Have you ever messaged
someone on FamilySearch.org or had a discussion about an ancestor on their person
Contacting other FamilySearch
users can be a key part of building the Family Tree and connecting with your
family—past and present.

The FamilySearch Family Tree empowers families around the world to work together and build a family tree. Descendants from various branches of a family often have different family photographs, documents, and memories. Those researching in a particular language, region, archive, or on different websites may discover unique information.

When descendants contribute what they know to the shared
Family Tree and work together to find new information, their collective
knowledge becomes more powerful. They can learn more than they might have found
on their own and can save time by leaving notes and messaging other users.

Three Easy Ways to Communicate with other FamilySearch.org

Communicating with other FamilySearch.org users can be both inspiring
and helpful. Perhaps you want to thank someone for uploading photos or sharing
a meaningful story. You may want to know the source of another person’s data if
it hasn’t been posted. You might reach out to ask questions if another user has
introduced errors. Or you may simply want to connect with someone who shares
your interest in a particular relative.

Here are three simple ways to communicate with other
FamilySearch users when you use the Family Tree.

1. Explain Your Work

A screenshot with arrows showing how to explain your work.

By far, your most important form
of communication on the Family Tree is to record why you think the information
you have added is correct. Whenever you enter or edit information, you’ll see a
box that says “Reason This Information Is Correct.” Take the time to explain the
sources and reasoning that led you to enter this piece of information. Your
reason statements become part of an ancestor’s profile and can help other descendants
understand why a change was made and help them in their research.

Not sure what to say? Here’s how to write an effective reason statement. (Remember to attach historical sources that support what you’re saying too!) 

2. Use the Collaboration Tab

On the profile pages of each of your ancestors is a Collaborate tab. Here, you have a place to add notes and have discussions.

In the notes section, you can post messages
for others who may be researching the ancestor.  Use notes to coordinate research, tell others
where you have or haven’t been able to find records, or make notes about
specific records. (See an example of a note below.) Notes in this section can
be viewed and edited by anyone using the Family Tree.

Important Note: The notes tab isn’t the place to put specific relationship or event details, such as birth and death dates. These details go under the Details tab for your ancestor. Stories and memories also have their own place, under Memories.

A screenshot with arrows showing how to add a new note.

In the Discussion section, you can start or
join a discussion about your ancestor (Example: “Did Charles marry someone
other than Valeria?”). Responses are public and remain visible unless the
person who started the discussion deletes it. This feature is a good way to
have a conversation with multiple descendants.

A screenshot with arrows showing how to add a new discussion.

3. Contact an Individual User

Every user-contributed piece of information
in the Family Tree is tagged with the screen name of the user who submitted the
information. To see the tagged names, look for the Detail View toggle at the top of each section and click it to view
the information.

A screenshot with arrows showing detail view and how to see latest changes.

You can also see a summary list of the most
recent changes to an ancestor’s profile (and who made the changes) under the
Details tab, where it says Latest Changes;
click Show All to see a full history.

Contact a user by clicking on that person’s screen name, wherever it may appear. As shown here, a new window will pop up that allows you to send a message. (To check your own messages, sign in, and click the Messages link at the top right of the FamilySearch.org screen. You might also receive an email notification when another FamilySearch.org user messages you.)

A screenshot showing how to send a message.

Occasionally, you may notice that a user has submitted multiple errors. Some users aren’t as experienced or knowledgeable as others. Some may not have complete or accurate information. FamilySearch welcomes everyone who wants to help grow the Family Tree and hopes that more experienced researchers can help willing learners improve their contributions.

To get started or to improve your current collaboration with fellow descendants, click here to go to the FamilySearch Family Tree!

The World’s Largest Shared Family Tree

A little boy on the FamilySearch app.

Source: New on FamilySearch