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Deleting one's family tree from FamilySearch

Please send me instructions on how to delete my family tree from FamilySearch. I don't like random people attaching information, (usually incorrect) on my tree. This is a terrible way to develop one's tree and continue one's lineage. Maybe I don't understand but I've had several people add incorrect information to my tree and I do not like having to make corrections and contact those individuals. No wonder there are so many trees here and on Ancestry.com that have questionable, if not completely ridiculous, data.
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  • 6
    This is a collaborative tree, so 'your tree' is not, in fact, 'your tree', but the tree of anyone who is related to you or who has added information about those people as well. You can remove yourself from familysearch, but the collaborative tree remains.

    Ancestry (and many other online trees) is semi-collaborative. You add your tree, and you can connect to other people's trees.

    I suggest you use a program such as RootsMagic which allows you to keep your tree separate from what everyone else is doing, but which allows you to sync your information with collaborative and semi-collaborative trees if you wish.
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    • Alex Sellars wrote: There is no way to delete a tree. Any and all information you enter into FamilySearch is now FamilySearch's property:
      https://www.familysearch.org/terms

      How convenient that nobody is informed of this when they create an account. On most websites you have to agree with the terms of usage. Pretty unethical I think and especially one based on a religious practise. Working on a story of my experiences with this website and lucrative practises on FS so thank you for this valuable piece you've shared. Pretty bad though when one voice is more ethical than an entire cooperation.
    • Like all sites, when you create an account you agree to the terms of use. That you did not bother to read those terms is not the fault of FS, but most of us, including me, simply gloss over them.

      As far as Family History is concerned, it is a matter for all relatives. I have spent over 50 years doing research and at times have spent up to a month on researching just one ancestor.

      Am I bothered that someone comes along and makes changes to my hard work?

      No, I am not, because I chose not to be. I have an understanding with those 50+ years that everyone who makes changes believes they are working with their relative and as such, they have as much right as me, to make changes to the universal tree.

      Now as to the tree, yes, FamilySearch could definitely do a better job introducing the tree to people who are new to the site and are often called "newbies." Everyone is a "newbie" to the site at some point, whether they are a professional genealogist (having met certain requirements of various genealogical societies) or a person who has never done anything with their own genealogy.

      I would like to call the massive tree in FamilySearch unique, but there are a few other sites that work with a similar model. One of them is WikiTree. The site uses a different approach to a single tree, rather than the mostly open-edit nature of FamilySearch FamilyTree. The WikiTree site emphasizes the building of a shared, worldwide family tree.

      What is amazing to me, is that even though FamilySearch does not emphasize the nature of the massive tree, it had to have come from somewhere. When all the names connected to the people in the tree, it really should come as no surprise to anyone that a lot of people were involved with the construction of the massive tree. But for people new to the FamilySearch site, it is a surprise because FS does not spend much time talking about the nature of the single tree. It is much larger than WikiTree (1.2 plus Billion persons) and has a much larger user base. And, like WikiTree, it is entirely free.

      As far as talking about the nature of the massive tree, the managers, developers, and support staff often make reference to "your" tree. That is unfortunate, because if they used clear language that was not misleading, I do not believe there would be as much misinformation. Part of the problem is that for years, FamilySearch International, referred to family history as "personal" even to the point of calling its own family tree software, "PAF" which stood for Personal Ancestral File.

      At this point, most of us users understand the problems with the way FamilySearch representatives identify the tree and even parts of the tree. I have heard a number of times, Ron Tanner, "The Family History Guy" who is one of the management team at FamilySearch, call the family section of any profile, the spousal relationship section. He and others still do that from time to time, but they are slowly coming to realize that it is really a couple relationship section and may or may not involve a marriage, but rather a relationship between two people, and beyond, to their family relationships, which includes parents, siblings, and children.

      Now, like Wikitree, you can decide to no longer participate and cancel or request that your membership be terminated, but, like WikiTree, what you have contributed is in place and cannot be easily separated. The contributions have, by the nature of the single tree design, become an integral part of the massive tree and cannot easily be pulled out.

      That is the nature of the single-tree approach to family history.
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  • 2
    Welcome to the community support forum for FamilySearch. FS personnel read every discussion thread and may or may not respond as their time permits. We patrons, having various levels of knowledge and experience do our best to help each other with concerns, issues. and/or questions.

    Since you are new to this forum, it is also likely that you are relatively new or inexperienced with FamilySearch FamilyTree. We see this same kind of concern from people who are what I call, "sometimes" genealogists and have not worked extensively with the tree. I have prepared the following material to help you and others like yourself understand the nature of the tree and how to use what I have found to be effective methods in maintaining reliable records.

    Introducing FamilySearch FamilyTree

    FamilySearch FamilyTree is a single tree that is a collaborative effort, built around an open-edit model, allowing any person, including yourself to add to and make changes on any person who lived throughout history, including all of our deceased relatives.

    There is no "my tree" in FamilySearch FamilyTree. it is a tree for all mankind. If you have found errors, you need to know why those errors are there. It could be that someone incorrectly combined another person's tree with your relative. It could be that someone found a source that they thought applied to your relative, but it did not. It could be that someone knew that their information was correct and entered that.

    There are sites that support independent trees and building them. FamilySearch is not one of those sites.

    If you are unfamiliar with how to work with the massive tree (now containing over 1.2 Billion persons), The Family History Guide (http://thefhguide.com/) is an approved training resource. It not only contains procedures for working with the site and the massive tree, but also exercises for you to use.

    As to the incorrect information -- Those who make changes usually believe they are also related to the person for which they are making changes. Their changes may be valid, invalid, or contain errors and may lack support from primary and secondary source material. Or the changes may be based on misinformation, or information that was copied from an unreliable source. Genealogies are often treasured because they connect people with royalty, famous personalities in history, has introduced creative and, at times, fraudulent solutions.

    For instance, one infamous self-proclaimed genealogist, Gustave Anjou, produced well over 100 genealogies about American families. While these have had ample reliable sources, there have been claims (with alleged sources) used to connect those families with famous people and royalty. He is known to have charged $9,000 for such a genealogy during his lifetime. He died in 1942.

    The desire to belong to an elite group of people, such as Mayflower Descendants, the Daughters of the American Revolution, or the Sons of the American Revolution has likewise produced some inventive genealogies. These were often accepted without adequate documented proof and have been used to make connections that actually never existed.

    In 1990, the D.A.R. organization published a new "Centennial" Index in three volumes. Many previously accepted Revolutionary Ancestors no longer appeared in the index. The D.A.R. organization explained, "Omission from this edition of the name of a DAR member's ancestor would be due to conflicting data received which raised some questions about the patriot's identity, service or descendants."

    Not all participants who add to and make changes to existing material have the same level of knowledge and experience. Novices / Newbies often try their best to be useful, but they can and will make mistakes, some of which are going to cause concern. Others are convinced that their information is factual, despite not having primary or secondary validated sources.

    While this can be frustrating, remember that everyone has been at one time or another in their lives, or is now, a novice or newbie. I remember what it was like for me, now over fifty years ago.

    Minimizing the bad changes

    To minimize the changes others make to the tree, there are several things that I have found to be as effective as possible, given the nature that many inappropriate changes are being made by people who are new to FamilySearch FamilyTree, or do not work with the tree on any kind of regular basis.

    1. I make sure every person I work with on FSFT is fully sourced with citations that can be used to locate original records, not only with sources from FamilySearch Historical Records, but also from other sites as well as material that may not be available online. I also add whatever stories exist about that person and provide sources for those stories. The more information I can include, the less likely someone will come along and make changes.

    I make sure that every conclusion (fact) that is in a person's record actually applies to that person and I have included my reasoning why that conclusion is the right one. Remember, there is no room for speculation, which is not fact. If I am unsure about some aspect of a person's life, I put that information on the person's page in notes, discussions, or even as a story, especially if an old well-worn family tradition is involved.

    2. Every time someone makes a change or merge that I feel is incorrect, I use the FamilySearch message system to leave them a kindly written message that contains the following elements:

    -- Thanks for their interest in making the person's record as accurate as possible.
    -- The person or family involved and my relationship.
    -- My thoughts and sources with respect to the changes they made.
    -- The corrections I made to their incorrect changes and why I did it.
    -- Request that before they make changes that they study the record, including the sources that are attached, any notes and stories that may be included in memories.
    -- Remind them (if they have not provided a source or a reason) that sources are crucial to establishing conclusions and facts, and that a person's reasoning is needed to let others know what research and thinking was done to reach those conclusions.
    -- What I did to correct what I perceived to be incorrect material.
    -- Thank them in closing for their interest in making the record as complete as possible.

    3. I am prepared to not receive a response from the person. They have the choice to respond or not respond. Many times, they respond, indicating that they are beginners.

    4. I am well aware that not everyone works with FSFT every day or extensively, so there are many different levels of knowledge and experience being applied. I try to help others understand things like the differences between primary and secondary sources and that published family and locality histories often contain errors and are not sourced. I let them know that unsourced material needs to be treated as hints, not as facts. If a faulty record may have been involved, I let them know about the problems.

    By taking an active part in working with a few of my relatives, I have found that bad changes either stop, or slow considerably. To track what changes take place, especially with critical persons in the tree, I put them on my watch list.

    The most gratifying part about taking an active role, I receive thanks from those who made changes, especially since I go into great detail about what I know of the person and their immediate family, the area, and the families who were neighbors to our common relatives.
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    • Betty

      As made very clear in other posts, you don't have a tree to delete so will just have to follow the advice given in this thread. I understand your frustration at the amount of inaccurate information (especially when it gets attached to your relatives) but there is nothing that is "stand alone" in this collaborative tree.
    • I have found what I posted with respect to complete sources and documentation to be very effective against unwarranted changes. It is up to you, but like everything else in life, there are specific steps that must be followed for my efforts to be effective.
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  • 6
    Another example of the community tree model of FamilySearch being misunderstood by patrons. It would be helpful if FS could do a better job of informing/educating from the get-go. You don’t add your tree to FS (except to the genealogies area) you look at what’s there and then correct/source/augment/add memories etc to make it more accurate. I totally get why new patrons to FS often misunderstand.
    • view 6 more comments
    • This comment was removed on 2019-10-20.
      see the change log
    • While you are free to share your opinion of others, please refrain from doing so with vulgarity. We're all adults here and should conduct ourselves accordingly.
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  • 4
    There is no way to delete a tree. Any and all information you enter into FamilySearch is now FamilySearch's property:
    https://www.familysearch.org/terms
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  • 3
    The only records that might be deletable are living records which no one else could see anyway so not too much would be gained by deleting them. Once you enter information in Family Tree as Alexander States - it becomes property of FamilySearch.
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  • 1
    Don't forget that you can also delete, on a one by one basis, any individual you have personally created as long as no other user has made any contributions to the record.
    • view 3 more comments
    • The reason you cannot delete yourself is you are the root person in your account. You can effectively delete yourself by deleting your account but then you will have no access to Family Search
    • Chas & gasmodels, thank you for responding. I did know that no one else could see me since living. I did not know I could not delete myself, however, as I'm the root of the tree. Perhaps I will change my feelings about doing a communal tree in the future but at the moment, I don't like dealing with people making changes that are incorrect and having to deal with constantly correcting and explaining. It is too time consuming. I can put a tree on FTDNA or do my own website and refer people to those. Thanks again!
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  • 5
    I totally agree, H. Martin. I don't mind people contributing, as long as it is in the format of "adding" as an alternate piece of information, not deleting the information I had or correcting it, which usually turns out to be incorrect or unconfirmed.

    I asked FamilySearch to considering the additing/not changing information only, but they are insistent that this is considered collaboration. However, collaboration is based on mutual alliance and working together, not running rough shot through someone's records. I wish I had never provided all my hard work on this site. What is going to happen in the future? All of our hard work will be lost due to changes by other people.
    • view 19 more comments
    • How to merge. Then again a simple google search can show you that.
      https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/...
    • In this post it seems Donna and Jacqueline are the only 2 making any sense and honest statements. Rare these days and extremely rare in this forum
      from the comments above and below. Just my OP and if someone gets offended don't. I simply made an observation and formed an opinion. I think I can do that.
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  • I’m Feeling you, that is a feature I wished they would listen too, in a huge buck kick way.
    3
    jacqueline if I could give you More stars I would that is one of the best answer I have seen. Family search is very funny some times, I hope they would consider do what you have suggested.
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  • There are probably other approaches that maybe would be better. But there's always a trade-off: keep my tree intact vs. community contribution... In many ways FS FT follows the wikipedia model - any user can edit - open edit, and no one user owns the data. Other approaches include a curated model - where a user can post and another review, or another where a user suggest and another accepts/rejects that. To give some idea of scope and scale earlier this year:
    - 4 millions persons are added each month
    - 125 million transactions happen each hour
    - about 1 million conclusion writes (add a birth, edit a relationship...) happen each day
    An approval model would need to have users curate probably double that today.

    I'm always interested in new approaches that would slow bad data coming in and facilitate good changes.
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  • 2
    The problem I have with all of this is that I don't want incorrect information "out there". Many inexperienced genealogists will take this incorrect information as gospel. I have gone to great lengths to document and research my personal tree and I don't feel much like "collaborating" if my work is going to get destroyed by someone who has either done no research or who has jumped to crazy conclusions (sometimes off of misspellings or transcription errors, etc). I still can't find any good reason to contribute to a tree if that tree will inevitably become corrupt by false data. The more times a lie is repeated, the more likely it is to be believed... and I just can't accept that.
    • view 5 more comments
    • why not be part of the SOLUTION instead of just complaining about the problem>?
    • No solution that isn't in the hands of the FamilySearch folks. There is an extensive discussion (several pages long) that is ongoing about the problem with the seriously flawed GEDCOM compare/add/change process. Uploading is not the problem and many trees (from the old Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource File systems) are highly accurate. Unfortunately, few GEDCOM files contain source information, which makes them, at best, good for hints at what might have been with any given relative.

      There have been some changes, but until FamilySearch provides a better comparison tool (for not only the GEDCOM process, but also the source linker and the merge process), we are going to have ongoing problems from those who attempt to merge their GEDCOM data with the massive tree. A number of regulars spend more hours "fixing" GEDCOM duplicates than they should, but the problem is also associated with hints as well as potential duplicates and the hinting system hasn't been the best lately.

      FamilySearch is adamant about using the open-edit model with few exceptions and a recent discussion offered some ideas. But with the "limited" resources available, some of those ideas may never be implemented. Hopefully, at some future time, the merge and source linker will offer a more complete interface -- right now, you cannot view the comments during a merge.

      As far as complaints go, the more they occur, especially when testing shows some major problems, the sooner they are addressed if a workaround is not available. This forum is for the concerns (complaints) with respect to how the system is working. We've been assured that each thread is read by at least one FS person who may or may not respond, depending upon their workload. So offering concerns is part of the solution.
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  • 2
    Yes, it does come down to what you actually believe. But will entropy really triumph? I.e., will all of the structure in the FamilyTree slowly deteriorate and continually become more incorrect as time passes? After all, that IS a natural process in nature.

    Or will it continue to self-correct by all those contributing to it to increase in accuracy and content as time passes?

    Consider this. Pretty well ALL PEOPLE who are patrons to FamilySearch, REGARDLESS of whether they are stubborn, inexperienced, or uninformed, seem to really want their family's information in the tree to be correct. There is only ONE truth about any given vital in the system, and I believe that when it is documented well with logic provided, eventually all interested parties can agree on them.

    I believe that in itself is enough to surmount any affects of entropy that can occur in the FamilyTree. But I also believe there is much more.

    There are many great contributors to the work here that are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.They all feel the importance of accuracy in this work. But in addition to this, be aware that members of this church (myself including) also know that the Lord wants this work done. The "Spirit of Elijah" is currently on the earth today to "turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers" (Malachi 4:5-6). This power is helping people to become more aware and caring for their families and ancestors. I believe that this is one of the reasons for the explosion in the interest in Genealogy since the late 1800s.

    So from a belief standpoint, I know that there is tremendous power behind the work being done here. It will succeed. Entropy in the form of missing sources, disagreements, and changes by inexperienced or sometimes careless people will never endure. It will only slow things down some.

    I'm convince that if I document things as best as possible in the Family tree, after I'm gone if something is corrupted, it will eventually get corrected as all the pieces of the puzzle will be there in the sources and change histories.

    But that's just my take on it :-)
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    • Lucky you..I just had everyone down to my grandfather messed with!
    • Agree-attaching sources has made all the difference! That, and asking people where they got their info so we can maybe find answers together. I find that most want this to be the best info possible, and duplications are getting less and less because of it!
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  • 4
    When I first started using Family tree on this site I typed in about 10 families. A week later I went back to see all the information changed so I never bothered with it again.
    I guess some people just like to see their names on every page unethical as it is.
    • view 12 more comments
    • CDHC, you are preaching to some very experienced users. Please do not do that. Most of us have years of experience working with FamilySearch and the massive FamilyTree. We are often the first to find "bugs" in newly released code and report it here.

      Most of check for newbies and offer assistance in the form of The Family History Guide (approved by FamilySearch). Many FHCs are not open enough to be helpful, especially at the hours many people are actively working on their portion of the tree and some do not offer any classes at all.
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  • I’m frustrated
    2
    What ever happened to common decency? In Québec we talk to each other, ask questions, make indications we are not certain about some data so it's not taken as proof, don't change another's format for entire lines (honestly!) even mess with close ancestors! Have people really no clue. If you are working on ancestors from the old country what ever it is, assume those living there have more knowledge as you, as they would defer to those in the new country having a leg up. People need to stay in their lanes. I always appreciate information to add, but not people running roughshod over work that has been meticulously entered. Most unprofessional. As a result information on here just cannot be trusted.
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  • This reply was removed on 2019-03-19.
    see the change log
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  • I’m Angry
    1
    Hi all. I need some advice. What is the best way to handle the situation with the individual who changed over 25 of my locations...I want her to return them back to how she found them-historically accurate and written in their Quebec appropriate format. She even went as far as to mess with my grandfather s data!!! But I am still too ticked off over her audacity. I ought to mention that this is the second time this has happened to me and the previous occurrence was worse!
    I no longer advance my lines on this site. Some advice: If you have French ancestors in Quebec, go to Quebec généalogie sites for accurate info. Stay clear of Ancestry too. Too many errors that keep being perpetuated because no one actually proves anything. If someone has messed with your data, how did you handle it...
    • view 4 more comments
    • Well, that's kind of how I felt about it. But when the ONLY people who are capable of doing anything about it refuse to take ownership, there's really nothing you can do but walk away...
    • On the ordinance front I don't care a jot personally since I'm not of that religion. It's the effrontery that gets on my goat. A blatant violation of the tenets of the religion this person purports to follow, all for a little personal gratification and vanity.
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  • 2
    Martin,
    Now you know you are not alone! It is so frustrating right... I think a dos and donts list would be appropriate if not mandatory on what falls under the collaboration umbrella and what is totally unacceptable, boorish behaviour.
    Enough said.
    • view 3 more comments
    • Donna, I have made my family tree on Ancestry private also. I got tired of people copying what I had entered into their own trees without acknowledging from where the information came. People may contact me and make inquiries and I will share what I have as long as the individual agrees to post the source of their data. Also, people transfer photographs from another person's tree without acknowledging where it came from. If they would read Ancestry's rules, they would see that they are in violation of Ancestry policy. I also think it's unethical to "steal" photographs or whatever and post them on a tree as if the owner of the tree provided the picture or documentation.
    • Yes, I would do as you and share info if someone contacts me. This is what we used to do on the genealogy lists on Rootsweb. Many of the trees on Ancestry have no source info and I see the same mistakes made from tree to tree so know people aren't really doing the research. I'm not sure many even check the "hints" to be sure they really apply to the correct ancestor or their ancestors at all.
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  • 1
    There are a few things to do. One is to get the places set to show on the standardized list. In the help search bar-search standardized places and the instructions should be there.
    Next-add sources for everything you add. And then give reasons when you add a place. You can type in the reason statement why that place name is accurate.
    If dates and places are not standardized, FamilySearch does not even use them-and if you want the program to help with hints-we need to standardize. So people are probably trying to get rid of the red warning symbols that say something isn’t standardized.
    The other thing you can do is to let people know about naming conventions that you’ve been using by messaging them and maybe pulling them in. Hard. If it’s a distant cousin that lives in the US-they will barely know where Quebec is, let alone details about specific places! If you see a name associated with a change, you can click on it and send an internal message. Everyone is trying to make this database of names better and better, so we just ask nicely and do our best. I think the requesting of standardizing the places of concern will be your best bet. Then they show on the list when people are standardizing.
    Hope that helps?!
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  • Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I was going to explain about the naming conventions. Odd thing though, I have seen the wrong name for a particular village everywhere, and it clearly states that name came to be in 2006. So it was definitely not in use in 1700s!
    Is it not well known that place names need to be historically accurate...
    You make a good point about folks just wanting to get rid of those pesky warning symbols. Place names can change a few times over the course of 400 years so they cannot be standardized just to one name. If I had a dollar for every time Canada was included before 1867, I would be richer than Trump!
    Thanks again!
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  • Nathalie, Could you explain more about Quebec place names? Family Tree can handle all sort of place names by displaying what you type in and still linking it to an appropriate latitude and longitude as indicated by a text description for that position that may or may not be the greatest match to the correct historical name. In other words, one can usually get the correct name to display without any warning symbols. I'd like to give a precise explanation if you could list a few place names that need to be listed a certain way to be accurate which you are having trouble showing.

    Also, the place name standards people are working hard to improve the names all the time and they do have as a long term project adding appropriate names for the the appropriate time periods.

    For example, Not long ago the standards database had one standard name for the Berge farm in Fusa, Hordaland, Norway, that is, Berge, Hordaland, Norway. Now it has ten because there are actually three farms by the name of Berge in Fusa and because the parish/municipality of Fusa has been split and recombined a few times. Here are the various ways one of these farms now displays in the Place Research Tool showing the four standardized versions which are available for it:









    However, if I want to, I can use an even more historically accurate version, which even the Norwegian National Archives does not do, and enter the place name like this:



    which is standardized just fine and will not have any warning symbols even though the wording I used is not in the standards database.

    Finally, may I offer some words of encouragement by way of my experience here in Family Tree. About a year ago, someone was changing a bunch of my wife's relatives name from their historically accurate first name, patronymic, farm name version to their less accurate and more confusing strictly first name, patronymic form. I changed them all back, put in a reason statement and messaged him. He never answered and changed them again. I changed them back and put on a longer reason statement and again messaged him without a reply but he changed them again. I even found an e-mail address for him through google and he never answered. The names went back and forth half a dozen times until he finally quit. The names have remained in their proper form for about six months now even though he has been back to those records to add sources.

    Keeping your most important ancestors on your watch list and just accepting that part of your responsibility as a genealogist is continual education of less informed users will let the most correct information win out in Family Tree.
    • view 3 more comments
    • I think that it would be useful for you to consider raising this as a new topic in GetSatisfaction. However, before you do, I suggest that it might help to think about these points:

      Re what comes up automatically - if I use https://www.familysearch.org/research... and search for "Saint-Nicolas, Quebec", then one of the places that comes up has several names over time.

      - "Saint-Nicolas, Les Chutes-de-la-Chaudière-Ouest, Les Chutes-de-la-Chaudière, Lévis, Quebec, Canada" - this is clearly dated in the place-name tool as 2002 onwards.
      - For 1867-2001 it is simply "Saint-Nicolas, Quebec, Canada", which sounds just a bit light on name-parts to me (no county, as you say).
      - "Saint-Nicolas, Canada East, British Colonial America" is 1841-1867,
      - "Saint-Nicolas, Canada East, British Colonial America" is 1791-1841 (yes these are the same!),
      - "Saint-Nicolas, Canada, New France" covers 1694-1763 (no idea about the missing years!)

      FS FamilyTree does not automatically choose a correctly dated name for various reasons, not least that a major proportion of the places don't have dates on their place-names. FS rely on people choosing an appropriate version of the name.

      It looks to me like FS are using "Saint-Nicolas" to refer to the parish of that name rather than the church itself.

      "British Colonial America" is a FS concoction that they insist on using to describe places in what are now the USA and Canada before those became jurisdictions in their own right. It never existed as a jurisdiction - it didn't even exist as a contemporary description so far as I can see ("British North America" was used in relation to what became Canada)

      Right now I'm not sure exactly what the issues are, apart from it looks like there are several.
      1. I have no idea what the hierarchy of place-names is supposed to be. I did try to read the Wikipedia article on divisions of Canada - and gave up. As I think I have done in the past as there doesn't seem to be a generic answer!
      2. If Saint-Nicolas is supposed to be the parish, then surely there needs to be some intermediate levels between Saint-Nicolas and Quebec / Canada East, etc.? As you ask - where's the county?
      3. If "St-Nicolas-de-Levis" is the accepted name in genealogical circles, then you need to explain whose circles, because, to be fair to FS, Saint-Nicolas is the term in Wikipedia ("Saint-Nicolas is a district within Les Chutes-de-la-Chaudière-Ouest borough of the city of Lévis, Quebec....") and it's not immediately clear why it should be one hyphenated word.

      Please note I'm just trying to help identify what the issues are - there clearly are several. I do have sympathy with the FS place-name team because they can only work from what they are able to read elsewhere. It may be that they already recognise that there are issues with place-names from Canada and / or Quebec?

      Good luck...
    • It might also be useful to try to make it a general question about Quebec place-names, using this one as an example?
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  • Gordon
    Some people out there either choose to ignore or through inexperience to ignore another's knowledge and contribution. As in Nathalie Connor's and yourself to where you have to be persistent to keep the record accurate.
    • view 5 more comments
    • Because this is an open-edit tree and because it contains the accumulated prior systems, many of which did not contain sources, it is really up to us, as contributors, to populate our ancestral lines with as much information as possible, combine (merge) duplicate records for the same person(s), and otherwise flesh out the information.

      The idea behind FamilySearch Family Tree is not genealogy but family history, which means that each person's record needs to contain more than "just the facts", but also the stories, experiences, memories, and so on, that make each person come alive. The way to accomplish that is to collaborate, where possible and when possible with other relatives of the same person(s).

      The site is still under development and a number of areas still need work. There will be some hiccups along the way, but with limited resources (it is not a pay site) it takes time and will continue to take time for the site to be fully developed and mature.

      FamilySearch is not the only game in town when it comes to historical records. While it is true that the historical records collection is the largest in the United States, it is not the be-all, end-all of historical records.

      As far as my own approach, the massive tree is the last thing that I populate, but work with a tree in Ancestry (there are a number of records on Ancestry that are not available on FamilySearch and vice versa) and ultimately have a private local tree that is fully sourced and can exchange information with the massive tree. That local tree is the target of my research and I am able to "publish" (print) a fairly complete book that is not only sourced with citations, but where I can obtain them, also the images wherein my relatives appear.

      I have also developed a fairly comprehensive approach to the records in the massive tree and as such, seldom have problems with people making unwarranted changes. But all of that takes work, detailed work to "get it right."
    • Naomi Johnson. Tks for being honest and I totally agree with you.
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  • 2
    Having well documented information in place can help a lot, but unfortunately, even when "you finally get the correct information to stick," it is no guarantee against the next person that comes along who ignores all collaboration records (sources, notes, discussions, reasons for change, and change histories), refuses to communicate, and just wants it to have some other values for no other apparent reasons than "that's the way THEY want it to be" is going to change it again.

    In this case being "persistent to win out" turns into just being more stubborn than the other guy. Many good hearted folks out there just can't win that one (or won't try to).

    FS has created this wonderful, collaborative environment for FamilyTree where so much can be done and so quickly due to its collaborative nature. But this type of collaboration is easily abused...and here is the thing that REALLY disturbs me the most about all of this. When this kind of abuse occurs and someone chooses to ignore all rules of collaboration that are core to the FamilyTree, just like irresponsible parents, FS frequently refuses to arbitrate this conflict to any degree, claiming that "it is not abuse", They only deal with "extremes in malicious damage". "They are only responsible for the software". The individual patrons "need to work it out amongst themselves". And of course the un-admitted "we don't want to get involved".

    If you create a garden, you have to occasionally weed it. If you create a family with children and one of them is abusive to the others, you must deal with that child to some degree or another. You cannot turn your head and ignore these things or everything and everybody suffers. You create one huge sandbox and throw all the patrons into it together, and then walk away without monitoring and arbitrating issues that you know WILL arise.

    As I said before, in my own opinion that is very much like being irresponsible parents.

    We have many folks who won't use the site anymore. Why? NOT because of just experiencing the kind of things that Gordon shared, but KNOWING THAT THEY HAVE NO RECOURSE. They know that what is happening IS WRONG, but there is nothing that they can do about it because the ONLY people that have the power to examine and correct the situation REFUSE TO.

    In ANY place where there is a common set of rules, when someone violates those rules, they need a "time out". But for that to happen, a RESPONSIBLE PERSON must act with both power and authority to make it so.

    Tools to provide all the communication we need to effectively collaborate in the FamilyTree are already in place. But when somebody feels that they don't want to live by those rules, and FS allows them to be an exception and do what they want, that is just plain WRONG in my opinion.
    • view 3 more comments
    • I just had a thought Jeff - it's easy for me to see that there are 3 because I've got all the census records together. But if hinting is just done on two PIDs at once, all that extra data isn't there for the hinting engine or the user. You can't do genealogy through a keyhole... Rhetorical question - Is that the flaw with the hinting engine?
    • are we all CHILDREN? grow up hun....
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  • 1
    Perhaps if more of the ideas proposed in THE CASE FOR MOVING TO “OUR TREE” were frequently reviewed (and then instituted), many of these corrective solutions could actually be made. http://broadcast.lds.org/eLearning/fh...

    A BRIEF example:

    "- The report abuse feature will be available in more places. This will allow you to handle conflicts and report deliberate attempts to vandalize the data.

    - Community roles will provide expert community members the tools they need to
    monitor activity in the tree, resolve issues, and “lock” ancestors when heated issues need a chance to cool before further changes are made."
    • view 3 more comments
    • check your ego at the door ....
    • How are your comments helpful?
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  • I’m happy
    FAMILYTREE is a PUBLIC site . NO trees "belong" to anyone .
    The site was intended for little old ladies with old bibles in their ATTICS to add their INFORMATION. and yes all information is to be taken with a grain of salt. IF YOU WANT A PERSONAL TREE USE ROOTS WEB OR ANCESTRY.
    The BEAUTY of FAMILY SEARCH is that
    YOU CAN WAKE UP AND HAVE 3 GENERATIONS ADDED TO "YOUR" LINE...WHY IS THAT not A GOOD THING?
    CHEER UP PEOPLE
    • view 4 more comments
    • I laughed at a recent phone call with a total stranger when they said their brother asked them, "WHO would be doing this research on our family?" She said to them, "I don't know. There are just... PEOPLE who do this kind of stuff. Isn't it great? It's forcing us to look into our own family more deeply!"

      (As I mentioned on another thread, I called a total stranger (found in an obituary) out of the blue, after tearing my hair out for two weeks trying to figure out a dilemna with different surnames for a mother, and not finding any sources to corroborate the one name that showed up in a birth record and a 2nd marriage record MANY years later - I would have dismissed a single reference as an error, but as I came to find out - WITH the help of someone else here on GetSatisfaction (THANK YOU!) that there WAS some truth there, and even the family didn't know about it.)

      BTW, I'm still looking for good phone call "elevator speeches" to make to total strangers when you call them up about family history stuff... (elevator speeches are references to pitching a proposal or selling yourself to someone else you meet in a short amount of time (presumably the time it takes to go from one floor to another, like a sales pitch, or job proposal.)

      The trick is to provide context, get to the point (be succinct) and impactful.

      (by the length of my posts, you can see I have some difficulty with that. LOL)
    • I blame being Irish for my inability to be brief!
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  • 4
    Someone from Familysearch please take a look at CDHC's "contributions" to this thread, agree with me that they're unpleasant, vitriolic, thread-necroing and then delete them.

    Please also feel free to remove this post after you're done.
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  • 1
    Howdy all!

    I came across a site (overseas) where folks post some of the best erroneous data posted to their Ancestry Trees. One of the posters relayed an exchange with someone who had added their grandparents and marked them as deceased! The poster went on to say that they had difficulty proving to them that their grandparents were indeed alive! And since they were living their details needed to be removed. The rogue poster could not be convinced!
    Scrolling down to the next post on the site, someone ranted about their inability to convince a rogue poster that they themselves were indeed alive and not deceased!
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  • 1
    Well if the grandparents or the person themselves live in the EU then hit the rogue poster with a GDPR complaint if they won't behave.
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  • I’m worried for good people that are sicked and tied of People screwing up trees.
    I wished family search had people monitor Trees, on facts and sources, to help weed out people's wrong, this is one area the church really needs to look into. Yes I support the Open edit model some what, but I also feel they need to protect others that can prove others wrong with Sources and facts.
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  • I can see why Ancestry does not wish to play the role of cop nor should they have to right?
    The best model seems to be one where you contact the individual then it can become a truly collaborative effort. To run roughshod over someone else’s tree is unprofessional and violates the other person s boundaries.

    Unfortunately, the person you are trying to contact may not respond or someone may contact you out of the blue ten years since you last posted. It is disappointing when you have data that is of a bombshelly (like that?!) nature and the tree owner is nowhere to be found.

    Some folks get lucky and find relatives who are equally passionate about exchanging info on both sides of the pond, I have only found one person and they informed me that their wife had died so they could not collaborate any longer. The wife was not my relative the hubby was.... Still cannot make sense of that.
    • view 1 more comment
    • May I ask that you select your choice of words more appropriately?

      One can express that they are upset without referring to crude references of. urinating.

      Thank you.

      Now, as to your point, one can try to make helpful and constructive suggestions so that the site could be better. But I suspect that the issue at hand here for most is the one world tree model and the wiki style method of data entry or updates.

      I'm not sure if you're a LDS member, but one of the mandates given to them is to work on their salvation by doing service and ordinances on behalf of deceased ancestors.

      Trying to efficiently do this is is difficult now with with Familysearch, but imagine trying to do this without it?

      But when you think of that mission, try to figure out how it might be carried out with say, an Ancestry model, with separate trees.

      Will, it was tried that way.

      Remember PAF?

      There were lots of people doing duplicate ordinance work for others. It was even mentioned by church President Gordon B. Hinckley as a reason for staying an online Familysearch site.

      The church even went out to Silicon Valley, where I and others suggested and supported a wiki style entry system in lieu of a more tightly controlled site. Yes there is the possibility that bad data would get in. Some of you might remember that there were church opponents that purposely entered false data in an effort to thwart the work. Some even tried filling in objectionable material from Jewish holocaust victims to try to get two religious groups to battle each other. And rules were put in place as a result of that.

      When you stop and think about it, the model we have now, and the continued efforts to expand it to accommodate the world's populations in their quest to better understand themselves and honor their ancestors is growing (and needed in this increasing time of turmoil).

      And the collaborative effort needed by all to remember their ancestors and share it with one another could happen with a more tightly controlled site like ancestry, but goes much further with a 1-world tree model .

      Are there people who are still overly possessive of their ancestors and insisting THEY have the correct info? Or who purposefully or inadvertently add incorrect info?

      Yes.

      And there always will be,

      That's why there's an emphasis on attaching sources.

      And people will continue to try their best to do good and bad as they are self - inclined to do, but ultimately, good will prevail (because the truth of sources will prevail, and haters will tire of their efforts and yes, even find good in it for themselves and have their own hearts turned).

      We can choose to get upset about the bumpy road we're traveling, or we can choose to make the best of it we can by making it a more pleasant trip by :
      - making helpful suggestions
      -teaching others how to find and attach good sources
      - making appropriate corrections where we can
      - report those whose activity seems to be malicious in nature
      - remember (and honor) the ultimate goals of the creators of the site (one can always go elsewhere)

      I'm sorry for the length, and any typos that occur with auto correct. (If I knew it would have been this long, I would have used my computer and keyboard)

      We're all imperfect, and can hopefully give some latitude to others who are similarly imperfect.

      As Dieter F. Uchtdorf one repeated from the pulpit "Don't hate me because I sin differently than you."
    • And in the meantime, if you're not adding to this tree, at least enjoy the work others do to help you. You don't need to sign in to get those benefits. We're very good at sharing!
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  • 1
    Nathalie, I'm not sure if you saw the first reply on this topic by Pamela Bonta over a year ago, as it kind of sums a few things up here. From your comment:
    To run roughshod over someone else’s tree is unprofessional and violates the other person s boundaries

    That would be true *IF* that person else actually had "their own tree", which was defined by "their own personal boundaries".

    But these do NOT exist on the FamilySearch FamilyTree. It is a completely DIFFERENT concept from the for profit structure of accounts that Ancestry and several other sites have. The ONLY tree that actually belongs to you (and that you have total control over) in FS is the one containing all of your LIVING relatives. Any of your deceased ancestors or other relatives that are in the FSFT belong only to the church and are shared by everyone.

    So your great great grandfather only has a single record in the tree that anyone can access or modify. That one record will show up as an ancestor in anybody's pedigree who is descended from him. As a result, ALL of those people will have an interest in the accuracy and details of how that ancestor's record is maintained. Furthermore, you have to add to that group all of the other people who, although not descendants, are still RELATED to that ancestor of yours.

    Things were done this way by the church in order support certain theological goals that they have. It is different from most other sites, but significant in obtaining those goals.

    Since anyone doing work in the tree can have their contributed research and data abused by anybody else, there definitely IS a need for some monitoring and intervention when certain people refuse to play by the rules of corroboration. Blowing away data and research accumulated over time for a particular record, and doing it in a way that is not sourced or documented in any way that takes into account all of the other sources, notes, discussions, and logic that already exists for that person is wrong. It totally violates the rules of collaboration, and as such needs a "cop" to come in and arbitrate the situation.
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  • 1
    Hi Jeff,
    I am familiar with the Mormon*s theological goals. And their methodology is too devil-may-care for many of us. Shame they did not foresee the potential for abuse long ago.
    I was taught many moons ago to assume all data was incorrect until you yourself found irrefutable truth to the contrary. And that has served me well.

    Fortunately for myself, Ancestry and this site are my last resort, as there are others that better meet my needs. Of course when you are first starting out you believe Ancestry is the be-all to end-all, right? So what it boils down to is would you rather rather collaborate with like-minded folk who are reasonable or engage in genealogical war-fare?! Too stressful for me! The person who changed all 26 of my place names to something wildly incorrect ( they put in a 2006 ELECTORAL DISTRICT for dates in the 1700s!) had me aggravated for a full week.

    I was recently reminded that not everyone is cut out to do this work. There are certain character traits that are best suited to this endeavour and not all possess them. The core one being critical thinking. Use of logic. Common sense. To be able to evaluate all data quickly, and to be able to rule out superfluous claptrap! You also have to be able to take what you know to be true and build a potential narrative that is sound. And if it falls through you can foresee two or three more possibilities.

    I cringe when I watch genealogy shows on t.v., as they give the false impression that researching is a cake-walk. Wonder how many think this is an easy hobby,

    One way to not be affected by rogue posters is by researching someone else s tree, which I do in the summer. Then I can remain more detached about the whole thing.

    I have only encountered a few folks who share my paternal pedigree and have helped them out. It is frequently people who either descend from one of these individuals wives, or where they intersect with my family is not easily discernable. If they do at all! They are my favourite rogue posters of all!
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  • 4
    Nathalie, I certainly understand what you are saying.

    It's interesting to me that in nearly all resources in the world where a group of people must share them (e.g., swimming pools, roadways, home communities, etc.), there are always rules that are assigned (either formally or informally), and there are always individuals empowered to enforce those rules for the sake of everyone using the resource.

    It seems that the FS FamilyTree is the only exception to this that I can think of. In general, if you don't want to "play by the rules (i.e., of collaboration)", you can get off scott-free with various kinds of abuse in the tree since the only people with the power to enforce those rules refuse to get involved (for whatever reasons).

    So it becomes like an unmonitored playground where only the strongest survive. Minor "bullying" is ignored. You have to do something significantly nasty it seems before anyone from FS jumps in to make warnings or take corrective action.

    Unfortunately, for the church members that are trying to get their family records in order so that the ordinances can be performed on them, this is the only show in town. They're stuck with it, and when other individuals through either ignorance or nastiness (or a combination of both) insist on doing everything THEIR way and destroying good research and documentation in the process, then frustration and anger will assuredly follow amongst MANY people. This is especially true when all the people being impacted by it also realize that they have no course of action to fight it with.

    It's like having a posted speed limit of 50 MPH, but the police will not get involved unless drivers exceed 90 MPH!
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  • 1
    With FSFT I think nastiness is a very rare thing. What really are problems are ignorance, stupidity and a misapprehension of the whole paradigm of the site.

    The paradigm bit is the good, old "my tree" problem. Ignorance can be cured and with resources like the Family History Guide it can be cured well for FSFT. Stupidity is the one that cannot be cured. That's not just a complete lack of knowledge of geography (for example), but an unwillingness to check things and learn. The paragraph on critical thinking above nicely sums things up in that respect.
    • view 13 more comments
    • I don't mind about the places database being mentioned at all. It's certainly relevant to the example I used about geography and stupidity.

      The point about spoon-feeding is also extremely relevant. I am lucky in that I have a very good long-term memory, I have been taught how to research things, I am good with computers and I have also been taught formal logic and critical thinking. That means that I can find things out and sort problems out that completely stump other people. Frequently as I solve problems for them I am finding out about the thing for the first time myself.

      However there are an awful lot of people who have not been taught how to research things or logic or critical thinking. There are an awful lot of people who don't think through the consequences of their actions or stances. There are an awful lot of people to whom it doesn't even occur to step outside their own little bubble. That is ignorance quite a lot of the time, and it can be cured with the correct instruction. However if the correct instruction has been provided at the appropriate level for the person concerned and the person concerned still refuses to step outside their own little bubble, THAT is stupidity and cannot be cured.
    • David,
      The Stupidity that you refer to can also be due to stubbornness and pride. Sometimes it can be breached with gentle persuasion, but sometimes it defies logic.

      Justin,
      The FamilySearch Places group is in the FamilySearch Communities area (not GetSatisfaction). Go to the Help menu at the top right corner of any FamilySearch page and select "Community". This is another area "being developed" by the church that has not yet been formally announced. If you have questions about research in specific areas of the world, this is also a far better place to get answers.
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  • 1
    H Martin Soward lll responding to Tom Huber:

    Your reply to my comment, made three months ago, is pathetically haughty and condescending. You place me in a group of people you refer to as "sometimes" genealogists although you have absolutely no knowledge of what you are speaking.. It seems that you are trying to pass yourself off as an omnipotent guru of the genealogical world. Your ridiculously inaccurate statement inferring that I fall into the category of the inexperienced is extremely offensive.

    There's a few like Tom on this forum but don't worry they only make sense to themselves.
    • Mr. Soward,

      I responded to your previously entered comment from several months ago. I said in that response:

      "It is obvious that Mr. Soward missed reading the entire statement... "you are relatively new or inexperienced with FamilySearch FamilyTree. We see this same kind of concern from people who are what I call, "sometimes" genealogists and have not worked extensively with the tree." It says nothing of having done genealogy for years, only inexperience with this type of site and not having a full grasp of it."

      It is your choice to be offended at things people write. What I posted then was a "standard" response to concerns that people like yourself have. Whether they are experienced in Genealogical research or not has nothing to do with their experience with the tree. The question you posed in and of itself says that you believed you had a separate tree on this site. Therefore, I drew the conclusion that you had little or no experience with the massive tree.

      Paul correctly suggested that I change the statement with which you took offense. It now reads:

      "Since you are new to this forum, it is also likely that you are relatively new or inexperienced with FamilySearch Family Tree, but not necessarily genealogy. We see this same kind of concern from people who have not worked extensively with the massive tree on this site. I have prepared the following material to help you and others like yourself understand the nature of the tree and how to use what I have found to be effective methods in maintaining reliable records."

      My intention is not to be condescending or put people down, but to help them understand something their comments suggest that they do not. You've obviously fretted over this and even chose to repeat what you said three months ago. Hopefully, you've now gotten that off your chest and recognize that I saw your comments as an indication of unfamiliarity with the massive tree and the nature of this site.

      FamilySearch is not particularly helpful with respect to the nature of the tree and it is still very easy to miss the introduction to the massive tree and its nature. I'm not sure there is an easy way to introduce the nature of the tree without some kind of prelude. If you have a suggested introduction, I would be pleased to consider it.
    • By the way, I did not say that you were in the group of people who are "sometimes" genealogists, only that we see this same kind of concern from people who are what I call, "sometimes" genealogists.
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