Fill in the box! on FamilySearch

FamilySearch’s Family Tree is changing the way we do online family history but we have to play our part. Unlike other genealogy websites, if you find a birth, marriage, death, census, or military record on FamilySearch, you are presented with a box that says, “Reason to Attach Source.”

Will you fill in the box!?! Please?

That box should not be skipped for sake of speed! Trust me. I know how time-consuming it is to write a reason why you think the record on the left matches the person(s) on the right. It slows down the fun. It’s a drag. You just want to get to the action of finding more records. I get it. I get it! However, a few moments of time can save hours of headaches later, for yourself and others.

Will you please fill in the box?
If you have picked an ancestor, found them in a record supporting their lives and want to save this discovery from that record to the particular ancestor, you have a simple way on FamilySearch to keep everything linked together. On the Source Linker screen, you press the “Add” link to move information from the left side of the screen (the record information) to the right side of the screen (the family tree Person Page).

In the case of the screen above, new information was discovered for Hattie Vogel in the 1930 US Census for where she lived. If you were attaching this record, you would need to take a few moments to say why you’re adding this information. Questions you could answer supporting your decision to attach include:

  • Did you discovered a Hattie Vogel married to a Leo, in the place you were searching… Franklin County, Ohio?
  • Did you recognize that Leo had a particular occupation in the prior census that helped you keep the Leo’s straight?
  • Did Hattie identify the location of her birth parents that were unusual and thus helped you make sure you didn’t confuse her with someone else?
  • Were the names of her children listed and they support previous research?

There are numerous little facts that will lead you to attach a record as a source for an individual. The “Reason to Attach Source” is the golden ticket of family history.

Please fill in the box.

In future posts, I share some of the reason statements I have crafted while attaching records, merging individuals, and more. If you have a particular situation that you’re struggling to explain, send me a note through my Facebook Page, Twitter Account, or the Send Me an Email box on the side of this page.

  • If you’re new to family history, check out some of my other beginner family histories basic posts by clicking Here.
  • If you need some inspiration, check out some of my motivational posts Here
Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

2 thoughts on “Fill in the box! on FamilySearch

  1. All I can say is YES!!!!! I love the "reason to attach" box. I love the ease of linking records and sources and how amazing it is that these things can be gathered up so easily. What a blessing! And yes, that includes the "reason to attach" box. 😀 Thanks, Devon, for yet another great post. Keep it up!

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