Wednesday, May 28, 2014 Adds Linking Tool to FamilySearch Collection

The new feature doesn't work on all trees.Amy Johnson Crow, spokesperson recently wrote about a new feature on the ability to link a record from an image-only collection to someone in your tree. They fly a bit under the radar, but both and have collections that haven’t been indexed. I’m on a bit of a crusade this year to get people utilizing these collections better. If you find a record of an ancestor in one of these collections, it used to be impossible to attach the record to someone in your member tree.

To try this new feature, I attempted to attach a map of Marshall, Oneida, New York. Clicking the orange save button produced the message to the right.

I was disappointed that didn’t have the capability that Crow suggested. I thought maybe it was just a limitation on books—some of which handles a little differently.

I tried an image from the “Associated Press, The AP World, 1943–2001” collection. That too, could not be attached.

I decided to try the collection that Crow demonstrated, “North Carolina, Confederate Soldiers and Widows Pension Applications, 1885-1953.” Interestingly, the source information for this collection stated that it is from FamilySearch. I randomly browsed one of the options, “Rainey, William - Reed, William H.” It was a FamilySearch microfilm header. I clicked the orange Save button and it worked as advertised.

The Save button has an option to save the record to a person in your tree.

I selected a tree and began typing in a name. A list of matching names dropped down and I selected one of them. I could then select from a dropdown list of event types consisting of birth or birth substitutes (baptism, christening, confirmation), death, marriage, and residence. Beneath that I could specify the basic information about an event: date, place, location, and notes.

Specify the tree, person, and event information.The example date was “Nov. 1, 1980.” I tried the genealogical standard date format and it worked fine. It showed “Country, State, County, City” in the location field, but when I started typing in a location, the dropdown listed locations in the more conventional smallest-to-largest format. These are trivialities but I bring them up because they show that software designers at and FamilySearch often don’t do genealogy themselves and sometimes don’t consult with genealogists as they implement their products.

I clicked Save and it showed a confirmation message inviting me to go to the person’s profile page or save the record to another family member. That’s nice because records usually mention more than one family member.
On the person’s profile page, the event was entered into the timeline with the information I specified and a link back to the record.

The event is placed in the person's timeline.

This is a slick feature. Too bad FamilySearch can’t do this. Maybe someday they will implement timelines too. In the meantime, use it on I don’t know what determines if the feature is enabled on a particular collection—maybe its just image-only collections from FamilySearch—but I hope they extend it to all collections.


  1. It appears that from my tree I can't add records (such as census) that aren't part of the Family Search record group on Ancestry. It's a dandy feature that hopefully will only get better.

  2. "These are trivialities but I bring them up because they show that software designers at and FamilySearch often don’t do genealogy themselves and sometimes don’t consult with genealogists as they implement their products."
    I've actually had Ancestry employees try to convince me otherwise when I've stated something similar on their Facebook page. I'm pleasantly surprised that they've come up with something useful. Of course a friend posted a link to this and right below it another friend was complaining because Ancestry has consolidated the Find A Grave indices (previously they were indexed by state) and all her detailed citations are gone. Another friend said her citations were intact. I haven't checked my tree yet but if I have to reconnect all those F. A. G. citations they are going to have one ticked off customer on their hands :-P

  3. Oh, nice. I'm guessing from the description that this would not apply to Swedish church records, but I'll go check.

    Oh, wow. It does work! That's amazing! It saves the image and when I go back in the link takes it right to the correct page. Wonderful! Thanks for the notice about this! This will be greatly useful for my Swedish research, so I don't have to save all the images and add them back in to the Media Gallery.


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