Search for completed ordinances by date to verify an ordinance was recorded correctly
edited September 28, 2020 in Suggest an Idea
Alan L Anderson said: It would be nice to be able to search for completed ordinances by completion date from my tree. This would allow me to verify some temple work has been recorded properly after a visit to the temple. Some temples hold my family file card after the ordinance has been completed for a few weeks and then destroys the card if I don't get back to the temple soon enough. If the ordinance was not recorded properly and the card is destroyed we lose the paper trail that the ordinance was done and where it was done. This is a non-issue if everything is recorded correctly. But I like to verify and searching for completed ordinances by a date would make the verifying easier.
Heather McPhie said: We need a separate database that allows us to search temple work. The need to search for completed ordinances goes beyond checking to see if they were recorded, we also need to verify that they have been correctly attached within Family Tree. The fact that many records were combined in New FamilySearch, and then transferred into Family Tree with only the earliest ordinances showing means that in many cases, ordinances are hidden under an individual to whom they do not belong. We also need to be able to see the qualifying information that is attached to the earliest ordinance that appears on an individuals page--so we can verify that the ordinance dates showing on that page actually belong to the correct individual.
I would like to see this separate database searchable by name, birth/death, dates, parent/spouse/child relationships, ordinance dates/temple (many people have old temple books with the dates ordinances were completed), and by submitters name (sometimes called "the heir" in old records). Also, I would like to see every entry in this separate database have a way to reveal where that ordinance is attached within Family Tree.0
gasmodels said: Once Family Tree is separated from new FamilySearch, and we believe this will occur sometime this year, getting ordinances attached to the correct person in Family Tree will be the next major issue we will face. We will have to see what is done to make that work. Heather's suggestion above would make that task much easier. I encourage the developers to consider something like that to allow users to locate ordinances and then request them to be attached correctly.0
Amy Archibald said: I have a Watch set on those in my temple list. When temple work is done, I get a notification that the record was updated by "FamilySearch". I can then go to that individual, click on "All Changes" and see the ordinance and the date it was completed, or I can click on the Ordinance tab and see the completed ordinance with date.0
Nathan Twyman said: I couldn't remember where I requested this same thing years ago. My understanding is that the nFS transition is complete--is there any plan to include more information in the ordinances tab or elsewhere? For years I've wanted to know if the ordinances listed in that tab actually belong to that individual or are the result of erroneous merges or record hijacking. I will continue to be patient but I would like to know if adding this information is still planned or if it is being pushed aside for now. If the latter, I am told there may be a way to travel to Salt Lake to view this data. I am planning such a trip and bringing thousands of names to check, but I'd rather not have to if there is a plan to make this information available.0
gasmodels said: Nathan, I am not sure a trip will give you what you want. There are missionaries in the Family History Library that have access to a data tool that allows them to see all the ordinances associated with any record but they control it and my experience is they are not extremely free is letting you look. Of course there are others who have access to this data tool but I am not sure if they will allow anyone to view the information. I agree it would be a boon to have access to the data so that ordinances displayed can be affirmed have been completed for the appropriate individual. Third party tools provide that information when we were using nFS but there seems to be a reluctance to provide that information in Family Tree.0
Don M Thomas said: I have never been in the room, but I thought there was a little room on the second floor of the Family History Library, (south east corner of the second floor of the Family History Library) where people could go and look into previous ordinances, (Temple work) preformed on their families? I have been thinking I might do that with some of my family ancestors who had Temple work done in 1873. I don't know, I always assumed it was for looking up older Temple work?0
gasmodels said: Don, You are correct there is a room where you can look for original ordinances, however there can be a disconnect between that information and what is displayed in Family Tree.0
Nathan Twyman said: Yes I do not think my trip will provide certain answers to all cases, but it should provide a level of certainty to many of them, in the sense that I can be confident certain individuals have actually received ordinances regardless of what Family Tree displays. That will help with older ordinances, which I believe will apply to hundreds of the names I am bringing. I've been told I'll be able to get access.0
Don M Thomas said: Why would there be a disconnect between what is written in the older records, (older books), and what is showing in the FamilySearch "Family Tree" today. Wouldn't FamilySearch go with the original old records over any new information? Seems to me that any new information would be incorrect dates, unless they are using the dates of newer Temple work preformed?0
Nathan Twyman said: For instance, many years ago Simeon Twyman's record was merged with an unknown but arbitrarily large number of records other individuals all the ordinances for those individuals were attached to his record. Then Simeon's record was hijacked to become Bob from Arkansas and relationships deleted. Then Bob was changed to Jack Twyman, etc., etc. So ordinances on Jack Twyman's record are not actually Jack's. But there is no way to know that without access to the names, dates, and relationships that were actually used for a given ordinance. A perusal of this data will help me identify who actually received ordinances, and will hint to me as to which records showing old ordinances completed are actually people still needing their work done.0
Don M Thomas said: Thank you Nathan Twyman and gasmodels for coming back at me and your explanations. Beginning to see why some have asked in the past if they could change the dates of ordinances to match their old family group sheets.
Must be getting older and forgetful in that I see that we all have had a conversation before. https://getsatisfaction.com/familysea...0
Nathan Twyman said: Do FSFT moderators look at these posts? I know they used to years ago... Does anyone know whether there are any plans to make this data available?0
Nathan Twyman said: Its disappointing that no one at FS seems to care enough to even respond. Rather than having the feedback link direct me here, please just tell me that though I may have questions and/or input, the IT group doesn't have resources to respond and/or is not interested. Or whatever the reality is. Years ago, I made many suggestions etc., before discovering that no serious changes were ever going to even be considered until the nFS transition was completed. That is fine... but why not tell us that up front? Now the reality seems to be a different story... why not send a clear message, so people know what to expect?0
joe martel said: Nathan, I'm not aware of a FSFT moderator. There have been suggestions about that, but no such role exists. These GetSat threads are read by various employees but they may not be knowledgeable about all the many systems. Most the time the employees will reply because of misinformation, but if the community of users here is helping that is the goal - since there are no assigned experts/ moderators.
I will be interested in what you find on your visit to the room. I've never heard of it. One thing to keep in mind though. Records are snapshots of events and some of those snapshots have more, some have less data recorded in them depending on the protocol in place at the time the event occurred. An ordinance may have a name, sex, a place and little more. A PID didn't come into existence until recently so you can't definitively know for sure that it belongs to this person in FT. And from nFS Combines, and FT Merging that ordinance will have followed certain FT Persons depending on what users said (these two PIDs are duplicates).0
Jessie Hearle said: SOME of the early records submitted for ordinances are available online.
Family Group Records Collection, Archives Section, 1942-1969 — FamilySearch.org
I have found the collection very useful for my family lines. It would be great if we had access to the ordinance index which included family representatives and other clues but it is no longer online.
Some ordinance dates on the sheets are earlier than 1942 because they were filled in to support later submissions.
Be aware that at least some sheets contain transcription errors; a sheet for my great grandparents has the correct city but wildly incorrect county. My great aunt was the submitter; she lived in the county and would not have made that error so I am guessing that some handwritten forms were typed up by strangers.
This sample illustrates issues some ordinance dates that appear to be out of order were in fact correct. The parents on this sheet were both early LDS. Compare the baptism and endowment dates.
Jessie Hearle said: For more information about access to other records see the wiki
Family Group Records Collection Genealogy - FamilySearch Wiki
Tom Huber said: Getting back to the original posting, I have one case where an ordinance date has been LOST and was REPLACED by a duplicated date. I have an open ticket on the matter. The policy is as follows:
Information for Members
The following changes in temple policies impact the way that ordinances show in Family Tree:
* Before 1960, the confirmation ordinance was always completed on the same day, at the same temple, and by the same proxy as the baptism ordinance. The initiatory ordinance was always completed on the same day, at the same temple, and by the same proxy as the endowment ordinance.
* Between 1960 and 1990, the confirmation ordinance was always completed on the same day, at the same temple, and by the same proxy as the baptism ordinance. The initiatory ordinance was always completed at the same temple but not always the same date. If the inferred initiatory is showing, it will show "Completed" with only the temple name.
* Between 1991 and 1997, confirmation and initiatory ordinances were not stored in the ordinance database, even though the official temple record contained the dates. Because Family Tree required these dates in order to prevent the ordinances from being duplicated, a process was created to imply that the ordinance was completed. If the inferred ordinances are showing, they will show "Completed" only with no date or temple.
The original ordinances all took place in 1973. Therefore, they should be in the Ordinance database. But, it is readily apparent that something has happened to that database and the initiatory ordinance was LOST, either because someone deleted the original record that had the dates, or else the database got corrupted to the point where the initiatory date cannot be found. The duplicate ordinance took place some FORTY-THREE YEARS after the original ordinances.
The policy of allowing a date to overwrite Completed is bogus and has resulted in a whole lot of records with out of sequence dates.
This has been discussed before with what amounts to essentially no statement that the practice of overwriting Completed with a duplicate ordinance date has stopped. Furthermore, ti appears from those discussions that the decision to overwrite the Completed text with a date was a decision made to attempt to get valid original ordinance dates into the system.
Rather than test against the possibility that the overwriting dates would create out-of-sequence ordinances, that possibility was essentially ignored and so FamilySearch managed to create yet another mess and one for which we have no ability to correct.
PID KLQ9-92T - Sarah Belle Anthony
At least they corrected the confirmation, but I'm not sure that anyone in data Admin ever checked the ordinance database for the initiatory data.0
Nathan Twyman said: Thank you for clarifying the purpose of these forums. I might suggest a permanent, sticky topic or banner or something that helps people know what to expect up front.
I simply want to know that the ordinances for my relatives have been completed. Family Tree does not provide that assurance. So mapping ordinance work I find to PIDs in Family Tree would help, but is not the main goal.
There will be many cases where I cannot be sure that ordinance work has been done, simply because records are not made available. Since FamilySearch insists on hiding the necessary data from me, the only option I have left is to perform ordinances again, myself. So even if my trip only tells me for sure that, say, 100 of my relatives surely have their work completed, that is ordinances for 100 individuals that I will not have to duplicate.0
Nathan Twyman said: Jessie thank you very much for sharing this!0
Nathan Twyman said: Wow, I've already verified a large number of ordinances, and I found a number of individuals for which *I* duplicated ordinances. I wonder why those ordinances never appeared in Family Tree. This is really a great resource!0
joe martel said: I will repeat what has been communicated previously by various FS representatives and recommend you trust that info:
Regarding "But, it is readily apparent that something has happened to that database and the initiatory ordinance was LOST, ..., or else the database got corrupted "
No official ordinance data is ever LOST or corrupted or overwritten There may be duplicate ordinances done for a Person but the ordinance you see on a FT Person is the "effective" ordinance, which means the one which is determined by protocol to be most reliable. This is usually determined when and by what method that ordinance record was created. The duplicate ordinances are not shown.
In the past patrons were allowed to submit their own patron-contributed ordinance info. Since these weren't official and often very wrong patron-contributed is no longer utilized.
Regarding the statement above: "I simply want to know that the ordinances for my relatives have been completed. Family Tree does not provide that assurance."
This is a great way to consider family history if you are a member. FT is the view that the FT Person has whatever ordinances done. If the ordinance belongs to that Person it will show there. If you look at a FT Person and the ordinance is available then there is no other ordinance.
However, if you ever find a situation where you believe an ordinance was lost a couple steps may help you:
1. Go look for possible duplicates and see if that ordinance you know about it tied to that Person.
2. Use FIND in FamilyTree to do the same as Possible Duplicates only return high match Person, Find is much looser.
3. If you still can't find it then contact support with your evidence and they may be able to verify. Many times users have an ordinance information that was from a questionable source (person who thought they knew, gedcom, family group sheet, patron-contributed) that has no official provenance and support will not find record of such.0
Nathan Twyman said: "If the ordinance belongs to that Person it will show there."
If the ordinance belongs to someone else, it will also show there. That is the problem.
Ordinances were done for Joe Ferguson from Detroit. Joe Ferguson's FT record was then hijacked and instead became Bill Mahoney from Pittsburgh. Five years later, a descendant of Bill Mahoney finds this FT record and assumes the ordinance work for Bill is complete--because that is what shows in the ordinance tab. But the ordinances attached to Bill Mahoney's record are not Bill's -- Bill's work has never been done. Bill's descendant assumes Bill is set, but he is not.0
Ron Tanner said: The ordinances show the date and temple. If these do no match what you expect, because you have evidence that it should be something else, then submit a case. Support will then look through the system and find the date and temple you do expect (if it exists) and make the appropriate changes.0
Ron Tanner said: All ordinances are attached to some person in the tree. This is why we require you to do a possible duplicate before reserving.0
Gordon Collett said: Just a family example of why you will see things as in the example Jessie gives above.
My grandmother was born into the church to active member parents. In fact, her father was called by the church to go to Canada to build and run a hotel. She went her entire life knowing she was baptized. When she was 77 years old, six months before she died, apparently someone looked at her church membership record and found there was no baptism date. My father re-baptized her in order to establish a baptism record for her.
In the days of hand-copied, shipped around by mail records, errors were made and records were lost. If an ordinance could not be documented, even if everyone was sure it had been completed, it was re-done. Even if, as Jessie's example shows, later ordinances would demonstrate that the earlier ordinances had to have been done. Basically if there is no proper record to be found - re-do!
(Ron, since you are looking at this, will there be a time that we can verify that the ordinances showing on a person really belong to that person?)0
Nathan Twyman said: Somehow I am being very unclear. I was about to write something about record hijacking, when I realized I am probably hijacking this topic... I put up a different topic instead.0
Don M Thomas said: Is merging really that much of a problem with Temple Ordinances? Shouldn't Temple Ordinances follow the original person the Temple Ordinances were assigned to? Let us hope that the computer engineers find a way, (in an open editing database), of preventing unwanted merges if it turns out merging is the problem.0
Tom Huber said: Joe--
1 - No "possible duplicates".
2 - FIND results only in the Person for which I provided a PID.
3 - Support closed the case They don't want to do the research for this person, even though they corrected the confirmation to agree with the applicable knowledge article https://familysearch.org/ask/salesfor...
The policy of overwriting "Completed" with a 43-year later date is absolutely absurd. The referenced article says "Between 1960 and 1990, the confirmation ordinance was always completed on the same day, at the same temple, and by the same proxy as the baptism ordinance. The initiatory ordinance was always completed at the same temple but not always the same date. If the inferred initiatory is showing, it will show "Completed" with only the temple name."
Therefore, the temple should show with the word Completed. The original 1973 ordinances were done in the Salt Lake Temple. The overwrite replaced Salt Lake with the temple where the 43-year later duplicate took place.
Either support is not bothering to search the records for the initiatory date, or is unwilling to replace the 43-year later date with Completed and the name of the Temple. Right now, support is continuing to close the case, despite my protests!
I live 1200 miles from Salt Lake, so I cannot search the temple microfilms for the date. The initiatory date should be in the database, but support refuses to search the database. The boundary dates would be 8 Feb 1973 when the baptism and confirmation took place in the Salt Lake Temple and 22 Feb 1973 when the endowment took place.
So support is unwilling to search Salt Lake Temple's microfilm for the initiatory date which took place somewhere in a 16-day period (the ordinance could have been performed on the same day as the confirmation or the same day as the endowment).
What can be done, since the temple microfilms are not available outside the special collections section of the Library? Put up with the madness of a 43-year-later ordinance that should never have overwritten the Completed Salt Lake Temple data?0
joe martel said: Tom, you are not arguing with me. I'm simply stating the facts and I understand your desires. But the fact remains and I can't alter what the leaders have chosen to do and not do. But you can bring this up through your leadership.
I think it is important that we on this board present ideas, but need to respect the decisions that have been made. So in the end, it is most important that these posts guide all users in the best approach to accomplish the goals given the current state of software and data.0
Tom Huber said: What I do not know is whether the decision for what is being done was a decision made by the Temple Department or was made by Family Search.
I agree that if the decision came from the Temple Department, then I have to accept what they have done. However, because I do not know that they dictated that known dates overwrite "Completed" when it results in out of sequence dates, especially with something like the 43-year-later ordinance overwriting the dates as indicated in the knowledge article.
If FamilySearch made the decision and the decision was not directed by the Temple Department, then this issue needs to be escalated.
Do you know, for a fact, that the overwriting decision was directed by the Temple Department, or not?0