The generations on either side of me link me to my past and my future. My view of family history involves revealing the roots and the branches.

Throughout this blog you will find perspectives related to the doctrines of temple and family history work from revealed revelation given to living prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS - Mormon).

Monday, February 15, 2016

RootsTech 2016: Micro Tasking Family History

This class is called: Micro Tasking Family History and the speaker was Tim Cross from FamilySearch.

Here are some of my takeaways from this session:

When we teach someone to fish we don't pull out the Utah Fishing Guidebook and read to them the rules and regulations. We give them a fishing pole and take them to our favorite fishing hole. We show them how to cast and let them try it for themselves. Or we find a mentor who is expert at fishing and have them teach how to fish. Soon the new person is catching fish. Over time if they are continually interested in fishing, they will learn all the required rules and regulations.

The same is true for family history. We should not overwhelm someone who is new to family history with all the rules and regulations. We should provide them the proper tools and take them to a "fishing hole" within the Family Tree where we know they will have success.

FamilySearch is attempting to help identify "fishing holes" for us. They have created and are creating more marketing campaigns to lead us to places in Family Tree where we can find success.

Some of the past campaigns:

Here is an example of an email from FamilySearch that was sent to one of my distant cousins:
These are all "fishing holes"; opportunities to have someone spend time in the Family Tree.

Micro-tasks are things that can be done in 15-30 minutes. Here are some ideas:

  • Adding one ancestor a day until 4 generations are complete
  • Attaching a source
  • Adding photos of headstones to BillionGraves
  • Indexing
  • Adding a photo or story to a relative

Do you have the personalized home page when you log in to FamilySearch? It looks like this:

If you don't have it or you did have it, but you closed the "test" and would like it again, follow this link:

The personalized home page contains "Recommended Tasks" or micro-tasks for you to do. Here is an example from my husband's page:
This is what the Recommended Tasks looks like on my page:
I used to have some tasks available, but they are currently already completed. Great job for my sister and all her hard work! Though, there are still things to do in Family Tree.

The tasks section here works like this. It goes back 4 generations and down one generation: Parents (and children), Grandparents (and children), Great Grandparents (and children), and 2nd Great Grandparents (and children). Though some of those greats have 4-5 generations of descendants in the tree and they have source hints that need to be attached still.

So though we "haven't broken it", our section will stay this way until new indexed records are loaded into Family Tree or until other persons are added to these generations. Though as we find and add these people, we are attaching every available source we can find at the time. So, it may be awhile until we have any recommended tasks again.

FamilySearch is trying to identify for us the best "fishing holes". What is needed are really good "fishing guides" - family history consultants.

"And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."



  1. Yeah, Recommended Tasks are my favorite Fishing Hole! I'm glad we didn't break it. Why didn't we get the same email Lew's child got? Because she is two generations closer than we are?

    1. We didn't get the email because we are already active in the Tree doing things. The email was intended to get people to come fishing (those who haven't been fishing yet). And after a month of not knowing what to do with the email, she called me and within a couple weeks of phone calls and teaching, she has reserved and printed the ordinances for this person and some of his siblings.