Friday, February 19, 2016

Family Search apps - All The Stories

Hello again! Hope everyone is ready for a beautiful weekend, and if it isn't beautiful where you are maybe you can spend the time inside doing research, or reading my blog. I am continuing my discussion on FamilySearch apps with a new app called All The Stories. This app was just uploaded to the FamilySearch site this week.

Imagine if you will, you are a new researcher who has just started adding your family to FamilySearch's FamilyTree. You have connected your recent family to an existing set of names and your tree has suddenly grown. Where do you go from there? You might be overwhelmed by the number of new relatives you just discovered. May I suggest that you visit a newly released app called All The Stories?

All The Stories searches your family tree, back 9 generations, provides you a chart of your ancestors, and lists the stories that are attached to your ancestors. Since the program is version 1.0, it is currently pretty basic.

Screenshot from All The Stories for August Jacob Wise.
When you visit the site you are asked to log into your FamilySearch account so it can be searched. As it searches your 9 generations, you can see it build your family chart. The chart gives you an idea of where your gaps are. As you can see from the image above, my tree is fairly complete for 6 generations but then there are some holes as I go further out from that. When I mouse-over the dots a pop-up comes up with the name of the individual, their relation to me, and a count of the number of stories attached to them. The grey dots have no stories attached to them. The blue dots indicate those that do have stories. As you can see, I really need to get on to writing stories. Most of the stories I have attached are transcriptions of newspaper articles or biographical information that I found in books. When I click on a blue dot I get the details that are shown below the chart. The details include the person's name, relationship, birth and death locations, and a list of stories attached to them.

On the left side of the screen is a complete list of all the stories that are attached to my ancestors. You can also search for a story by keyword if you are not able to find it right away. Once you find the story that you are searching for, you can click on it and read the story. I was wondering what the notations next to the story names were so I did a little more playing. For my stories, the notations are 0 min, 1 min, ..., up to 5 min. This indicates the length of the story and I am assuming the average reading time. Short stories are 0 min and longer stories are 5 min.

Obituary for August Wise.
If you notice in the upper right corner it has two links for View in FamilySearch. The top link opens the story view in FamilySearch. The bottom link opens the person view.

So, you may be asking what is the purpose of this app. Well, I see several uses for it. First, you can see up to 9 generations and see where your research gaps are. Compare this to FamilySearch's fan chart which only displays 4 generations on the screen and 7 generations when printed. Second, you can see who in your tree has stories attached. You can see if new stories have been attached since your last view and you can archive the stories. Another thing that this site is useful for is giving you an easy way to access those stories. It could take a while for you to search all of your ancestors on FamilySearch to see who has a story attached. But by using this app, you can see it all on one screen and you can spend time reading those stories much more efficiently.

This is a new app so I can see the potential for more functionality as it develops. For example, maybe it will include photos or sources sometime in the future. Try it out and see what you can learn about your ancestors.

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