Sourcing Documents with RecordSeek

Attaching Sources in FamilySearch Found Elsewhere

RecordSeek.com is a free tool that allows you to create a source on FamilySearch.org or Ancestry.com from any site on the web. To be honest, I had heard about it before, but I hadn’t used it until this week. I was definitely missing out! Let me explain how it works using an example from my Great-Grandma Crouse (born Zufelt).

In an earlier post I talked about what to do when you couldn’t find an ancestor in a particular historical record set, like a census, on FamilySearch. I was able to find her family in the 1920 census by searching on Ancestry.com instead. At this point I was very happy to finally locate the family in the 1920 census (I already had located them in 1900, 1910, and 1930). Now I had a new dilemma. I wanted the source document attached to the family in FamilySearch, and not just in Ancestry.

This is a common problem. There is the “slow” way, which involves the following time consuming steps:

  1. Download the image from Ancestry (or other site) to your PC
  2. Click Add Source from the Person Detail Page
  3. In the area called “Link to Record” select the “Add a Memory” option
  4. Browse to the location on your PC and upload to FamilySearch
  5. Manually create  the source reference.

This must be repeated one at a time. For every person in the historical record. Like the old way you had to source in FamilySearch. You know, back when it was so hard that no one except the serious researchers would take the time to do it? So I wasn’t particularly interested in doing that.

RecordSeek to the Rescue

Thankfully there is RecordSeek! You still have to manually create the reference citation. However, it automatically attaches a web link to the original source which is great. Even better, you can quickly attach to multiple people. It takes extra steps, but still better than repeating the entire process over and over for a family of 10!

Here is a step-by-step guide to using RecordSeek.com

Step 1: Open RecordSeek.com

Simply go to your browser and type in RecordSeek.com in the address bar. I recommend saving the URL to your Bookmarks. On the home page you will see a green button that instructs you to drag it to the address bar. Presumably this is to add a “bookmarklet” to your browser toolbar. This does not seem to work with current browsers. I tried it Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome and got no results.

This frustrated me for awhile and I even sent an email to the folks at RecordSeek. It has been a week and I have not gotten a response.

Nonetheless, simply CLICKING on the green button works fine for creating a source.

Step 2: Choose a Service

Click the green RecordSeek button and a new window appears asking you to choose whether you want to attach the source to FamilySearch or Ancestry.

In my case, I clicked FamilySearch, of course.

Step 3: Create Source Citation

The next screen provides the fields in the FamilySearch Source format. Fill in the Source Title, URL, Citation (where the records is found), and a description. I should have added the census year in the Source Title. In addition, it will add the image to your Source Box, and even allows you to select a folder.

I also recommend you click the green button that says “Tag this Source to Events.” Clicking this will allow you to tag up to 6 facts that are supported by this record. These include: name, gender, birth, christening, death, and burial.

Once you are done with this step click “Next.”

Step 4: Attach to an Existing Person

Once the source citation is complete it is time to select a person to attach it to. RecordSeek gives you the ability to perform a search to select the correct person by filling in some information you know about that person.

You can also search by the Person ID number, which is what I chose to do. I had the Person Details open in FamilySearch and simply copied and pasted the Person ID to the box and hit “Next.” This was super easy and fast.

Step 5: Attach to Another Person

Like I said in the beginning, one of the biggest pains is manually attaching the same source to multiple people. RecordSeek makes it easy!

After you have created the source and attached it to the first person they provide a simple way to “Attach to Another Person.” Clicking the orange button takes you back to the search screen above. At this point I was able to simply copy and paste the Person ID of each of the other family members that appeared in the 1920 census. For example, my Great-Grandmother’s brother’s brother, Ruben.

Step 6: Review the Source in FamilySearch

After attaching the source to all of the people you want to, you are essentially done. I chose to view the person profile page to ensure that the source appeared properly. Below is an example of what the citation looks like. The Ancestry URL is obscenely long, of course, because they store all the search parameters in the URL. But there isn’t anything we can do about that.

I will definitely continue using RecordSeek in my genealogical research. It made the process easier to attach sources in FamilySearch that I found on other websites. Remember that this works on ANY website source, not just Ancestry.com.

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