TEGM Steps 5-6

If you’ve been following The Essentialist Genealogy Method, then by now you should have identified an ancestor to research, set up a clear research log on your phone, and created and answered a research question. Now that you’ve found answers, it’s time to add them to your family tree and take that name to the temple!

Step 5

Change Family Tree to Reflect Your Research

Now it is time to use your most important tool: The Holy Ghost. Pray and validate all the information you have found. If there are any doubts about your results, go back and research further, then validate again.

Now input all new information into the family tree! Be sure to enter the data using the style guide.

2019 Style Guide:  Recording Family History Information into Family Tree at FamilySearch.org

The following guidelines for recording family history information can be found in the Introduction to Family History Student Manual [4.4], used in the Religion 261, Introduction to Family History, Institute Course.[i] (Most recent updates have been included here.)

Note: These guidelines are for use with the family tree at FamilySearch.org, other online trees may utilize different guidelines and standardizations. The industry is working toward universal standards.

Guidelines for recording names. [4.4.1]

Provide names that are as complete as possible. Below are some examples of complete names:

  • Elizabeth Blackenshaw
  • Claus Cornelius Vanderhofen
  • Gonzalez Espinoze y de Nunez y Sainz y Rodriguez
  • Ah-Yueh Chen

If a person was known by a nickname or called by more than one name, do not put this information in the name field, but include this information in a separate information field.

Do not include descriptions or titles—boy, girl, child, stillborn, Miss, Mr., Jr., Dr., or such—as part of the person’s name. Also avoid using explanations such as unknown. Also avoid quote marks, brackets, or parenthesis in the name fields. The software used to find record matches and clear names for temple work may limit or interpret titles or explanations as given names or surnames.

Guidelines for recording dates. [4.4.2]

Record dates as completely as possible with the day, month, and year. If you do not know the exact date, use the words before, after, or about.

Record dates as completely as possible with the day, month, and year. If you do not know the exact date, use the words before, after, or about.

Record dates as day, month (Do Not Abbreviate), and year. If you do not have a complete date, provide what you know. If you have more than one date for the same event, separate the dates with a slash (/) or the word or. Some examples follow:

  • Born: 23 March 1742
  • Christened: December 1952
  • Died: 14/16 July 1822
  • Born: 2 February 1839/40
  • Married: 1878 or 1881

If you record the dates in Chinese-based characters, FamilySearch correctly interprets dates from the lunar calendars used in China, Japan, and Korea.

Guidelines for recording places. [4.4.3]

Provide a place name that is as complete as possible. For place names in English and other languages that use a Roman alphabet, record from the smallest to the largest geographical division, separating the divisions by commas. Some examples follow:

  • Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States
  • St. Dunstan, Canterbury, Kent, England
  • Azusa-mura, Minami Azumi-gun, Nagano-ken, Japan
  • Maugerud, Flesbert, Buskeruf, Norway

For place names recorded in Asian writing systems, start with the largest geographical level, and then move to the smallest. (For example, start with the country and end with the village.)

You should avoid using brief postal abbreviations for states and provinces (such as IL for Illinois). These abbreviations are often misinterpreted. Whenever possible, use the complete name of the state or province.

If you do not know all the levels of a place name, FamilySearch will likely give a list of complete place names you can choose from. In any case, do the best you can with the information you have.

*Always choose a standardized date and place from the drop-down menu provided.

Only enter information you have sourced and cited records for. Assuming name, place, and date information can lead to incorrect family lines and bigger problems that will need correction later.


[i] https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/introduction-to-family-history-student-manual/chapter-4?lang=eng

Produced and used in conjunction with the TEGM program at FamilyHistoryTechCoach.com

Step by Step Clicks

-Click on the information you want to update on the person page.

-Click “EDIT”, enter new information. Remember to include all source citations and explanations from your research log.

-Click “SAVE”! After you check that all the information is correct, click the save button in the upper right side.

Tip: Use standardized, up-to-date style guides to complete this task. You want your information to be readable by the algorithms, and any new updates that will happen frequently. 


Step 6

Attend the Temple

Using The Essentialist Genealogy Method to prepare your family tree names will empower you to attend the temple with assurance that the information on the Family Name Card is verified, researched, and validated. The time spent in the temple will be beautiful, uplifting, and enjoyable. 

Tip: Prepare your cards by family groups when possible.

Many people have fully researched family trees and it is difficult to find complete family groups to take to the temple at the same visit. In these cases, do your best to take as many in one family group at a time as you can. 

Others, however, may find more work to be done. Try to complete the TEGM method for the family group (i.e. Father, Mother, Children) before cards are printed for that family group. 

Note: Printing family name cards for temple service can be done from your phone at home, your Family History Library, or the Temple.

TEGM Learning Series: Episode 3

Essentialist Genealogy Jolley Session 3