FamilySearch - Red Chains
In Legacy's FamilySearch interface "red chains" (red links icon) mean that there is a linking problem. What you have and what FamilySearch has for the familial links are different. What all of this means is, there are duplicates. You have a person linked to someone else with a certain FamilySearch ID (FSID) but FamilySearch has the person linked to a duplicate with a different FSID.
The Legacy developers have added a new filter to the FamilySearch interface so that you can filter by red chains. Finding these people is now much easier! [Please update to Legacy version 188.8.131.529 to install the new feature. See the Updates box on the Legacy Home screen.]
On the main toolbar/ribbon go to Search > FamilySearch. Before you get started, you will need to click the Update Matches button over on the left side. You will see a new option on this screen to Recheck all Red Link status icons.
Notice at the top of this window it says, Actions for the current filtered list. Make sure you have filtered the list for the people you are working on. I personally have it set to no extra filtering because at this point I want to capture everyone that has red chains. Click Start and let Legacy do its thing. You might just walk away and go empty the dishwasher and check the mail because depending on how large your file is and how many people have red chains it will take awhile.
When Legacy has completed the task, change the filtering to Individuals with Red Links. It turns out I have 1370 which isn't good.
Notice that there is a new red chains icon to the left of the name. If your list is unfiltered, or filtered in a different way, you will still be able to see the ones that have the red chains IF you have also checked the box at the top that says Show Red Links.
I randomly chose a person off of my list and I immediately see that there are TWO duplicates. My Susan has an FSID of KFKG-XF1 but there are two more with L1GZ-JS2 and L1GZ-6WS.
Because Susan is linked to other family members (husband, father, mother and children) her family is a mess. I will have to go in and make sure that these are true duplicates (they are) and then check the surrounding people to make sure that they don't also have duplicates (which of course they do). This is why the red chains are different than simple duplicate checking. This algorithm is looking for errors in relationships. It will take me a while to get this family straightened out correctly but it is important that I take the time to do it right.
In the case of Susan she is the one that has the duplicates (and some of her linked relationships do too). But there is another scenario you will see. The main person doesn't have any duplicates but one or more of the linked relatives do.
Here is one where I have linked Elden Bevis to his wife Addie Bee Foust KCCM-VTP but FamilySearch has this very same Elden Bevis linked to Addie Bee Foust LTNY-S6Q. In this case it is Addie that is the problem.
And here is an example of the parents being messed up.
Here is an example of problem children. Most of these kids are right but two have duplicates.
I want to show you one more situation you will see. Sometimes you will see a red chain on the left with no corresponding duplicate on the right. This means one of three things. Either the person on the left is linked to someone that is not on your screen, the person in question has been deleted off of FamilySearch, or this FSID has been deleted through a merge. The only way to know is to open the person on the FamilySearch website itself to see what is going on.
When I go to FamilySearch and search for KZ1C-Y1Y this is what I find.
Every once in a while you need to have Legacy recheck people. You can do this by clicking the Update Matches button on the left side of the FamilySearch interface screen and then Check linked individuals for changes in FamilySearch. This will change some of your arrows to red if information has been added or deleted but it will also clear out FSIDs that are no longer being used.
Also, if the person on the filtered list has anyone in his family group with red chains he will show as having red chains on the filtered list even though he personally doesn't have red chains. If you clear out the red chains of his family members that have linking errors you will need to Update Matches to Recheck all Red Link status icons to make sure these extra red chains are cleared.
I am very excited about this new feature! This will help experienced researchers clean up FamilySearch to make it better for everyone. The reason I say experienced researchers is that if you don't know what you are doing you can really mess things up. If all of the info I have presented in this article looks foreign to you then I suggestion you read FamilySearch Training.
I plan to detail a step by step merge using Legacy in a future post. This is the one thing that causes the most problems.
Find tech tips every day in the Facebook Legacy User Group. The group is free and is available to anyone with a Facebook account.
For video tech tips check out the Legacy Quick Tips page. These short videos will make it easy for you to learn all sort of fun and interesting ways to look at your genealogy research.
Michele Simmons Lewis, CG® is part of the Legacy Family Tree team at MyHeritage. She handles the enhancement suggestions that come in from our users as well as writing for Legacy News. You can usually find her hanging out on the Legacy User Group Facebook page answering questions and posting tips.