Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Samantha Sulser–Photos & Stories on FamilySearch.org #BYUFHGC

Samantha Sulser taught a class about the FamilySearch.org photo and story features. Sulser is a manager at FamilySearch. She started with a video called “Preserve Your Photos And Family Memories.”

FamilySearch video: Preserve Your Photos and Family Memories

To demonstrate photos and stories, Sulser first had us login. To upload photos and stories you must have an account, but it is free. After logging in we clicked on Memories and then Stories.

Select Memories, then People

By default you’ll see the photos you’ve uploaded. Use the dropdown underneath the “People” label to display photos added by your relatives.

The People page shows the memories added to the people in your "scope of interest"

The yellow ribbon indicates someone else added the photo. I checked Friday and had 262. Of course, you won’t see any additional photographs unless you’ve added enough of your tree that you connect with other relatives. I’m of Mormon pioneer stock and church membership records automatically connected me with a zillion relatives. Photos show up of people who I’ve never heard of. Fortunately, you can click the yellow ribbon to see a chart of your relationship. Here’s what the relationship chart looks like:

I had no luck seeing a photo relationship chart in FamilySearch
(Oops. Friday, as I write this, it is not working. Guess you won’t be seeing an example after all. Have I complained lately about how often I get errors using FamilySearch.org?)

You can also click on the photo and see all the memories that have been contributed for that person. “You may get photos, stories, or documents—anything that has been attached to that ancestor,” said Sulser in her syllabus.

Next Sulser had us click on Family Tree. The tree display has four options: descendency, fan chart, portrait, and traditional pedigree. Click Portrait to see a pedigree chart with photographs.

This image shows a portrait pedigree with the dropdown allowing switch to descendancy, fan chart, or traditional pedigree view

If you haven’t seen it yet, click on Descendancy to see the new descendancy view of your tree. Play with the generations and show options at the top. To climb further up your tree, click on “Expand” at the upper-left.

You can change the portrait that is displayed for an ancestor (assuming more than one is available). Go to the person’s person page. (Click their name and in the popup card click Person.) On the person page, click the portrait shown to the left of the person’s name.

From the person page, click on Memories to see the photos, documents, and stories attached to that person.

The memories feature of FamilySearch.org supports stories up to 10,000 characters, according to a class member. (The help center says it is 5,000,000. It is Life Sketch that is limited to 10,000.) Sulser warned that if you type the story directly into FamilySearch.org, you should save often. After about 10 minutes of typing, it will lose everything you’ve typed, without warning.

The memories feature allows you to upload up to 5,000 photographs, stories, and documents per user. To upload photographs, click on Memories, then Photos, and then Upload as shown in this screen shot:

The FamilySearch.org photo upload page failed
(Oops. Saturday as I write this, it is not working. Guess I won’t be showing that to you after all. FamilySearch.org is acting up again. Try to click on the image and see if the page will open correctly in your browser.)

Here’s what it looks like if you refresh the page:

(Oops. It’s still not working.)

Click the big green plus sign (not) shown in the screen shot, above. A second plus sign appears. Click it also and select a photo from your computer. You can alternately drag and drop photos on top of it. I tried that, but had disastrous results. Instead of uploading the photos, it uploaded an entire folder of photos from my computer, many of which had living people that I hadn’t yet asked for permission. It took me several days to sift through them, tagging living people to prevent Google from indexing the photo, or deleting the photos altogether. Each time I tagged a person, FamilySearch.org threw me back to the first page of photos. At that time I would have to click Next several times to get back to where I had been working. It looks like they’ve since added the capability to jump directly to a page number, or displaying all the photos on one page. Hopefully, they’ve fixed the drag-and-drop feature also.

“The first time you add a photo or story, a message appears about the FamilySearch submission agreement. Please read and indicate that you will comply,” said Sulser.

I don’t recall if it was Sulser who suggested “Tree Connect” from RecordSeek.com. If there is a photo or story on another website, you can create a source and link to it using Tree Connect.

At this point my notes get pretty skimpy. To learn more about photos and stories, visit https://familysearch.org/ask/#/memories/.

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