Beta Family Tree

Beta Family Tree Testing is Near Completion

Direct access to the Family Tree by Ancestral Quest is now being tested. Although the changes are massive, the impact on the user is very small. I will show the differences as they appear at this time. Remember that we are in an interim period where both databases are accessible. This will pass. The current rumor on the date for the termination of access to the newFamilySearch database is June 30, 2013.

To demonstrate the current state of access to the Family Tree through AQ BETA, I selected a person to view.

0001 Unlinked Person

According to the icons showing for Sarah Goldthwaite, she is deceased. She is not currently linked to the Church’s databases. My file does not include LDS ordinances for her.  Her death is assumed because it is over 110 years since her birth.

0002 Edit Individual

Her Edit Individual screen confirms what we see from the icons.

I clicked the Cancel button, and returned to the Family view. From there I clicked on the Temple icon to place her record on the Names to Reserve screen.

0003 Names to Reservel

At the bottom of the Names to Reserve screen you will find the following line.

0004 Link

I clicked the Link / Upload button. This brought up the Link screen. There are some interesting things on this screen.

0005 Review FT

Let’s start at the top, and work our way down.  The More Names line is new. As it stands now, you are seeing the value retrieved from the Family Tree. On the old database this would have been the Summary Value. Clicking on More Names will cause AQ to retrieve alternate names from the FT database.

Note that for Birth and Christening, there is only one date and location for each.

At the bottom of the screen, there is a new Show nFS Data check box. In the screen above, this is unchecked. Because it is unchecked, any values in the Birth, Christening, Death or Burial fields will come from the Family Tree database only. Now I will check the Show nFS Data box.

0006 Review nFS

This causes AQ to use the old API (Application Program Interface) to retrieve from the nFS database, the other dates and places, which have been dropped from the Family Tree.

Now I will click on More Names.

0007 Names

Now, Ancestral Quest selects Alternate Names from the FT database.

There is one more thing to look for. The Family Tree database stores multiple values for dates and places of marriages. To demonstrate this, I’ll select another record.

0008 Married Person

I have selected my grandmother. I will click on the Family Tree icon.

0009 Review Sync

I next click on the Spouses Children button at the bottom of the screen.

0010 Spouse

Each of her marriages shows a More Marriage Opinions line. I will click on each of these.

0011 Spouse

Now the Alternate Marriage facts are presented.

You still have a short time to correct the errors which were introduced when the Church’s computers selected often incorrect and/or incomplete data to be moved to the Family Tree. Use it wisely.

Suggestions/Questions about AQ Will Do or Subjects discussed here? Leave a Comment.


  1. Dale, can you tell me how (if possible) I can click or do something somewhere in AQ that will indicate a person is deceased when I do not have a death date. I have many in my database that have died, but they show as living; they have not hit the 110 year mark either so they cannot be assumed dead, but I know they are, just don’t have the date and I don’t want to put an arbitrary “Abt 1940” item in there either. Thanks, SusanG

    • Living status is controlled in two ways. The second is birth over 110 years ago. The first is the Death Date field. A date here will remove the Living status within AQ. The word Deceased in the Death Date field will also remove the Living status. Actually, anything in this field will remove the Living status. I sometimes enter a “?” to indicate that I’m not sure if this person is living. The Living status determines how Ancestral Quest will treat this record. That means that whether the person is living or deceased, removal of the Living status will allow AQ to attempt access with Family Tree for this record. If Family Tree does not show a Living status for this record, you get what you asked for, including the assumption of death from the Family Tree side.

  2. Brenda Thopre

    I’m not sure what “BETA” AQ refers to?

    • When software authors produce, or make major changes to a product, they do “in house” testing. This is referred to as ALPHA testing, since Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. BETA testing refers to testing done outside of the company, usually by people who are already familiar with the product. They are kind enough to not refer to this as “out house” testing. This is the second tier of testing, hence the name BETA, which is the second letter of the Greek alphabet. The purpose of BETA testing is to correct errors, catch things that were missed by those doing the coding, or to suggest alternative ideas. All of this is done with the intent of making a better product.

      • Brenda Thorpe

        Thnak You! Very well stated and makes comp;ete sense.

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