Change in Family Activity report ?

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sevfrance
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Change in Family Activity report ?

#1

Post by sevfrance »

I noticed today when reviewing the family activity report for our stake that % of members who have completed the first 4 generations has just dropped to 1/2 of what it used to be. This statistically does not make sense so my assumption is that the criteria to determine this or the programming has changed. Also to note the number of member in our stake is less this year than last year. Lastly if I was to guess the currenly stat is more accurate than the one listed for the past number of years.
Does anyone have any insights on this ?
davesudweeks
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Re: Change in Family Activity report ?

#2

Post by davesudweeks »

I noticed this in our ward. I suspect there may be system issues causing the calculations to be off (unless some change has been made on how it is calculated). My guess is almost no one on this user-to-user mutual help forum knows what has happened. I will provide feedback from the report page so there is an official support request.
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aebrown
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Re: Change in Family Activity report ?

#3

Post by aebrown »

sevfrance wrote: Sun Feb 06, 2022 4:11 pm I noticed today when reviewing the family activity report for our stake that % of members who have completed the first 4 generations has just dropped to 1/2 of what it used to be. This statistically does not make sense so my assumption is that the criteria to determine this or the programming has changed. Also to note the number of member in our stake is less this year than last year. Lastly if I was to guess the currenly stat is more accurate than the one listed for the past number of years.
Does anyone have any insights on this ?
There has indeed been a change in the way this particular statistic is calculated. Apparently there was supposed to have been a note included with the January FHAR, but that somehow didn't happen. Here is the note that was supposed to have been included:
The “Family History Activity Report” found in Leader and Clerk Resources (LCR) has been adjusted to represent only the Family Trees of members who have a FamilySearch account. This change will result in a lower number of “First Four Generation Trees” reported. This adjustment should give leaders more accurate information about member family history activity in their unit.
So basically there were members who never created a FamilySearch account, but a 4-gen tree was create for them anyway, and their numbers were part of the numerator in the calculation of the percentage of 4-generation ancestors. Now they are no longer part of the numerator, but the denominator is the same. If your ward has a large number of people who have no FamilySearch account, the drop in the percentage could be significant.
davesudweeks
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Re: Change in Family Activity report ?

#4

Post by davesudweeks »

Thank you for the clarification. In our ward, it was about 20% drop.
russellhltn
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Re: Change in Family Activity report ?

#5

Post by russellhltn »

aebrown wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 9:11 am So basically there were members who never created a FamilySearch account, but a 4-gen tree was create for them anyway,
I'm trying to picture how this might have worked (assigning trees to members without an account to link them back to the ward)- Assuming a family of 4 with the wife being the one who did her 4-gen: previously her children would have been "credited" with having done at least the maternal half of it even if they did nothing. But now, without an account, they're at 0%.

I'm just thinking that a better understanding of how it used to work would help understand why it was an undeserved number.
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

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aebrown
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Re: Change in Family Activity report ?

#6

Post by aebrown »

russellhltn wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 12:30 pmI'm trying to picture how this might have worked (assigning trees to members without an account to link them back to the ward)- Assuming a family of 4 with the wife being the one who did her 4-gen: previously her children would have been "credited" with having done at least the maternal half of it even if they did nothing. But now, without an account, they're at 0%.

I'm just thinking that a better understanding of how it used to work would help understand why it was an undeserved number.
The process that was done behind the scenes is the same one that is still used when a member creates a FamilySearch account now. And remember that a member's membership record connects them to their ward, and FamilySearch has access to that information, even if the person has never created a FamilySearch account.

First of all, note that living persons receive special attention in FamilySearch. Each living person is unique to a user. So if I have a record for my living father, that is distinct from the record he sees, which is distinct from the one that my living mother sees, which is also distinct from those that my siblings see. Each of us is looking at a different copy of the same living person.

A living person in Family Tree will be connected to no one at all initially. Then somehow they have to get connected to their parents (who may be living or dead). Then the parents have to get connected to their parents, and so on. At some point, those connections will be to deceased people in Family Tree. At that point, the work that a sibling or spouse or cousin may have done becomes a distinct benefit, because the rest of the tree for that branch is immediately filled in. But until those living people and relationships are filled in, there is no connection to the existing people in Family Tree.

All that I have described above has to be done manually for those who are not members of the Church, or whose parents are not members. But for members, we have the benefit of having access to membership records, which contain relationships to parents. Using that information, FamilySearch can create relationships and living person records as far back as the membership information goes. And Family Tree records for deceased members of the Church are connected to their membership record as well, so those connections can be made all the way back to the deceased ancestor (as long as that ancestor was a member of the Church). For people whose families have been members of the Church for many generations, it is common for all 4 generations to be filled in automatically.

Now if someone has never created a FamilySearch account, those initial relationships to their parents in the Family Tree will not be created, and so their percentage will be 0%. Remember that we are talking about a Family History Activity Report. That number of 0% is a much more accurate indicator of their activity level than 86% or 100% or whatever they might have had credited to them in the past. It's certainly a significant change, and I personally did a double take when I saw the huge decrease in my ward's percentage, but once we get used to it, it will better reflect the actual level of activity in our wards and stakes.
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aebrown
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Re: Change in Family Activity report ?

#7

Post by aebrown »

davesudweeks wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 11:22 am Thank you for the clarification. In our ward, it was about 20% drop.
You're welcome. Note also that in the last hour or so, a Help Center article was created that explains the change (note that in order to see this article, you have to be signed in to FamilySearch with an account that shows you are a member of the Church):

Change to the Family History Activity Report (FHAR)
russellhltn
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Re: Change in Family Activity report ?

#8

Post by russellhltn »

aebrown wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 1:26 pm For people whose families have been members of the Church for many generations, it is common for all 4 generations to be filled in automatically.
Got it. Thanks for the explanation.
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brenmar
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Re: Change in Family Activity report ?

#9

Post by brenmar »

aebrown wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 9:11 am
sevfrance wrote: Sun Feb 06, 2022 4:11 pm I noticed today when reviewing the family activity report for our stake that % of members who have completed the first 4 generations has just dropped to 1/2 of what it used to be. This statistically does not make sense so my assumption is that the criteria to determine this or the programming has changed. Also to note the number of member in our stake is less this year than last year. Lastly if I was to guess the currenly stat is more accurate than the one listed for the past number of years.
Does anyone have any insights on this ?
There has indeed been a change in the way this particular statistic is calculated. Apparently there was supposed to have been a note included with the January FHAR, but that somehow didn't happen. Here is the note that was supposed to have been included:
The “Family History Activity Report” found in Leader and Clerk Resources (LCR) has been adjusted to represent only the Family Trees of members who have a FamilySearch account. This change will result in a lower number of “First Four Generation Trees” reported. This adjustment should give leaders more accurate information about member family history activity in their unit.
So basically there were members who never created a FamilySearch account, but a 4-gen tree was create for them anyway, and their numbers were part of the numerator in the calculation of the percentage of 4-generation ancestors. Now they are no longer part of the numerator, but the denominator is the same. If your ward has a large number of people who have no FamilySearch account, the drop in the percentage could be significant.
Posit a member who somehow has a 4-gen tree but does not have a FamilySearch Account and thus are (now) not part of the numerator. If they have or obtain a Church Account and sign into FamilySearch using that Church Account, do they again become part of the numerator? Or, If they create a FamilySearch Account, do they again become part of the numerator?
davesudweeks
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Re: Change in Family Activity report ?

#10

Post by davesudweeks »

Aebrown may correct me (and I welcome correction if it is needed), but my interpretation is: if they don't have a FamilySearch account, they don't have 4 generations in their family tree (in FamilySearch). This involves more than just creating an account. They will have to create an account and then link into their FamilyTree by adding living ancestors (if they have them) and then connecting to deceased ancestors already in FamilySearch.

I have helped some friends do just that and they were amazed that once they connected to their most recent deceased ancestors, their family tree automatically extended further back than they imagined. They were excited, to say the least.
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