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Sources in nFS

Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 6:03 am
by MarianJohnson
I haven't seen much discussion about adding sources to nFS, so I thought I would share my experience in uploading some of my source information via a GEDCOM from PAF just to see what would happen.

I have tried to document my research using the process available in PAF, and in the case of sources on microfilm, include the microfilm numbers, etc. When I uploaded my sources from PAF, I noted the following problems. New FamilySearch has more fields, so some fields are blank. One field, Source Type, seems to default to "Other" because PAF doesn't have that field. I have to go in and change the source type for every source citation. Repository addresses are broken down so that city, state, country and zip codes are in separate fields in nFS, so I have to go in and copy and paste those items from the original general address field to ths specific fields. In many of the source entries I have looked at, the entire address was not transferred from PAF into nFS, so I have to go back to PAF and look up the address so that I can complete it in nFS. nFS does not have the option like PAF does of using the same source and/or repository in other entries, so entering sources into nFS directly is time-consuming. Uploading the information is somewhat better, but the above-mentioned changes have to be made.

Since we are being discouraged from uploading GEDCOMS of individuals already in nFS, does that mean we should take the thousands of hours needed to retype our sources into nFS, one by one, without the benefit of reusing the same source and repository? Will the new programs such as Family Insight give us any help with adding sources?

Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 7:25 am
by scion-p40
Excellent points! It would be nice to know how other software interfaces with nFS. That should have been tested (at least with PAF) long before a beta test.

Also, your thread echos one of the points made on the nFS sources thread: "sources" as used in nFS is not consistent with how genealogists use the word.

Soiurces in nFS

Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:35 am
by MarianJohnson
I have heard comments like yours that nFS sources are not consistent with how genealogists use the word. Would you explain what you mean by that? My effort to post sources produces the following fields:
Source Type
Source detail
Media type
Publication Information

Location Type or Repository: Name, Address, City State, Postal Code, Phone, Fax

Source Page Number
Actual Text

If a source has been posted for an event, when you click on the date and place field on the Details screen, the source appears. If no source is listed, only the Event information pops up, including the options to Edit, Delete or dispute, Add a note or Add a source. Clicking on Add a source brings up a screen with the above-mentioned fields.

Perhaps the sources you have seen posted contain a small subset of this list, but the option to enter information in each of these fields is there.

How is this different from the sources you genealogists use?

Sources in nFS

Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:59 am
by garysturn
Marian JOhnson wrote:Since we are being discouraged from uploading GEDCOMS of individuals already in nFS, does that mean we should take the thousands of hours needed to retype our sources into nFS, one by one, without the benefit of reusing the same source and repository? Will the new programs such as Family Insight give us any help with adding sources?

The method to load data from your PAF database to nFS will be changing soon. The new method will not require so much work. They discourage GEDCOM submissions because it keeps adding duplicate records to the folders. Folders with large numbers of duplicates have been one of the biggest problems that is slowing the rollout of nFS. They are working on solutions to solve these problems but for now we have restrictions.

The new method of syncing personal databases with nFS will be provided by private party software partners that nFS has certified to offer programs for your computer that will sync the data from your PAF database (or other programs database) with nFS. PAF Insight will be upgrading their program to sync with nFS and so will Legacy, Ancestral Quest, RootsMagic and some others. This syncing process will work both to and from nFS. See Review of some of these programs.

The source process will also soon be different because the future plans are to actually link source images directly to the data in the folders. So at some point in a future version of nFS when you click on a name, date or place you will be shown a copy of the actual source document. (birth record, death certificate, census etc.)

Posted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:55 pm
by scion-p40
For example, Search for Joel David Wightman, born 1853 (KCXY-3KJ). Click on Summary. Scroll to the bottom of the screen. Click on Individual Sources. The "sources" are all from old FS. Old FS does not hold any original source documents. Therefore, they are not a source in the way that genealogists use the term.

Sources in nFS

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:21 am
by alan_wambold
I looked at the record for Joel David Wightman in nFS and old Family Search. The individual sources in nFS indicate that the data comes from the IGI, AF, or PRF, although it is not clear what came from which source. In old Family Search you at least know what database the information came from and, in the case of the IGI, are presented with a film number so you can look at the original document or temple submission if one was microfilmed.As a genealogist I want to know where the information in the database originated and find that the sources in nFS are not as clear as in old Family Search.

I hope it will not be too long before we can link document images to the nFS records, however I won't be holding my breath waiting for that. The addition of sources by nFS users is an important facet of the mission of nFS in reducing duplication (of temple work and names in the database). Currently I find the system provided to do so is very clunky and discourages me from adding sources since I value my time and am loath to retype what I have already spent hundreds of hours typing in another database. I hope that Legacy (my preferred genealogy software) and others will make adding the sources I have already typed into my database an easy process.

On a different source related issue, it would also be nice if there wasn't a limit on the length of text that can be placed in a dispute. I have tried to provide a clear explanation with sources when entering a dispute only to have to remove the source citations to get within the set limit.

Sources in nFS

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:49 am
by garysturn
I agree with you that what you see for Joel David Wightman, born 1853 (KCXY-3KJ) are not what we would consider a document source citation. All this type of soruce tells us is that the information comes from a Temple Submission. When we submitted info to the Temple in times past there was no method for submitting sources that would remain with the record. None of these citations reference the AF or PRF but are all references to a Temple Submission. I am confident that if you were to look up the film# cited you would not find document source citations but only the information submitted to the Temple. We still need to know this type of source, it lets us know that the information we are viewing came from a Temple submission. We can use that informtion, since we know it was submitted to the Temple without sources included, we know that we need to find document sources to verify the data.

There is another way to view sources in nFS, in case some reading this thread are not aware. You can go to the details view in nFS and click on the name, date, or other event and you will get a list of the sources for just that event. If you click on the View Sources link at the bottom of the page on the summary or details views you will get all sources for all events. So if you want to just see the sources for one date, name or event, just click on that item in the details view.

Another thing some are not aware of, if you click on combined records you can see who submitted the information to the Temple. In this view you see each submission in a seperate column. You will see some labeled LDS Church Temple Records, if you click on that link, most of the time, it will list the name of the person who sent the info to the Temple and also list the Temple as a source of the info. Each Temple submission is both a submission from an individual to the Temple and a submission back from the Temple with the Temple completion dates added. (They do not show us the Temple dates in the Combined records view)

The nFS source citation option does allow us to create good source citations. It is not any secret that most of the information submitted to the Church over the years was submitted without sources, even if people had sources when they submitted the information, there was not a good method of submitting them. At least now we have a method of submitting sources and having them remain with the record.

I am also hopeful that Family Insight, Ancestral Quest, Roots Magic, Legacy, and other nFS partners will offer quicker methods of adding our sources to nFS from our personal databases. I am confident they will.

Sources in nFS

Posted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:28 am
by MarianJohnson
I agree with you about the length allowed for disputes. Usually there is a technical reason for a dispute, and it is nearly imossible to put the needed amount of information into the limited space allowed.

On the subjecot of sources, if you go to the details screen and click on each event - birth, death, etc., if nFS has any sources for that event, they are listed. This helps to narrow down which "sources" go with which events. Although the majority of sources now included were put there at the creation of nFS and tell where each item originated in Old FamilySearch, you will also find sources which were included by submitters in their Pedigree Resource Files. (Relatively few in number, however.) Remember the PRF was the only database that allowed the inclusion of sources in submissions. Most members of the church don't appreciate the importance of sources.

In my experiment to see how nFS handles uploading of sources, I uploaded a group of 100 names which included vital record sources and combined them. The note at the end of the upload indicated that they were all new names - they weren't - they needed to be combined. Then I added some additional sources to those names in my PAF file, such as census records, social security death index, and World War 1 Draft Registrations. I ulploaded the same names again with the additional sources, plus some new names. My experiment was to see if what I had read about GUIDS (called Unique Records Serial Numbers in PAF) really worked. In this second upload, I did not have to combine the entries I had previously uploaded - they were combined automatically, however, the message I received at the end of my GEDCOM upload indicated that only 8 individuals were not new. A second problem that occurred was that the vital record sources were not recognized as duplicates and were listed a second time. For example, see Everett Alvin Lewis, b. 1888 PID KFD4-NCQ

I am anxious to be able to have access to the images of sources, but I don't anticipate that will happen for many years. Many of my sources are vital records obtained from state or county sources, and if I want them to appear, I will have to scan and upload them myself. I wish these genealogical sites that we pay money to would focus on scanning and indexing old vital records rather than obtaining images of old newspapers, 99% of which have nothing to do with genealogy.