Starving Mormon Temples Must Depend on Automated Genealogical Data Extraction

by Robert John Stevens, February 12, 2017

Since 1979, I’ve known I was one of the younger genealogy researchers. Ironically, in 2017 I am still young for this hobby. My wife and I attend a genealogy class at church where we’re still the youngest, and probably the only class members who are not retired.

Most genealogy researchers are old. Probably 90% of users researching at the LDS Church genealogical library in Salt Lake City, and customers of Ancestry.com and related websites are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Since ordinances for the deceased in Mormon templates depend on names and vital records of the deceased, then given so few researchers who are aging, how do they satisfy the demand? Must they develop automated data extraction?

Yes.

Yesterday I asked a Computer Science professor that question and he confirmed my assumptions with this reply, “Automation is no longer an option. It is a necessity. It is why my research group is doing what it is doing. Automated recognition of handwriting being a prime example.”

This subtle name change announcement by the LDS Church last week reveals much:

The First Presidency has recently approved a change to the names of all family history callings in the Church. Going forward, all members serving in a family history role should be called temple and family history consultants.

Maybe that name change will help motivate people towards the goal of researching and providing names for the starving Mormon Temples.