Thursday, December 19, 2013

New FamilySearch Now Read Only

Yesterday New FamilySearch (NFS) was switched to read-only mode. That doesn’t mean that no changes will occur to the NFS information. It only means that no changes can be made using the NFS website. The NFS database will continue to be synchronized with the FamilySearch Family Tree database. Changes made in Family Tree will be reflected in NFS. Visitors to NFS were greeted with this message:

Starting 18 December 2013, NFS is read-only

Those that login to NFS will see a simplified interface. The only remaining options are “Me and My Ancestors” and “Search.”


Edit links have been removed, as well as temple options. This forces members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to switch to Family Tree.

Because the two databases are still being synchronized, IOUSes will still not be combinable in Family Tree. I don’t recall if FamilySearch has given a date for turning off the synchronization between the two trees. Has anyone heard anything? Whatever you’ve heard, my sense is that we will continue to live with that limitation for a long, long, long time.


It was my intent to write about another feature of Family Tree, but Wednesday night as I attempted to do so, the FamilySearch website was malfunctioning. I’d had other problems earlier in the day. I had seen server errors and website timeouts off and on the entire day.

I wondered if it was just me so I tried the website. Enter the name of a website and the “Down For Everyone or Just Me” website will check it for you. If the website (in this case, is down for everyone, it will tell you so. It was.

Wednesday night, when viewing the list of persons tagged in a document, the links to Family Tree wouldn’t function. I switched browsers from Firefox to Chrome and Internet Explorer. In these browsers, the errant links were completely missing, as were the red exclamation points indicating non-linked persons.

In Firefox, links to Family Tree were inoperable.  In Internet Explorer and Chrome, the Family Tree links were non-existent.
In Firefox (left), links to Family Tree were non-functional. In Internet Explorer (right) and Chrome, the links were non-existent. works most of the time. But I’ve had problems at least once a day this week. More weeks than not I have at least one problem and often more.

I better erase the next paragraph. It’s late and I’m frustrated. (Don’t worry; there were no swear words.)

I try .. .. … …. …….. and ……….. … …, but …. …. … …... …… … .. …..


  1. Against my better judgment, I uploaded a GEDcom to family search on Dec. 6, 2013. I accidentally found it and it was all wrong. Son married to his mother, spouse and/or children not listed, a total mess. How do I delete the whole tree? There is not enough time in my life to FIX it. I have over 3,000 people in my tree. I will not FIX it! familysearch won't give me any help, insisting that I not delete anything but rather make changes to the errors. Really? When Hell freezes over I might consider it. I don't even know how to find my tree. When I click "my tree" it's a blank tree with my sign in name on the pedigree and all the rest are blank so I know that is not it. Oh, why did I listen to bloggers telling me what a service I would do to others searching if I would upload my tree there. I knew better and I did it anyway. I am regretting it every minute of every day.

  2. T. If all you did was upload the GEDCOM to FamilySearch from the Genealogies section you can go back to there and delete the file. Just use the trash can icon you will see to the right of the name of the file you uploaded. Make sure and be logged into FamilySearch. If you used the compare feature to actually add the names to Family Tree (one product on FamilySearch) then right now there is no way to do a mass removal of names.

    1. Thank you. familysearch finally told me how to find the GEDcom to delete it and I've done it. My upload just went nuts and there is no way I would attempt to fix it. All the original errors that others have put there are still there. Too bad because it's a terrible mess. When I first started my tree I used Familysearch and learned real fast to triple check every person. The errors are beyond belief. Anyone with the same surname was added to my ancestry whether it could possibly be or not. Some were in two countries at the same time, married to their parent or to someone unidentifiable, children born in the same year as a parent, children born a hundred years after a parent was born. So many errors there I do not trust anything I see.

  3. Most of the discussion I have seen on the Family Search discussion board at regarding uploading GEDCOMs is that is does not seem to work very well and that is it very hard to get the GEDCOM to then move over into Family Tree because the match process take so long. So I have to wonder what really happened with your file.

    First off, did you just up load your GEDCOM into the Genealogies section of Family Search where it is safe and sound and untouched? Or did you actually get your file to merge into Family Tree and go through the process of having all 3000 of your names be compared for duplicates and then confirm adding new individuals one by one? I have heard that process takes many hours and frequently hangs up completely.

    If your GEDCOM is in the Genealogies section, then it is available for other researchers to see and make use of but not to make changes to. The website also states that such a file can be removed by the contributor at any time.

    If your GEDCOM is only in the Genealogies section and you found your family information in Family Tree with a lot of errors, then what you are finding is the combined work of hundreds of different people over the past 150 years. If you don’t want to contribute to cleaning up that information by correcting errors in individuals and family relationships, then that is fine. Ideally someone in the family will some day, potentially making use of the information you contributed in your upload. What you were told by the Family Search help people, that you should not go in and just delete a large section of Family Tree is correct. That would delete everyone else's work on those lines and hide any and all ordinances for those people, making it appear as if no ordinances had ever been done for them.

    You might want to report your concerns on the discussion board with more details of what you did and what you see on FamilyTree, including specific individuals with PID numbers, and see what other comments, suggestions, and explanations you might get.

  4. Will this tranferring to Ancestry mean that they will have access to all and then CHARGE people to view the information? That is why I quit putting info into Family Search because it happened with another site that I had entered iformation. I never plan to PAY for what was freely given.

    1. I didn't know familysearch was incorporated with When did that happen?

  5. I would have to agree that there are significant performance problems with FamilyTree. It seems like all too often you get "Service Unavailable" or if it is working, it takes a very long time for the screens to redraw or you continually get error messages like "No server is available to handle this request." Perhaps they should take a break from rolling out new features in FamilyTree and work on stabilizing the system.

  6. When will FamilySearch allow users to fix merging mistakes done in new familysearch? Presently, you can only undo merges that have been made since the launch of Family Tree. The temple ordinance info on several of my family relations isn't correct due to these erroneous merges.


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