I recently received an email from Justin York of Genealogy Systems alerting me to their new product, Find-a-Record.
We recently released a free tool called the Find-A-Record Research Assistant which connects to your tree on FamilySearch and tells you where work can be done. It generates different types of research opportunities such as finding missing information, finding missing people, finding sources, and fixing problems. You can read more about it on our blog, watch the demo video, and try it yourself at www.findarecord.com.
Our goal is to help beginners know where to start and guide them through the research process. We have found that it is also useful for experienced genealogists by telling them what areas of their tree need attention or suggesting something quick to do when they're unsure of where to work next.
We would love to have your feedback on the Research Assistant. How could it be better?
I gave their website a try and here’s what I learned.
Login with your free FamilySearch account at the Find-a-Record website and it examines your ancestors in the FamilySearch Family Tree. It then displays a list of opportunities of different types: Person, Relationship, Sources, Problems, and Cleanup.
The website can filter which types of opportunities it will display. One type is problems that need to be fixed.
It can filter opportunities to those needing cleanup.
Click on a problem or cleanup opportunity and the website will show a corresponding information page.
The website can show opportunities of persons missing information about vital events.
It can show opportunities of missing information about relationships.
Click on a missing information opportunity and the website will show an information page that includes links to genealogy research websites.
Click a link to one of the websites and Find-a-Record will start a search on that website, complete with information about your ancestor. Unfortunately, there is no indication which websites require subscriptions.
Be prepared to adjust search parameters once you see the search results on these websites. Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org have fundamentally different approaches to searching. Removing parameters will decrease the number of results on Ancestry.com and increase the number of results on FamilySearch.org.
I assume that “Sources” are events and relationships that lack source documentation.
Click on a Sources opportunity and Find-a-Record goes beyond giving links to general searches. It consults a list of the record collections on genealogy research websites and suggests searching specific collections.
I’ll write more about another feature of Find-a-Record later.
This is a great website. My chief request is a dismiss or ignore feature. Once I determine that I don’t want to pursue an opportunity, I’d like to hide it from future reports.
The Find-a-Record website has been certified by FamilySearch for read access to Family Tree. Find-a-Record is another rich addition to the growing community of products extending the capabilities of FamilySearch Family Tree.