|Vol. 6, No. 3 - September 2010
Joseph F. Buchanan
As recalled by Joseph Elmer Anderson, edited and photos added by Joseph F. Buchanan
In my youth much responsibility was given me, as my father was working at his mine away from home during the week. My older brother, George, was away to school and filling an L. D. S. mission. The feeding of many animals and caring for the family chores was my job.
During harvest time, we would make large hay stacks, using a fifty-foot hay pole to lift the hay high in the air. Some of the alfalfa hay would spoil on the bottom, and some on the top of the hay stack, as much as we could get in-between was good hay or feed for the animals.
Our home haystack was placed north and south and east of the feeding mangers. This day I had placed our thirty-foot ladder on the east side of the stack, so I could climb over the hay stack and jump down on the other side, where I threw the hay down to the ground to feed the animals, using a hay knife to cut hay loose from the hay stack.
A haystack and a hay knife
I just got started throwing the hay to the ground, when I heard the voice of a child on the top of the tall ladder, saying, "Get Lemor." I knew who it was and hurriedly jumped to the ground on the pile of hay and ran around the hay stack and quietly climbed the ladder to the two-year-old child and carried him to safety. I was afraid that if he heard me it would excite him, and he would fall off the thirty-foot ladder to the ground.
At this time I was about eleven or twelve years, or less of age, and Orlan Jacobson, my sister Delilah's child, was two years, or less. He called me Lemor, as he could not say Elmer.
Elmer and Orlan, both probably about a year younger
than they would have been in this story.
Orlan had evidently watched me climb the ladder without me knowing it, and was following me. Orlan was precious to us all, a bright and handsome boy.
From "Joseph Elmer Anderson, Continued Life History, Part II," a typewritten printing, dated 20 June 1976, pp 17-18.
There is some more information that I can pass on concerning the genealogy data in the New FamilySearch system.
Some of the confusion that shows up in the information that is presented in your ancestral information. Anyone can combine multiple records into one. This is useful because of all the many versions of families and people that have been put into the system over the years. Unfortunately, this relies on the person doing the combining being careful to not bring together multiple records that should not be combined.
A very good and personal example of this is Jens Andersen, father of Anders Peter Anderson. The combining of records has brought his records together with several others, especially a Peter Christian Andersen, 23 AUG 1819 in Blokhus,Gundersted,Aalborg,Denmark. We know that he really was born 7 January 1822 in Kragerup, Orslev, Holbaek, Denmark. The record of this Peter Andersen also brings in the incorrect wife listed for Jens, Caroline (Karen) Lund (Nielsen). Because of that combination, there is a confusing collection of information for him. His situation is not as bad as some of the Danish records, though, because of the similar names of the people in the country, namely Hans Jacobsen and Maren Hansen, parents of Ole Hansen Jacobson. Because of the incorrect combining of so many records, it shows him in his family view as having a number of children born before he was. Actually, the problem appears to be because the records of his wife, Maren Hansen were combined with another Maren Hansen, born in 1745 in Sipperup, Praesto, Den, which is 73 years too early. It is possible to see where several people with the same name and similar birthdate get combined, though these dates are not really close at all.
If you did not make it through the last paragraph, don't feel bad. It took me a while to figure this out as well. The following examples should help explain this.
Here are the things that can be done in combining records.
1. How to combine several versions of a spouse (husband or wife) into one:
1 a. Find a set of parents that has multiple options:
There will be an asterisk by the names of a set of parents, as seen here.
1 b. Click on Resolve Duplicate Fathers or Resolve Duplicate Mothers:
1 c. Click on those to be combined:
1 d. Clicking on Combine will bring the records together. "Combine in More Detail" shows a lot of the data side-by-side and helps decide whether the records are really duplicates and should really be used. In this case it is obvious that they should not be combined.
2. How to combine several versions of an individual (a child in a family) into one:
2 a. Click on the pop-up menu arrow to the left of the child's name:
2 b. Click on the "Combine with ..." link to continue.
The records will be combined.
After records have been combined, you will see the name, birthdate, etc. displayed in the normal view, but such information will be taken from one of the records that were combined. The name (spelling, etc.) and the dates may not be of the specific one you were expecting, but it is what you see in everything from then on. You cannot choose the optimal name spelling, birth date, place, etc, but all the options are shown in the "Details" view, along with the person who submitted each, for all the records that were combined.
3. How to see the full layout of the information that was combined, and to un-combine some or all:
3 a. In the Details mode, look at the bottom of the list to see the link for "Combined Records:
3 b. "Click on "Combined Records." Pick one or more of the records to be uncombined from the set of combined records:
3 c. Click on "Separate Selected Records." It will show some basic information and ask of it is correct. If so, then Click on "Yes."
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Now that you have seen the process, here is what probably happened in the case I was trying to explain earlier:
- Someone (or many people) saw that there were a number of different parents' sets listed for their ancestor (the asterisk in step 1a.)
- They selected all the records that seemed to be the same (as shown in the process in step 1c.). In the case of Hans and Maren Jacobson, the two (or more) Maren Hansens were assumed to be the same. They were combined, though they should not have been combined in this case.
An advantage of combining records is that some records include temple work completed. If you see a green arrow by a name or family, it means that temple work can be submitted. However, in many cases, especially where there are many entries with slightly different name spellings, known and unknown places and approximate dates, etc., the temple work was done for some, but not others. Actually, it is more often the case that the work has been done numerous times. However, if you have the particular person is listed that did not have the work done, it will suggest that you submit the name for temple work where you should really check for and combine duplicates first.
1. Contacting the Contributor to change the information:
All entries contain contributor information. In many cases, though, it does not contain valid contact information or the items are contributed by the church records or by a Family History System that may not be possible or easy to change. For example:
- Please Note: This contributor submitted information to either Ancestral File (AF) or the Pedigree Resource File (PRF). - Contact name: LDS Church Temple Records - Contact name: LDS Church Membership Records To request a membership correction, click here.
2. Disputes (marked with the slash-circle):
In the past, there was an option in many places to mark information as "Disputed." I was informed recently that the Dispute option is no longer available. Previously disputed items are left in the system, but no new disputes can be entered. I believe the Dispute method was intended to get people together to discuss disagreements to work out the problems and get the records corrected. However, as explained above, it is often not possible to contact the original contributor.
If you click an Edit button anywhere, especially where you were not the original contributor, you cannot change that piece of information yourself. Instead, you can supply another "opinion," including sources:
4. Feedback: In many places (including the link shown in the above screen shot), you can find a link for Feedback. If you wish to make a formal request to change information, you can use the Feedback option to submit your information. If you do so, please be prepared to include very specific information, including actual ID numbers of people in question. Also, if you are wanting to change information for a person or an event, be prepared to include source material, especially primary courses to back up your claims. This process will take a while and will likely have a lot of back-and-forth communications if the request is accepted for processing. I have worked with Family Search people in doing beta testing and submitting basic problems with the system. They have a lot of people on board, both professional and volunteers, so they are good at following through. Since this is a time-consuming process, please be sure to only pursue serious and important issues.
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Please note that I am not a representative of the Church or the Family History system. I am just reporting what I have discovered in my work with the system and some communications I have had with a few of those who do have an official role in the program.