Wednesday, April 9, 2014

FamilySearch - Family Tree ~ Photos and Stories May Not Be Ready For Prime Time

FamilySearch has been touting the Memories section of Family Tree asking users tofsphotos populate the records of their ancestral families with photos and stories about them and their lives. Users have overwhelmingly responded adding thousands and tens of thousands of both items to records. Unfortunately, there is currently a problem. If the record with the photos and stories is merged into a duplicate record, the photos and stories can be lost.

Whoa! That doesn't track with the promises I remember reading about about these features when they were announced and introduced.  My memory is that they wouldn't be lost and that users could have confidence that they would be preserved for future generations.

FamilySearch support knows about the problem. When you contact them about the issue they recommend that you:

  1. Print, Copy or Download any photo and story that you didn't upload before you make the merge.
  2. Re-enter or Re-link them to the surviving record after the merge(s) is completed.

A Knowledge Document from FamilySearch provides the following recommendations to help you resolve the problem:

  • When you link a tag to a person in Family Tree, it is actually linked to the ID number (identifier number) of that person.
  • When you find that a person's Memories tab is empty or missing items or his or her portrait is missing in Family Tree, relink your ancestor's tag in Memories to the current ID for the person in the Family Tree.
  • If other people have contributed items for your ancestor, they will still show under People in Memories, but they will not be linked to the items you contributed. There may be duplicate albums in People for the same ancestor--one linked and one not linked to Family Tree.
  • You do not need to relink all the items previously linked to a person. Relink the tag for one item, and all items associated with that tag will be relinked.
  • If someone merges duplicate records in Family Tree and the ID associated with your ancestor's tag in Memories is deleted, then the link is lost.
  • After a merge, both the new and old ID numbers will show in the person's album in Memories. The old number, which is still linked to the album, shows to the right of the link name. The new number, which has not been linked to the tag, shows on the summary card when the name link is clicked. Click Unlink on the card, and link them to the new ID.

FamilySearch notes that its engineers are working on a solution. Until the solution is rolled out, make note of the issue. Be sure to put watches on the records of your ancestors that have photos and stories attached to them to be notified if a change occurs to their record. You may have to put the record back together.