Talk:Ancestral File

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Revision as of 18:59, 7 March 2013 by VasquezJL (talk | contribs) (removing bad edits)

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Various Concerns

If you go to the FamilySearch Product Support page and ask a question such as "What is Ancestral File?" all you will get in the first fifty responses is Personal Ancestral File answers. Nor is there anything about Ancestral File on the Product Support navigaton bar. Since Product Support does not offer information about Ancestral File, the Research Wiki should be allowed to expand its coverage and do a better job of explaining the use of this important product. Diltsgd 16:01, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

It would be extremely useful to genealogical "newbies" to discuss in brief the evolution and timeline of the Ancestral File.  When was it first deployed for use in the Family History Centers?  When was it first published on CD-ROM?  Which versions were made available when?  What happened when the match/merge program was run in 1994 (bedlam, if I recall correctly)?  First Internet deployment was May 1999 (and do I remember that day well!  we crashed the site from our excitement to have it for home use!).  When was the file officially closed?  And, most significant for present proliferation of AF data throughout the genealogical community, when was it first possible to download a GEDCOM from AF?  Genehisthome 22:13, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

It would also be very useful to newbies to know that the information in Ancestral File cannot be relied on to be accurate as it has been supplied by individuals with varying degrees of expertise in family history. As it is now closed, even if the original submitter discovers errors in the information, there appears to be no way of correcting these.

Searching Records

I really don't like the new way to search records.  I can't find a thing. -- Brendacelmer 03:36, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Who was the submitter?

I'm so glad that Ancestral File is on-line. I just can't seem to find the information that indicates who the submitter was for the particular Ancestral File records. What do I need to do to find that? -- Dnoellee 11:16, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

How to find out who submitted the information

How do I find out who submitted the information and how do I contact them? -- Zeeda3 15:47, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Accessing Ancestral File

I wanted to be able to see the ancestral file referenced, and the 'see more' did not do this.

I am not certain what you are referring to? Also, you have not left a name or other way to contact you. Please supply more information about your question.

Editing an Ancestral File Record

Not so much changing a date or something like that, I understand the procedure, but what about a notefield with private information not meant for the general public that slipped through when uploading. Is there any procedure for the submitter to be able to "clean up" a note field? Whom would one contact to petition for that? I think such information would be useful. (user:Thomas 9 March 2012)

December 2011 Rewrite

Here's Robert K's proposed outline:

Content to include:
- What is AF
- Where did it come from, it's history
- What type of data is found in it
- How do use the data
- Tips and tricks for searching it
- Links to manuals, courses, or anything else we have (that is not on the old site)
- FAQ's about the data (see the ones on the pages below)

- - How do I contact a submitter
- Make sure we represent all the meaningful content reflected on the following page so that it can be retired

Resources to assist the rewrite:

(Reminder to self: sign with four tilde's)
Robert 9 December 2011 ...ongoing

Old Contents of This Article

I've put some of the old contents here that might go into a new, separate page that addresses the few people still accessed via CD-ROM:

History of the Ancestral File


Records in the Ancestral File were submitted by members who often provided contact information. Most of these records were submitted before 1991, so the contact information for many submitters may be out of date or the person who submitted the original information may no longer be living. ...

Each record in Ancestral File is given a unique Ancestral File Number (AFN). .... The AFN number is often useful when merging duplicate records in some genealogy programs, such as Personal Ancestral File (PAF), because a matching AFN indicates a high probability that the record is a duplicate. Some can automatically merge duplicate AFNs.

To enable AFN editing in your PAF database, follow these steps:

  1.  Open PAF 5.2.18 and select Tools from the top menu 
  2.  From the Tools drop down menu, select preferences 
  3.  On the General Tab select: Allow AFN edit by placing a check mark in the box.  Press OK

To access Ancestral File, follow these steps:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on the Trees link 
  3. Enter your query - the results will include Ancestral File results

Robert 17:24, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Proposed Image for this article

I wonder if a screen shot from Ancestral File might be worth considering as an image to add. One of the criteria for a wiki article to be featured on the wiki main page is that it have an image. Some pages in the wiki are really improved with an image or two. Those of us that remember Ancestral File would probably like to see a reminder of how it looked.

Darris G. Williams 01:35, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Having an image of the current look is probably not good if it  is changing too quickly. Having one of the CD-ROM would look good in the history section. I believe I have one. I was also hoping to find something that could be displayed at the top that suggests "compiled genealogy." Perhaps a pedigree overlapping the sillouette family found at the bottom of the page or something else suggesting "compiled genealogy." That could also be used on the PRF article. How does that sound?

Robert 17:24, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Fan Pedigree

I tried to get a fan pedigree pdf form. was suggested.(04:39, 21 December 2011 Kathleenballard)

Kathleen, The place to ask questions about using FamilySearch products is 16:26, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

RD3MP Changes

Your changes have broken much of the page. Links no longer work and raw HTML is explosed throughout the page. Please fix your changes quickly. If fixes are not made, I will roll back your changes later today.

Robert 23:43, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Image Caption


Thank you for your edit to this page. I can't think of a good reason to expose the image filename to users. Can you think of a better caption? I'm going to roll back your change for now pending a discussion and understanding why it makes sense for users to know the filename of the graphic.

Robert 13:37, 5 April 2012 (UTC)

Insight To Changes Not Known Before

It is a fact that there are errors, which those who submitted the information did not review dates and connections. It peeves me so much that other associated web sites cannot or will not correct errors. People read something and take it for fact (wife died 3 years before being married, 6 children were born four years after death of the wife). There is a book on the family which the author noted after the book was being published that there was an error. That error and three others are repeated time and time again. It should be mandatory that sources be given for all data.

Thank YOU / YOUR Article is Selected

The FamilySearch Research Wiki is delighted to let you know that the "Ancestral File" article you helped create will be highlighted on the Main page of the Wiki. It will appear February 18, 2013 and remain for seven days. Thank you for your excellent work – you have given readers/researchers important access to records. Your contributions are appreciated and will assist others in finding their ancestors. You have made a difference in research!

Please note:

We invite you to do any enhancing, editing or changing to this article before we post it. If you are considering an edit we ask that it be completed by February 17, 2013. If you feel this article is not ready to be highlighted, please let us know. Thank you for your time and effort!

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