nFS combining options

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scion-p40
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nFS combining options

Postby scion-p40 » Sun Jul 20, 2008 4:28 am

When I have two folks with somewhat different information, but I recognize them as the same individual at differing stages of my own research, I want to combine them. I am presented with the following options:


  • Yes, combine the information
  • Yes, but some information is different
  • No, or I cannot tell
Why is there no option at that point to select the most current correct data? For example:
Henry on the US records was born in Prussia/Germany.
Further research showed him as Heinrich in a particular Prussian town.

Both help screens for yes indicate that no data is "lost" in "combining". Why wouldn't I want to select the best options at that point? Am I missing something here?

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Postby rmrichesjr » Sun Jul 20, 2008 7:50 am

At least when I used nFS in the 2007 beta period, making a statement as to what you believe is the most correct data is done after doing the combining. I think if the combining operation were made more complex by mixing in the operations to select the most correct data, the combining operation would become unwieldy.

Between the training materials and a little experimentation, I found that if I entered a piece of information, what I had entered was given priority when I viewed the record. I don't know whether adding a note or source would accomplish the same thing. If some piece of information is simply wrong, the thing to do is to dispute it.

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Selecting the Default data in nFS

Postby garysturn » Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:36 am

rmrichesjr wrote:Between the training materials and a little experimentation, I found that if I entered a piece of information, what I had entered was given priority when I viewed the record. I don't know whether adding a note or source would accomplish the same thing. If some piece of information is simply wrong, the thing to do is to dispute it.


That option was changed in the Feb 2008 release of nFS. Now there is a new Summary Tab. In the Summary Tab you can select the version of each name, date, or place to be displayed as the default record. If no record is selected in the Summary view the default is determined by a sort of the data, not by any order in which you do the combining.

If someone else has selected a default record that you do not agree with you can either change it or correlate with the other person. If you change it, the default is changed for everyone that looks at that folder, so if someone else has selected a different date or version of a name it might be best to correlate with them. It shows the Name and contact information of the person who selected the default record in the Summary view. If no name and contact info is shown then the displayed info is there by the sort of the data.

The default sort is not just an alphabetic sort, it places priority on LDS Membership records, but if there is none then it is usually just the first in an alphabetic sort, which is often just a first name. Before we had this summary selection option the sort gave priority to the logged in individuals personal submission then the LDS Membership then an alphabetical sort. This required almost everyone to add a record to each folder to get the correct data to display and created duplication of records. This new method is a much better option than any type of ranking system of the data because the decision is made by the users (not the software) and they can correlate if there are disagreements. There was a lot of discussion here in the forums about a solution to the default record prior to Feb 2008 with all kinds of proposed ranking systems. I will have to agree that the developers choose the best option.
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Selecting the Default at the time of Combining

Postby garysturn » Sun Jul 20, 2008 8:49 am

scion wrote:Why wouldn't I want to select the best options at that point? (time of combining) Am I missing something here?


That would be a nice option, but since there is already a way to select the default record in the Summary View, having two places to make this selection would add utility but there are many more things that hold much higher priority for the developers. Once all the duplicates are combined and the new syncing software becomes available, there will be little combining needed in the future anyway because data will not be added to the system that is not already linked and combined, so that function would not be that helpful then.
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rmrichesjr
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Postby rmrichesjr » Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:14 am

GarysTurn wrote:That option was changed in the Feb 2008 release of nFS. Now there is a new Summary Tab. In the Summary Tab you can select the version of each name, date, or place to be displayed as the default record. If no record is selected in the Summary view the default is determined by a sort of the data, not by any order in which you do the combining.

If someone else has selected a default record that you do not agree with you can either change it or correlate with the other person. If you change it, the default is changed for everyone that looks at that folder, so if someone else has selected a different date or version of a name it might be best to correlate with them. It shows the Name and contact information of the person who selected the default record in the Summary view. If no name and contact info is shown then the displayed info is there by the sort of the data.

The default sort is not just an alphabetic sort, it places priority on LDS Membership records, but if there is none then it is usually just the first in an alphabetic sort, which is often just a first name. Before we had this summary selection option the sort gave priority to the logged in individuals personal submission then the LDS Membership then an alphabetical sort. This required almost everyone to add a record to each folder to get the correct data to display and created duplication of records. This new method is a much better option than any type of ranking system of the data because the decision is made by the users (not the software) and they can correlate if there are disagreements. There was a lot of discussion here in the forums about a solution to the default record prior to Feb 2008 with all kinds of proposed ranking systems. I will have to agree that the developers choose the best option.


Thank you for the updated information. I look forward to the day the Portland temple district gets nFS. It will be fun to see these and other improvements made since 2007.

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Postby scion-p40 » Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:53 am

GarysTurn wrote:--------snip--------- Once all the duplicates are combined and the new syncing software becomes available, there will be little combining needed in the future anyway because data will not be added to the system that is not already linked and combined, so that function would not be that helpful then.


That's curious. In over 20 years of genealogy research, I find that merging records is still needed in my own file. Therefore, I cannot imagine how it would not be needed on one huge congalmoration of a file with hundreds, even thousands, of possible researchers on some lines back a few centuries. A merge function where all data can be compared side-by-side is imperative, as are reasonable search parameters.

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Postby danpass » Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:07 am

rmrichesjr wrote:Thank you for the updated information. I look forward to the day the Portland temple district gets nFS. It will be fun to see these and other improvements made since 2007.

As has been mentioned elsewhere, the Seattle temple has been announced to be coming online with NFS. Because of our proximity to the Seattle temple, we in the Portland area have been granted early access to NFS for training purposes. So if you are a FH consultant, or hold one of the callings in your ward or stake that are normally given early access (Stake Technology Specialist is one of them) then you can register now.

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Portland Temple to get nFS soon

Postby garysturn » Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:25 pm

rmrichesjr wrote:Thank you for the updated information. I look forward to the day the Portland temple district gets nFS. It will be fun to see these and other improvements made since 2007.


On June 19th 2008 it was announced that the Portland Temple would be going onto nFS within 4 months. So family history consultants and priesthood leaders in that Temple District can now get their nFS accounts and the general membership of the church can get their accounts about the time the Temple goes live. My wife is from Portland and I have relatives there, we are comming up in August for a family wedding and family reunion. My brother in law is a Stake President up there.
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Updating nFS in the Future

Postby garysturn » Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:36 pm

scion wrote:That's curious. In over 20 years of genealogy research, I find that merging records is still needed in my own file. Therefore, I cannot imagine how it would not be needed on one huge congalmoration of a file with hundreds, even thousands, of possible researchers on some lines back a few centuries. A merge function where all data can be compared side-by-side is imperative, as are reasonable search parameters.


There will always be some combining needed in newFamilySearch but the methods for updating nFS will change soon. The new software being developed by nFS partners will allow syncing of files and transfering of data between personal PAF files (and other family history databases) and nFS without needing to upload a GEDCOM and combining the duplicates. Yes, we will always need to compare records to determine if the two individuals are the same person, but that process will be handled in a desktop application most of the time and not at the nFS web site. I was not trying to say that we would not need to do combining in the future, just that the method we use now will change soon so new functions added to the combining feature we use now would not be as useful when these new programs are made available.
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scion-p40
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Postby scion-p40 » Sun Jul 20, 2008 10:03 pm

Wow! If I understand you correctly, this mess will sync with my database much like my Palm & computer do now. :eek: How is that a good thing? On the bright side, possible matches (with my personally chosen search parameters) & merging (with comparable data visible) is much better in Legacy than on nFS.


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