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Limit the users ability to delete just any record.

Please change the delete function so that only the patron that added an ancestor can delete it. Recently, someone went in and deleted an entire branch of my pedigree. Their reasoning was that they did not want people changing "their" Family Tree.
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  • Most of the Tree database (n.FS and what's been migrated to FS-Family Tree) is from user-submitted genealogies in AF, PRF and to some extent that was put in IGI.

    These go back decades, and many submitters are no longer living, no longer involved in genealogy, etc.

    So your proposal would have the effect of freezing a huge proportion of the database -- including a vast number of duplicates. Bear in mind that when persons are merged, the Change Log states that one is deleted, so a person might not actually have been deleted using the "delete" function.

    All of that being said, many have posted on this message board concerning gross and drastic mistaken actions taken by persons who seem not to read discussions, look at sources posted by others, or do actual records research. I personally have seen dreary repetition of what's on hundreds of trees in several family lines, changing what has been documented to what has been published in speculative genealojunk books and elsewhere. Some are even just giving a reason as "from GEDCOM." Erk.

    This will be an ongoing process in FS-FT due to its nature as an open-edit wiki tree. One can try to contact the person(s) who did the deeds, offer explanations and encouragement to look at the records found which support your conclusions.

    I wish you patience and good findings.
    • Jade, the "from Gedcom" reasons may not actually be coming from the patron. If a person adds information through their submitted genealogies in FS, he or she is invited to give a reason, but if the patron fails to give a reason, the system automatically places a reason [I don't recall the exact wording] "from GEDCOM". I don't know if the same thing happens when patrons add via 3rd party software, but I do know for sure that when they add through "genealogies", that is what happens.
    • Heather, thank you for the information. Another hidden feature.
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  • If you are aware of places where a user is knowingly destroying information please contact support.

    My guess it that perhaps a user deleted a relationship causing a branch of the tree to disappear. You should be able to go to the changelog for the person where a relationship was deleted and Restore that Delete. But first look at any reason or evidence from the user that made the change.

    If you provide a Person Id we can take a look.
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    • I went to look at what you were talking about, and now that person has been deleted. I have forgotten, but I thought that if you found a merge quickly enough, you could hit restore in the change log and undo the merge.

      Many people agree with you as you can see from the comments here, but we have been told repeatedly, that the lawyers say the church can not force people to have their contact information public. There is talk of some kind of voting system that would force people to look at sources, and would not allow easy changes to well sourced individuals.
    • The person was deleted when I merged him with LWF8-H3W. Contact name: kcopedav did not merge the duplicate entry, instead he/she just deleted the duplication. That is the most common reason for using the "Delete" function.

      The lawyers are ignoring the "Terms of Use" contract that all of us agree to when registering in Family Search - Family Tree. One of the terms is that we will collaborate with others. If we can not "force" people we could (a) deny them the right to change or contribute information OR the system could provide a designed way to contact others through Family Search without posting a person's e-mail contact information.

      I can not see the value of a "voting system" but do like the idea that if another contributor's information and sources are listed for a person, that the person must indicate that they have dialogued with the other contributor and they must indicate they have reviewed each of the source and notes contributions.

      This issue requires careful attention of the engineers. By design it is a weakness in the program and needs to be addressed.
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  • As someone who, fortunately, has so far not been affected by this issue I feel I can comment from an unemotive point of view. Still, every time I check the list of changes to those in my Watch List I dread that something like this might have happened to me. I image how I would feel if all those hours of inputting had been undone by somebody too thoughtless to contact me beforehand.

    Providing there are contact details for the person who added the details, I believe it DOES constitute abuse if another patron decides to remove a whole branch of a family, just because the detail doesn't match their own research / conclusions.

    I do not think it would be too draconian to take strong sanctions (ultimately excluding a patron from any further inputting) if serious damage is done to another person's work in Family Tree. True, the details can all be reinstated but in some cases this effort must be horrendous.
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    • gasmodels - the only point I was making about your comments was acknowledging the fact that relationship changes have indeed started to appear in Watch List notifications. Sorry if I my phrasing implied otherwise!
    • no I did not interpret negatively just letting everyone know there were ongoing relationship changes on membership records
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  • Be sure and report this as abuse. Contact support and give them the information. The person on the other end needs to have a conversation about Family Tree is not their personal tree.
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  • We do have to recognize, though, that in some cases we are dealing with incorrectly combined records so it may be their tree. For example, today I was helping a patron at our center. I've been helping her weekly for over 6 months now, so I've done a ton of research on this family. She has a really problematic ancestor in her tree in that the ancestor is an incorrectly combined record with probably about 4 other men. I finally decided today that we needed to correct the relationships because the sourced/tagged information was constantly getting corrupted. I went in and removed some relationships, and I'm sure it probably truncated someone's tree, but the fact is that they were attached to the incorrect pedigree anyway because others had corrected the relationships back past that ancestor. I was nice and did a bunch of research today on those records whose trees I unlinked. I put birth records and census records into the sources to help identify who the ancestors should be, but from what I can tell, there isn't a clean record in existence to attach as a parent, and I didn't want to construct a new parent record because the ordinances would come up as available and show green arrows. I didn't want to reserve the ordinances (which I suspect are completed and linked to the incorrectly combined identity), so instead, I just let the tree end at that point.

    I am not saying that this is the case that Robert describes, but I am saying that there are still a lot of problems that can sometimes only be corrected (and not perpetuated) by truncating a tree until further technology arrives to move ordinances. I also should say that I looked through the change history for the individual whose tree I truncated, and I couldn't find any current contactable contributors--or I would have alerted them to why I was taking that action.
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