April 22nd, 2007

Renee Zamora

NFS Observation and Prediction

For those of us that have been doing genealogy for any length of time, and have very neat and well maintained genealogy databases the process of using "new FamilySearch" (NFS) seems like we are going back to the dark ages. You have so much combining and organizing of your families to do in this system. The system doesn't work as efficiently as our personal genealogy software programs do. Some seasoned researcher have concerns over people messing up their records and "stealing" their family history work.

BUT, to those that have never done genealogy (newbies) they will look at this as their way of finally doing genealogy, painlessly and from the convenience of their own homes. I watched my sister-in-law get so excited about genealogy when she sat and combined her family members together. (The key is to instruct them on what is a "good" match.) She could sit for hours just matching and combining her family members, a lengthly and frustrating project for me. Afterwords she felt a great sense of having done something - a feeling of Elijah. She heart was definitely turned to her fathers.

The "newbies" to genealogy will become the saving grace of this system. They will be the ones to share and contact other researchers to do more work on their lines and prevent duplication. I'm afraid I hear comments from more seasoned researchers that they don't intend on contributing all their information to NFS, only those names they want to clear and do temple work for. This will defeat the whole purpose of the system.

We will have to wait for the new generation to take over before this system mets it's full potential. The advancement of newer technology - the FamilySearch desktop project using FamilySearch API will have to be on-line and working before the more seasoned researcher will be convinced to use NFS. By the time the "newbies" to genealogy realize what real researching means they will be blessed to have the FamilySearch Scanning results on-line to access.

Just seeing the response by the youth in doing FamilySearch Indexing alone shows us how technology, the youth and those open to new ideas are the hope for the future. (Hopefully we all can fall into one of those categories!)

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

Note: I will try to follow up with more observation on my beta test experience as time allows.