2013 by Donald R. Snow

Sections of the Class Notes This page was last updated 2013-08-17.
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  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow ( ) of Provo and St. George, Utah.
  2. These notes with the Internet links active are posted on .
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  4. Today's presentation will be an introduction to FamilySearch Family FT (FS FT) and how to include sources for data


  5. FS FT program is still a "work in progress", but has many features available now, including adding data, sources, links, photos, and stories
  6. Original data came from the Summary view on "new FamilySearch", but much has been added since -- "new FamilySearch" is now closed and can be viewed, but not edited
  7. FS FT is only for deceased people due to privacy laws and goal is to have a single database that everyone works on to get it correct, post sources, documentation, photos, and stories 
  8. It is a "wiki" so you can go back to an earlier version, if it gets changed incorrectly. 
  9. Good place to store your proven (sourced) genealogy for deceased ancestors with the sources and documentation
  10. Will soon be able to post images of documents -- for now you can post the documents elsewhere and put a link to them in FS FT
  11. Recommended that you keep all your data and sources about the dead and the living in your own computer database in some genealogy management program, e.g. Ancestral Quest, Roots Magic, Legacy, etc.
  12. FamilySearch course on FS FT --
  13. Video lessons on FS FT --

  15. Sources are documentation that the fact is correct
  16. "Genealogy without sources is mythology." -- Genealogy without sources may be helpful, but don't assume anything is correct without checking it.
  17. Types of sources
    1. Primary Sources -- recorded at or near the time of the event by people there; may be vital records (birth, marriage, death), church records (birth, christening, baptismal, marriage, death), government records (census, land, tax, voter records), court records (wills, probate, legal documents), military records (service, discharge, pension, medical), newspapers at the time, etc.
    2. Secondary sources -- articles, books, compiled databases, indexes, tables, charts -- Good secondary sources will cite the primary sources so others can check them. -- Personal knowledge is usually a secondary source, unless you wrote the event in a journal when it occurred, for example, and then the journal is the primary source 
  18. When sources disagree explain the problem in the notes so others can see how you arrived at your conclusion and will know that you checked;
  19. primary sources sometimes disagree, but not usually; secondary sources frequently disagree due to typos, misreadings, using "personal knowledge", not using primary sources, etc.
  20. Good goal is to have one, and preferably two or more, primary sources for each genealogy fact in your database; I also include secondary sources so others can see that I was aware of them and they may lead to other information about the family
  21. With good sources no one has to go through finding the correct data again and people won't change your FS FT data without very good reasons
  22. Keep track of all the sources in your own home database program, so no matter what gets changed on FS FT, you will know what it should be and can repair it later
  23. Some references on sources and documentation from the FamilySearch Wiki (Learn)


  24. Start with a "research survey" of compiled (secondary) sources 
  25. Don't believe anything your relatives tell you without checking it.
  26. Good websites for primary and secondary sources -- FamilySearch Historical Records, Ancestry, WorldVitalRecords, many others
  27. Example:  In 1977 I went to St. Johnsbury, Caledonia, Vermont and got a certified copy of Levi and Lucina Streeter Snow's family births, 1803-1826, including Erastus Snow's birth -- Now the LDS Church has digitized, but not indexed, the Towns Records and posted them online at  so I have included it as a source in Erastus Snow's birth in FS FT.
  28. Search engines -- Google, Bing, Mocavo, many others
  29. A few Google tips
    1. Caps don't matter in search terms
    2. Quote marks before and after keep phrase the same
    3. Writing 1700..1800 searches only for records of that time period
    4. Erastus AROUND(4) Snow finds all occurrences of Erastus within 4 words of Snow, e.g. Erastus Snow, Snow Erastus, Erastus Beman Snow, Snow Erastus Beman Jr., Erastus of the Snow brothers, etc.
    5. [search terms] searches only that webpage for the search terms
    6. intext:ged [search name] finds GEDCOM files containing that person


  30. Will use Ancestral Quest as example, but all good genealogy programs have similar things
  31. Go to the person's information page -- click on Notes/Sources > Individual Sources > add source -- be sure to include title, location, what it says, how to find it
  32. Can "memorize" the source to the clipboard so you can paste it in another record after, if you want
  33. Can see a list of all your sources and can edit them later

  35. Sources for documentation in FS FT are down near the bottom of the "View Person" screen from their card
  36. The hope is that with good sources cited the data will stabilize, it won't be duplicated, and people won't change it without good reason.
  37. Can now include photos in FS FT, but they suggest you don't put images of documents there -- that will come soon
  38. Sources can include links to webpages on FamilySearch or other sites, e.g. Fold 3 has free Memorial Pages for individuals where you can post photos, images, and data and link them in FS FT -- -- Examples:  photos and other data of my mother and father are posted on Fold3 and linked to them in FS FT  (see PID's KWZC-D6V and KWZC-D6F) -- these photos could now be placed on FS FT directly
  39. To add sources directly for a person go to the person's View Person card, on Sources click "Add Source" and fill out the parts: Source Title,  Web Page (if there is one),Where the Record is Found, Describe the Record (Notes) where you write the information the source contains so it will always be available, even if the source or webpage is not available later -- It asks for a reason you are adding this source; also click on Tags and put checks to show what it substantiates, i.e. name, gender, birth, christening, death, or burial -- The Tags make the sources show as substantiating evidence when looking at that piece of data -- can only do it for these 6 items at present
  40. Your Source Box is a location set up in your account to store sources and links you find and might want to use -- See information about Source Boxes at  -- no one sees your Source Box but you, but everyone can see the sources you link to a person 
  41. Can create sources in your Source Box in three ways
    1. Directly by creating it in your Source Box by writing the title, description, URL, and notes
    2. By copying a source from someone's record -- click on View source, then on My Source Box, then Add to My Source Box
    3. By using the free Affiliate program RecordSeek -- -- that puts a bookmarklet "Tree Connect" on the taskbar of your browser which will put any webpage into your Source Box to attach to a person later -- very helpful and easy to use
  42. To attach a source to a person using your Source Box do the following.
    1. Go to the person's card on FS FT, go to Sources, and click Go to Source Box
    2. Find source in your Source Box and click Attach-- this puts it in a source for that person
    3. Go to that source on the person's card, click Tag, and put checks by what it supports, i.e. name, gender, birth, christening, death, or burial
  43. Sources in your Source Box usually alphabetize by title, so for ease of finding them I sometimes edit the title to put the surname first -- can edit sources in your Source box in one of two ways
    1. By clicking on the Source > View > Edit the item, or
    2. By clicking on the Source > Copy > [make changes] > Save -- then delete the original version-- can use this approach to copy a source such as a census record to put it into several records, but with each person's name in the title of his source
  44. Can form folders and subfolders in your Source Box to organize your sources, e.g. for surnames, locations, record types, Sources Completed, Sources Still To Edit and Attach, etc.
  45. After attaching a source to someone from your Source Box it shows how many people it is attached to
    1. If you want, you can then delete the source from your Source Box and this does NOT remove it from people it is attached to, only from your Source Box
    2. Or you can move the source to a "Completed Sources" folder that you have set up
  46. Can open your Source Box in another tab on the browser so you can see the sources you have, but go back to the tab with your Family Tree to add sources to people

  48. Good long-range goal is to have primary verification of every fact in your database -- impossible to achieve completely, but it helps focus your attention to make your data "worthy of all acceptation" as is stated in one of the LDS scriptures (D&C 128:24)
  49. Start small and don't try to do everything all at once.
  50. Looking for primary sources may lead you to further information about the family, e.g. other children, biographical information, stories about the family, etc.
  51. Helps turn your heart to your fathers

  52. Return to the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page or Don's Class Listings Page .