Posted in nFS on July 25, 2010 |
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Have you noticed that there are new errors in Canadian standardized places names in nFS since the last update? Most of the ones I have been able to find come from the 3 Prairie Provinces, but other parts of Canada have errors too! You will remember that an update to Standardized Place Names was one of the changes in the last update to nFS.
This problem was brought to my attention by Bill who of course sent feedback notifying nFS of the problem. The following are comments on this topic made on this blog and in a discussion group for FH Centre Directors called FHCNET. One of the comments is by Ron Tanner the project manager for nFS telling you what to do if you believe the standardized place name is incorrect.
Bill made the following comment on our blog after the release of the last update:
“There is a problem with the standardized place names, that I have reported to FamilySearch Support and FHCNET. Place names in western Canada have a non-existent “Division” number added where a county name would appear in some other localities, (like we see in the addresses of the FHCs).”
So Red Deer Alberta becomes “Red Deer, Division No. 8, Alberta, Canada”, Edmonton is “Edmonton, Division No. 11, Alberta, Canada,” and Calgary is “Calgary, Division No. 6, Alberta, Canada” . . . and so on.
Posted by: Ron Tanner
Thu Jul 1, 2010
There have been some issues in the past that have restricted us from taking updates of the standards catalog into nFS. The last time that a standardize place catalog was updated was several years ago. And although your feedback on standardized places have been taken and the catalog updated, you never saw the fix because of this problem.
The release that was put out in June has been updated with the latest catalog that diligent engineers have been working to improve for years. We also have changed the way that standardized places are chosen and have more strongly separated the place you enter from the standardized place.
Now you can enter a place and it will pop-up with suggestions from the database, but if there are none you believe are close enough to select so you don’t have to keep typing, then just don’t select any from the drop-down. Then the system will attempt to match what you entered and fill in the standardized version of the place. If you don’t believe the standardized place is close enough, then click on the arrow next to the standardized place and pick the closest one. By doing this we keep your original place data but also have the closest standardized place.
If entries were made by the system or others that have a poor choice for a standardized place, then just enter another opinion and correct it with the technique above and then make sure your entry is selected in the summary.
We have now corrected the issues with taking the standards catalog and expect to have more regular updates as we take your feedback and correct the errors.
Perhaps you would join us in sending Feedback through nFS asking them to correct our Canadian place names!
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Posted in nFS on July 18, 2010 |
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We received the following from Ellen who wanted to share her experience and solution:
In nFS I discovered a relative whose ordinances were ready to do – yet, I knew they had already been done. However, I did not have the specific dates and places information. Instead of having those ordinances redone unnecessarily, I reserved them and set about gathering that information from family sources. It took 6 months, but finally I had enough information to clear this matter up.
As you know, ordinance information cannot be entered by users of the system. In a call to family search support, I learned the only way to solve this was to find the person in the system and combine the 2 or more records, which would have the ordinance data. The theory being that if ordinances were completed then they would be in the nFS system. I spent close to a month, rewording the name, checking other close date possibilities to find the ‘other’ record(s). No luck.
In desperation, I wrote in Feedback and created a case. I submitted very detailed information, so that family search support could ‘see’ and understand my problem. Within 24 hours they replied. They did locate the record with the ordinance information. I never would have found it…he was in the system as LIVING. As they requested, I was then able to send proof of his death and by the 3rd day, his ordinance information was attached to his file in nFS!
Thank you for sharing, Ellen
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Do you have Jewish ancestry or are you helping someone with Jewish ancestry?
A major research resource was updated this past week when the Knowles Collection expanded from 75,000 records to 115,000. This used to be Knowles Jewish records in the British Isles but the Knowles Collection has now expanded to become 5 collections:
1. Jews of the British Isles
2. Jews of the Americas
3. Jews of the Caribbean
4. Jews of Europe
5. Jews of Africa and the Orient
What is the Knowles Collection?
Use this record to find the genealogy of many Jews from the British Isles. The great advantage of the Knowles Collection is that it links together into family groups, thousands of individual Jews (over 75000 as of Jan 2010). Until now, these records were available only at the Family History Library through a complex indexing system devised by the late Isobel Mordy whose collection forms the basis of the Knowles Collection. (https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/The_Knowles_Collection:_the_Jews_of_the_British_Isles )
Todd Knowles is a consultant working on the British Reference Floor at the Family History Library in SLC. He has a blog which tells you why he started this collection as well as giving you news about his collection. http://knowlescollection.blogspot.com/
How do I access the Knowles Collection?
1. Through FamilySearch Community Trees which is a searchable database. Go to labs.familysearch.org and click on Community Trees or use the following link:
Then click on Advanced Search and select any one of the 5 sections of the Knowles Collection that appear on the menu in the Tree field.
2. Through the Jewish Family History Resource Section on familysearch.org (in the lower centre of the FamilySearch.org home page or through the following link: http://www.familysearch.org/eng/default.asp?page=home/welcome/site_resources.asp%3FwhichResourcePage=Jewish
The FamilySearch page gives you a link to download the collection as either a PAF file or a GEDCOM. Remember this collection is now over 115,000 records – you may just want to search in Community Trees.
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The Family History Dept in SLC has informed us that FH Centres across Canada will change to Online Microfilm ordering possibly as early as mid July 2010. FH Centre Directors should have received a letter.
The online ordering system is already in place in Ausralia, New Zealand, and the UK. Eventually it is planned to introduce the system to the United States.
Features of the new system
1. Microfilms and microfiche will be ordered by FH Centre patrons using a secure web site (part of LDS distribution system).
2. FH Centres will have administrative access to the web site to see details of films that have been ordered into their centre, to record that film have been received, later to record that they have been returned and other information regarding films and their centre.
3. After implementation the current Inventory Manager software used by FH Centres will no longer be needed.
What are some of the advantages of the Online system?
1. Anyone – either member of the public or member of the church – will be able to order a film from home instead of going to a FH Centre to fill out a paper form and pay for their order. For some people this could be a huge time and money saver. You will create an account for yourself on the website using your email address and password of your choice (this in not using LDS or FamilySearch Accounts). After you place your order you can check the status on the website – has the order been processed or is it going to be delayed? As currently happens only the FH Centre will be able to tell you that the film has actually arrived. You will still need to go to a FH Centre to view microfilms. As before films should not be removed from the FH Centre.
2. This will eliminate paper forms for placing orders and reduce the amount of money being handled by FH Centres.
3. The FH Dept in SLC will set the price for rentals – there will no longer be any need to try keeping up with the fluctuations in the Canadian dollar exchange rate. There will be one fee for all centres in Canada.
4. FH Centres will be able to upload their current film inventory to the new system and also patron information.
5. The change is taking place over the summer when film traffic at FH Centres is at a low level.
6. There will be no additional fees charged when films being returned are held up at the border. Once the system is told that the film has been returned (i.e. go on the web site and check returned) then there is no penalty for delays in shipping.
This is a major change for FH Centres. Inevitably there will be some challenges especially during the transition. Try to remember that the objective is to improve the system. Be especially kind to your FH Centre Director and their staff during the transition!
1. The new system needs either a credit card or debit card. What if a patron has neither or doesn’t want to order over the Internet? (note: I personally have a separate low limit credit card that I reserve for telephone and Internet ordering).
2. The system will need you to have an email address. What if the patron doesn’t? (note: perhaps they could create a free email account or use the email address of a family member such as a son or daughter). What if the patron doesn’t have a computer at home and can’t access email at the FH Centre?
3. The change is taking place when some FH Centres are closed for summer holidays or on reduced hours. (note: I suppose they will return and then start using the new system).
4. I did not hear any mention of how costs to return films would be dealt with. Some FH Centres use access to shipping companies used by the church and do not pay a fee. Some FH Centres pay postage to send the films to the shipping company used by the church – in those cases sending several films back at once appears to cost the same as sending one film back.
5. The proposed cost for ordering microfiche is high unless you are ordering several microfiche (same fee of $5 whether you order one microfiche or 50). Note: rental fees are not about the cost/value of the product bu the cost of handling and shipping.
While there will definitely be some challenges in the transition, there are many good features to the new system.
No doubt we will learn of other advantages and challenges – so please share your thoughts using the Comments link on this web site.
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