a source" for each assertion being entered.  The user can uncheck the box to "Use this source for anything on this page."  I unchecked it, because the source citations for Isaac's birth and death are different.  It looks like I'll have to add separate source entries for each assertion.  I decided to enter my sources later for these assertions.

When I clicked on the "Done" button, I received a "Summary" page of the information I added:

It showed the information that I entered, and the standardized information that FamilySearch suggested for the dates and places.  The red line says "The name parts are denoted correctly."  I checked the box.

I clicked on "Done" and was back to the "Details" screen for Isaac Seaver (1802-1870, PIN LWL3-LN4).  I wondered if my information was added to the tree.    Since I entered the birth date, I clicked on the "Multiple" contributors link and saw a pop-up form:

The pop-up form showed me as a Contributor to this assertion of the date and place.  I clicked "Close."

What now?  How about the "Combined Records" screen - will I be on it?  I clicked on "Combined Records" at the bottom of the "Details" page and saw:

Hey, I'm Number 1!  Actually, there are 5 contributors to this specific Record, but my userID shows up in the form (last one in, I guess?).  Scrolling down the page above showed me two bothersome things - the assertion of a Birth in 1825 in Gardner, Mass. is in the column for Record 1 - I wonder how I can get rid of that?  The PIN number for this Person Identity is MSHG-F27.  Huh?  I thought we were working on LWL3-LN4?  My guess is that each one of the 12 entries on the "Combined Records" page have unique PIN numbers, and are combined into the LWL3-LN4 Summary. 

I went to the "Summary" page and clicked on down arrow to the right of the Death entry and selected the correct death date from the drop-down menu.  Then my userID showed up in the list of "Changed by" on the right-side of the screen. 

The "Summary" page for this person now looks like this:

I wanted to select the correct birth date and place also, so I clicked the down arrow next to the Birth fact and selected the right information from the dropdown menu, as shown above.

The "Summary" screen for Isaac Seaver (1802-1870) now looks like this:

My entries are now shown on the "Summary" page.  Apparently, I had to enter my own data in order to be able to select the information to be shown on the "Summary" page.  Will anybody know that I've done this exercise?  Only if they are watching this person - there is a "Watch" link at the top right of the screen.  I clicked on it and a pop-up box said:

 "You will receive weekly e-mail notifications about this individual. To stop receiving notifications, you can either change your preferences or click the unsubscribe link in your e-mail."

One other thing I noticed - the PIN For Isaac Seaver is now LHRX-R59.  Apparently, because I entered data into one the supporting PIN numbers, a new PIN number was created for Isaac Seaver which has all of the combined records.  I searched for the previous PIN number LWL3-LN4 and the system says it doesn't exist. 

If I had done the above process straight through without trying to capture screens, it would have taken about ten minutes.  The process is fairly cumbersome with many popup screens and forms, but it is logical.  FamilySearch has chosen to keep all of the records provided by all submitters, so the screens and forms have to accommodate that choice.  This isn't like our genealogical software where we have one field, with potentially many sources, for each Fact or Event. 

I still need to add the correct mother to Isaac Seaver - apparently Martha Whitney (1764-1832) is not identified as Isaac's mother in the New FamilySearch Family Tree yet.  Martha is in the tree, but not connected to Benjamin Seaver.  Another task!   I'm not quite sure how to do this in the online tree - perhaps by adding parents to the "Spouses and Siblings" page for Isaac Seaver (1802-1870) if the correct parents are not already identified in the online tree.

However, the next post will be about my experiences adding a source citation to Isaac Seaver's birth - I'm looking forward to that.  There is no source data yet for him, only assertions without documentation!

I will write about adding information to the online tree using a software program sometime next week.  I wanted to go through the process of adding information in the online tree first.

If readers more knowledgeable than I am have comments on my challenges and experiences here, please tell me how I should have done this, or of potential shortcuts that can be used to enter information into the online tree system.   I'm still learning here...

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