10 July 2015

Printing Features at FamilySearch: If it was a snake it would have bit me.

I have been using FamilySearch Family Tree since it was in beta. I love the functionality of the website and the focus on pictures and stories and how user friendly it is to everyone including beginners. I think I have become so focused on finding my people that I have ignored or not noticed some of the features that are available.

This week I attended a meeting where we discussed some of the exciting new features that are being developed for FamilySearch. I finally had time to sit down and blog about the news and started going through beta.familysearch.org to create screenshots for the blog. I started with my person or profile  page and was clicking through the print options on the right hand side of the page.

When I saw the portrait pedigree option I thought about my 52 Questions week 3 post and thought I wish these new features were out when I made that post. I jumped onto my blog and scrolled through my posted and there in my post about Family Search Photo Finds is a screenshot of a profile page and the print options are on that page too. I quickly realized that the beta site that I currently have access to is not the same beta site I saw in my meeting and that these printing features are live on the site right now! I will have to get access to or find images for that gamma site for a later post. I figured that since this was new to me, someone else may appreciate the information. If you already know about it then you'll be left with only the references I made about new features.

The first printing option is the Pedigree Chart. This record makes me glad to know in a time when we are focused on Family History that staples of genealogy are still being thought of and cared for by FamilySearch leaders and developers. This pedigree contains all of the vital information and LDS ordinance information for the person selected and the next three generations of ancestors.

This view of the data in FamilySearch is a good way for me to see any data that is not correctly formatted or missing. I have found plenty of edits I need to make. I am not sure if or when I would print these out. but it is a great way to have off line data in an organized and readable way.

The second printing option of Portrait Pedigree is not a form but a visual representation of the person from whose profile page you selected to print from. The above Portrait Pedigree shows my 2nd great-grandfather, his spouse, children and their spouses, parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. I can see I have more pictures to find and link for this part of the tree.

I have discussed the Fan Chart in previous posts. This is a great visual way to display your pedigree or a pedigree of someone in your family. You can also save this as a pdf for your electronic files. I have had this or similar Fan Charts on the wall in my office for several years. This also is a good way to see where possible work may be done in a family or tree.

The Family Group Record information is automatically filled out for the family, including LDS ordinance dates. To my delight, this page is an editable pdf. The blue fields you can see allow you to add or change information. It makes me think of those dot matrix printed sheets that my uncle Michael Hill painstakingly filled out on the computer or the thousands of hand filled Family Group Records genealogists faithfully filled out for their descendants.

The difference between printing Family and Family with Sources is simply the addition of sources. Above is one of 15 pages of sources tied to Samuel and Emma Trotter and their family. Not all Family Group records will contain this many records but they will contain all of the records that are attached to the profiles of the people in the family you are interested in.

That's it. There you have it. Print away.