Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New Options for the Research Assistant

Today we added options to the Research Assistant. Now you can limit the search to specific portions of your tree via a drop-down menu on the left side.

As the help page explains:
  • Ancestors - Only searches through your direct ancestors. These are the people that would appear in a pedigree or fan chart. This does not include descendants, collateral lines, nor additional spouses of ancestors that you do not descend from (i.e. your great-grandfather's second wife).
  • Descendants - Only searches through your direct descendants. This does not include spouses.
  • Ancestors and Descendants - Searches through both your direct ancestors and descendants. This does not include collateral lines, additional spouses of ancestors that you do not descend from (i.e. your great-grandfather's second wife), nor the spouses of descendants.
  • Cousins - Searches through your ancestors, descendants, and the descendants of your ancestors (cousins). This does not include spouses.
  • Everyone - Searches through anyone connected to your tree. Gives preference to your direct ancestors and descendants, while still allowing collateral lines to be visited if you don't have many direct ancestors and descendants or if they don't have many research opportunities that we can find.
How will you use these new options? Are there other options that you would like to have?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Using the Research Assistant to Participate in the LDS Youth Temple Challenge

LDS youth were recently extended the temple challenge by Elder Neil L. Andersen. He challenged the youth to take their own names to the temple - every time they go. The hardest part of this challenge is finding names that are ready for temple work.

The Find-A-Record Research Assistant makes it easy to find names that are ready. Just sign in with your FamilySearch username and password. Once you're done signing in, the Research Assistant will immediately begin searching your tree for many types of genealogy research opportunities.

For the youth doing temple work, they're just interested in the LDS ordinances of baptism and confirmation. So we can turn off all of the other categories by clicking on the checkbox next to them.

Now the list will be filtered to only show us ancestors that are ready for their baptism and confirmation to be reserved. If you descend from LDS pioneers then it could take a few minutes to find someone.

Click on one of the results to see details about the ancestor and the ordinances that are ready to be reserved.

Click the blue "Reserve Ordinances" button to continue the reservation process at FamilySearch.org.

Watch out for warnings about possible duplicates, such as in the image below. This means FamilySearch has detected a very similar person that already has their ordinances done. It's best to ignore these and leave them for more experienced genealogists to resolve.

Watch the demo below for further help using the Research Assistant to find LDS ordinances.