Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Mailbox: Uploading Images of Sources

The Ancestry Insider's Monday MailboxDear Ancestry Insider,

Nowhere does “FamilySearch Family Tree Road Map” talk about uploading documents as sources. For example, a funeral program is a good source, but it isn't online to add to Family Tree. Many people seem to have many sources that aren't available online. When are they going to add the feature to upload them?

Greg LeBaron

Dear Greg,

I think it was in Tim Cross’s BYU session, “Plugging in Photos and Stories to FamilySearch Family Tree,” that someone asked if it was alright to upload images of documents instead of photographs. He answered that it was probably about time that users could start doing so.

In my article on Ron Tanner’s session, “FamilySearch Family Tree Road Map,” I report that “one day you will be able to associate a source with a photograph rather than a URL. Pick an image you have already uploaded, or upload a new one. That photo becomes part of the source.” By “photograph” he meant an image of a document.

The Ancestry Insider


  1. I have started adding sources to source box on's family tree. It is simple to use. You can find it on the 'person'' page of each individual on your tree.
    You just fill in the blanks. It is easy enough, But one word of advice about sources from multilevel websites where I have found info, I click on the urll again so I can make sure it is working. And I also try to give enough info so that someone else can find it even if the url changes (I have found several that did change). Websites grow and so do the levels you have to go down increase.

  2. I fellow staff member at our family history center shared this with the staff:

    1. Use Chrome as the browser and have the "Tree Connect" tool on the tool bar.
    2. Log into Family Tree and select the person page for an individual.
    3. Click the Tree Connect link of the tool bar, it will open, you log in with Family Search user name and password.
    4. Click the button in the upper right corner "Upload Media" and follow the instructions
    5. Select an image from your computer, it will upload
    6. Select create source and add the source information.

    Worked for me several times.

  3. You can start uploading documents as photos now for use as sources. See the bottom of my comment for an explanation that Tim Cross gave at

    However, I read somewhere that the intent was for researchers to upload personal documents (such as funeral cards and personal letters) or public records unlikely to ever be digitized (such as social security number applications or homestead applications). The upload process should not be used for microfilmed documents that will eventually be digitized or for copyrighted documents (such as images from Unfortunately, I can't find the source for this assertion. (If I find it again, I will update my comment.)

    Tim Cross on 6 Sep 2013 wrote:
    "We now know how we are going to handle documents. We will allow images to be toggled as photos or documents. Since we will be able to toggle them as documents, it is fine to upload them now as photos and change them to documents later. Understand that photos will be tagged with a circle while documents will be tagged with a rectangle.

    The URL for the photo can be used for the source if you use it as a source. The ability to identify the image while creating the source is coming."


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