How do I start a tree for a non-relative?
How do you add to Family Tree other people than those you can add to existing relatives of yours? (You never really start a tree, you just keep adding to the same tree we are all working in, the single Family Tree database.)
From any Family Tree page on the website, click on the Recents menu. At the very bottom you will see Add Unconnected Person. Choose that and add the information on the new person you are adding to Family Tree. Your goal, of course, is to hook the person as soon as possible to his or her relatives who are already found in Family Tree.
Both Brett and Barry appear to have interpreted this as being based on an issue whereby you are planning to do this work for a third party. My thought is that your issue is in how to add a record of a non-relative, rather than on behalf of a person who is not related to you.
Either way, I am pleased you have accepted the advice offered by Gordon, in how to proceed in adding an individual who one cannot (currently) connect to a family that is already to be found on the tree.
What I do in such cases is to ensure I add such names to my "Following" list, so that I can keep a watch for any new evidence that might come to hand that will enable me to connect the "isolated" individual to other members of their family. In one example, you might discover a sibling, but not the parents. The usual suggestion in these cases is to link them by creating a parent with the same surname and leave the first name blank. So, if you add a John Smith, then discover he had a brother William Smith, connect them on the tree as siblings by creating a father (or mother, possibly!) merely named "Smith". Who knows, in time more bits of the puzzle might fit into place, and you will have connected a whole new branch to an existing family.
It would be nice if @Kelly Underwood would explain more what is going on, and thank you Paul W for opening up the possibility that this is about having source information or memories of non-family / ancestors. I have POUNDS of photos, letters, or information about family friends, acquaintances and business clients of my ancestors. And I do mean a LOT. None of these people would be alive today with the exception of a very few who, if alive, would be in excess of 100. I have been diligently searching for them in FamilySearch and adding images to their memories, which I sometimes make into sources when it is implied. I have created new spouses and children when the names and relationships have been mentioned in what I have, but so far I have simply passed over and ignored all the people who I search for and can't find.
I thought about creating "floating" records, but so far have done it only one time. This person would have been an adult around 1840, as I recall. After creating a record for him, I did a search and found a very possible census record for him. It had the right name, place and time, and interestingly, a family, but in my mind it was groping in the dark and potentially creating the kind of incorrect relationship people incessantly complain about. The 1840 census didn't name family so that was no real help. I decided to not create floater records again. I have evidence for numerous others from that era, also the 1880s - 1900, and finally a bunch who were young adults in the early 1920s, getting married and having children.
To float or not to float? That is the question.
Please remember that the name of this project is FamilySearch and Family Tree, with Family being the key word. Yes, there is the facility to add unconnected names, but as Brett has said, acting as a helper for a friend is a better option than just doing it for them. That way, they can open their own account and maybe continue to add more and more to the tree and later, even help others themselves.
When we just add unconnected names, it's like laying twigs in a tree and hoping that they will grow, rather than properly grafting them in so that they can become a fully connected, living part of the tree.
Oh! One interesting addendum to my comment. While I decided NOT to create floater records, I AM diligently uploading images to my memories location. Someone stumbled across an image and recognized his ancestor. It was one of them not linked because I couldn't find a record. This person was apparently looking at other of my records from that town and time, found my album and started scrolling through the images till he found gg grandfather's name in one of my 1880 newspaper clippings. Working with this guy, I was able to extend his existing family line back in time and tagged my photo to his ancestor's newly created record. I found other newspaper clippings of this guy and was able to tell his story for the person who messaged me. He was a German immigrant, so his name did not go back in time in the US. He had only daughters, so his name did not go forward in time.
It was a happy ending, but only happened once!
To add a new person to the tree when you don't yet know how they are related to anyone.
Please, no! Please never intentionally put junk in the Change Log unless absolutely completely unavoidable. By purposely putting incorrect information in the Change Log you run the risk of confusing future researchers who are trying to figure out why someone has a deleted relationship.
It is so simple to use Add Unconnected Person using the Recents menu that there is never any need to fabricate a false relationship that you intend to delete anyway.
I am researching genealogy for my own pleasure. Sometimes it is hard to find a direct ancestor of mine. So I start with someone likely, and research that person.
My first data is a family group, parents and children. There is no information about how this family is related to anyone. So I enter the family as a group. The only way to do that is to create a new person that is not attached to anyone, and then attach the rest of the family group to that person.
Then I can start looking for how this family is connected to other people. As I find connections, I join them. Hopefully, eventually, I find a connection to the whole family tree, and I can merge them in.
I might work a little differently. I don't start with myself, and find connections. I start with a person in the far past, and find how they are connected to everyone else. If I'm lucky, I'll find out how they are related to me.
The global family tree benefits from different people using different approaches. It ensures that the most complete possible tree will be built. Your way of working is NOT the only correct way.
I should also add that I only add people that belong to a record on Family Search. I am not adding random people. I am connecting orphaned records. If there is another way to add a new person, I couldn't find it. I'm very good at finding that sort of thing. So if I didn't find it, you can be sure that many others also did not find it. You can't expect people to follow some system if you hide the rules, and make it difficult to find the "correct" method.
Cheryl, you are correct. We can work on any type of project we like here and Family Tree allows many different ways of working in it. But we do have to keep in mind that we are not working here alone. Everything we do is open to everyone and we need to work clearly and cleanly so we don't confuse those who come after us, including those those who conscientiously study the Change Log to determine the full history of a person's Family Tree record to determine the thinking processes of the other researchers working on the record and to determine if a record got corrupted or hijacked in some way.
One thing I always encourage people to do is to take the time to learn how to use Family Tree by clicking on every single available link. It's good to do this every couple of months to see what new features are available. For example, clicking on Recents and looking at what you see, clearly shows this:
and has for a long time now.
Also, the Help Center, while it has it issues is the other place to learn how to do things. Clicking on the Help Icon and starting to type, I get this:
Clicking on that first choice, I get the information without even leave the page I am on:
Scrolling down in the popup window gives the steps:
Then, of course, you can always ask here how to do something if you cannot find it.
Like I said, make the information findable.
I have no use for the main page, and would never bother to look at a list of recents. I did try a search of the help, but found nothing. I guess I never lucked into the exact correct keyword, and categories go me nowhere. This forum has the very ambiguous name of "Feedback". I only recently found it when I actually had some feedback. Otherwise, I still wouldn't know about it.
I am interested in doing things correctly, or at least not messing up someone else's work. But I am not going to waste my time clicking on everything, and visiting pages I don't need, just to see if something has changed.
I tried, but couldn't find any better answers. You can be sure that a lot of people care less, and don't even try. Making basic information this obscure is begging for people to make a mess of it.
I want to ditto Cheryl's comment about the difficulty in searching Help. I was searching "How do I add a New person", which brought no useful answer. Not everyone's thought processes will use the word "unconnected". I'm just glad I finally found this page, & Gordon was kind enough (albeit after criticizing Cheryl's efforts) to provide a screen shot explaining exactly where to look for the link at the bottom of the Recent screen. I agree with her: I would never have thought to look at Recent for someone I haven't found yet.
@Juniper2 You may want to mention this in Suggest an Idea so the engineers can see this is something that needs looking at. I am afraid your comment will be overlooked if it is tacked on to an older thread. I am certainly glad you found your answer here though. Thank you so much for trying to help us make things better.
You may also request updates to make help articles easier to find. Giving feedback on why you could not find help can make FamilySearch better for everyone
I have read most of the comments in this discussion board and would appreciate any clarification on the following, please.
I have birth and death dates on a family friend who passed away in 1985. To our knowledge he had no living relatives and by searching through records no additional information has come to light. I would like to create a record on FamilySearch that would include future potential ordinances for this person once the 110 year rule has been cleared.
Am I allowed to create such a record by using the Add Unconnected Person tab?
Any insight will be appreciated. Thank you!