Sunday, May 12, 2013

Pandora's Hope Chest - Search Effortlessly

Pandora's Hope Chest
Bishop Eisley recently introduced me to an amazing software extension for Family Tree. The extension, called Pandora’s Hope Chest, allows you to automatically search for ancestors who are ready for temple work. Once installed it becomes part of your Family Tree menu and works like it was originally designed to be part of the program. The extension has two controls; one arrow allows you to search your ancestral line and the other arrow allows you to “down search” or search for descendants of direct-line ancestors and their families. Once started the program moves over each ancestor checking to see if their temple work has been completed. If the program finds an ancestor who is needing temple work it outlines the individual with a dashed green line. It then checks to see if there are possible duplicate names. If no duplicate names are found it outlines the individual with a solid green line. All of the names with dashed and solid green lines are saved in a hope chest icon where you can follow up on the names with more research or send the names to your temple file.

Pandora’s Hope Chest is an extension file for the web browser Google Chrome and does not work with other web browsers such as Firefox or Explorer. To install the extension you can do a web search for Pandora’s Hope Chest or click on this link: Pandora's Hope Chest

Once you have installed Pandora’s Hope Chest, as an extension to Google Chrome, you are ready to start using it. Next, you should close out your Chrome browser and reopen it. Navigate to FamilySearch and open Family Tree. You should notice a few new icons in the menu bar. The new icons belonging to Pandora’s Hope Chest are: A little brown hope chest box, two green arrows and the word “Tutorial.” The first thing you should do is to click on tutorial and follow the directions.
The green arrow that points to the right allows you to search up, checking for ancestors needing temple work. The green arrow that points to the left allows you to search down, checking for descendants of direct-line ancestors and their families. Doing an “up search” is easy and I quickly found 55 names of ancestors possibly needing temple work. Running a “down search” is more difficult because it runs a down search on the person’s family tree that was opened in FamilySearch. So when I ran a down search on my family tree it only looked at my children. In order to do an effective down search you must open a family tree of one of your ancestors so that they are the lead person of the family tree. Once you do that, it should effectively do a search of all the descendants of that individual. I picked one of my ancestors and after doing a descendant search, found over 200 names of individuals that may be ready for temple work.

Pandora’s Hope Chest is a useful and fun extension for locating names of ancestors and descendants of ancestors that may be ready for temple work. I encourage you to check it out.

Check back soon to read the adventures of Guest Blogger, Spence Wilhelm.


  1. Hmmmm! Edward Burgoyne?? My husband is Charles Burgoyne, and he has a cousin Edward Burgoyne who passed away a few years ago. Could you possibly be his son or grandson?? We are working in family history in Bountiful, Utah as well. We are excited about Pandora's Hope Chest. It was interesting to find your blog, and see that you are connected with it, too. If you think you are a relative, could you please contact Charles Burgoyne at Good luck with your family history -- and maybe we have information to share.

  2. Can't download the Pandora's Hope chest program? Help

    1. Tell me what you have tried so far and I might be able to help you. Remember, you must be using Google Chrome Web Browser or it won't work.

  3. Please source your way up the pedigree, verifying that you are truly related to who you see on Family Tree. Then check possible duplicate records, even using Find. When you have ascertained that people you are searching are real people, related to you, with no duplicates, then run Pandora's Hope Chest. It will be a really neat tool, after you do this. Otherwise, we may be just doing temple work over and over again for people we may or may not be related to. Take care.

  4. Please see Product Support Document from the Help Center on that quotes the First Presidency entitled Research and Provide Accurate information when submitting names for Temple Ordinances. Making the green arrow clicking too easy subverts this policy.

  5. Pandora's Hope Chest is not a 3rd party program certified with FamilySearch yet. If it becomes certified it will have to meet the restrictions and design features of FamilySearch. Until that time, one should be cautious.

  6. I downloaded Pandora's Hope Chest just fine. However, each time I go to family search I have this huge red banner that says PLEASE NOTE: and it says no guarantee etc, at the end it says Presentation. How do I get rid of that?

  7. While the intentions of Pandora's Hope Chest are noble, there are problems. "PLEASE NOTE: There is no guarantee that this information is accurate. It is your responsibility to verify before submitting to the temple. This tool is not intended to be a replacement for diligent and thoughtful genealogical research." This is not an inherent problem with Pandora's Hope Chest, but a problem with the data in Family Tree.

    There is much good data in Family Tree, but most of it is not sourced and subject to error. Also, most of the "green arrows" in Family Tree are duplicate entries (many of which Pandora's Hope Chest or Family Tree do not find accurately).

    The First Presidency has counseled, “Because of the sacred nature of this work, members should be diligent in assuring the accuracy of all information submitted” (First Presidency, June 1995), This policy has been recently restated: (Must log in with an LDS account to view).

    President Hinckley also counseled “One of the most troublesome aspects of our temple activity is that … there is duplication of effort in proxy work" (Opening Remarks,” General Conference, October 2005).

    Also, you are probably not related to many persons that show up in the Hope Chest temple list. The First Presidency has stated, "Those whose names are submitted for proxy temple ordinances should be related to the submitter” (First Presidency, February 2012).

    One may ask "why am I not related to persons who show up in my Family Tree pedigree"? The reason is due to the overall accuracy of the information in Family Tree.

    A recent poll of experts estimated that the accuracy of each relationship in Family Tree is 92.1%. On the surface, this looks good. However, when compounded over several generations, it is not good. If a user is separated from someone in Family Tree by only 5 unverified generations, the chance they are related drops to 66.2%, over 10 generations, to 43.9%.

    In the one instance of using Pandora's Hope Chest where I was able to trace my relationship to the purported ancestor needing ordinances, there were 16 generations between me an this "ancestor". If each generation is not verified, there is only a 26.8% chance that I am even related. Unfortunately, all "ancestors" needing ordinances on the Hope Chest list, do not show your relationship to the person.

    I am all for submitting names for our ancestors, but we need to follow the counsel of the First Presidency when doing so. In most cases of using Pandora's Hope Chest, it is impossible to follow that counsel because you cannot accurately determine if you are really related to the person.

    I realize it is difficult for many whose ancestors work is mostly complete to find names to take to the temple. For those persons, I suggest using, because when using Puzzilla, you can trace your relationship to those you are submitting. Also, when one adds a name to Family Tree, there is a higher chance that the ordinances haven't been previously completed compared to finding a green arrow in Family Tree.

    I hope all who read this will take the time to review the following presentations. In our zeal to submit names to the temple, if we do not follow the counsel of the First Presidency as mentioned above, we hinder the work rather that hasten it.

  8. People using Pandora's Hope Chest understand it is to find leads for potential investigation/research. Who's idea was it anyway? Was it developed by LDS Church programmers, called 'engineers'?