Friday, February 08, 2008

Delightful News for Family History Consultants

Late January I wrote an article "FHL Classes with NFS Bonus." Last night the first class was taught and I was fortunate enough to attend. The room was packed and we learned that the demand for the class was great so they have extended into April. D. Merrill White was our knowledgeable instructor that entertained us with his great sense of humor.

I don't intend on writing a long article that goes in depth on all the things covered. I really think you need to attend the class. Oh, you say you can't? You don't live in the Salt Lake area or plan to visit in the near future? Don't worry, you will be happy to know that the powers to be understand that frustration and they have something up their sleeve for you. They are planning on making the classes webinars. Any registered Family History Consultant in the world would be able to take this webinar online and then get access to NFS - regardless of NFS' status in your area. You can expect to receive details on this near the end of February. They also plan on having some Q&A classes for us.

Now I will just point out some of the key bits of information we learned.
  • Only registered Family History Consultants can take the class and afterwards get access to NFS. It takes 4-5 days after the class before you can register at:
  • If your temple district is not live with NFS you can take your "Family Ordinance Request" papers to the FHL in Salt Lake and they will print out the cards for you.
  • Once on NFS registered Family History Consultants will find their training materials on LDS Net Dimension hooked into the site. I am so glad I won't have to remember the net dimensions website address anymore. I think I will be much more apt to take the lessons through the NFS website. We were asked to do the E-learning lesson within the next four weeks. They estimate that it would take a consultant, who is new to family history, about 5 or 6 hours do all the lessons.
  • The booklet "A Members Guide to Temple and Family History Work" has been revised and you will find it on the NFS site. Later in the year, hardcopies will be available through Church Distribution. They are also working on the Sunday School class materials.
  • When they make changes to the overview or guides or have updates to the site you can learn about them if you click on the link "News & Updates" from the opening page.
  • Don't upload your GEDCOMs to NFS - it causes more duplication. If you upload a GEDCOM it needs to be very small, only an individual or a family at a time - and that is after you have made sure, after combining all duplicates and doing thorough searching, that those individuals are not already in NFS.
  • The order to start combining is parents, spouses and then children - it will make things easier if you do it that way.
  • If you upload a GEDCOM that has anything written in the temple date fields it will automatically mark the ordinances as COMPLETED. Even if you had DO NOT SEAL written in that field. I need to go through my database and clean those and other things out of that field. I don't plan on uploading a GEDCOM but I am not sure if the 3rd party programs that will sync with NFS will also cause this issue or not.
  • The notes field have a limit of 300 characters if you enter it. If you import them it will take them all. They are asking that we hold off on importing them until we can interface with NFS.
  • Version .92 is close to release. In this version we will be able to choose what view we want to see as primary information on an individual.
  • They have decided to create a neat add-on to PAF that will allow it to interface with NFS. Yes, I did report that they said PAF was dead last year, and many upset people complained to them about it's demise. The decision was made to resurrect it. They might make other changes to PAF later but the priority is NFS right now.
The only problem I have now is waiting 4-5 days before I get access to NFS. I am so impatient sometimes! All my family members scattered around the US have now received access to NFS and not one of them have called me to ask about our genealogy. Once I get access I plan on calling each of them and giving them an assignment to work on combining a section of our family line.

It's been so easy for my family to just call me for some names to take to the temple. I am sure they think good Ole' Aunt Renee will just fix this all up for us. No, it's not that easy - it is going to take hours upon hours of thoughtful work to combine the multitude of records on duplicate individuals. There is much instructing that needs to be done with my family members. Hopefully, good family history consultants will be there on their end to give support and guidance. There is much work for all of us to do.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

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