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Please lock the record for John Alden of the Mayflower

So people keep adding parents to John Alden even though there are multiple sources and scholarly works that say there is no proof/record of his parentage. He has 126 sources yet people keep giving him parents even though his life sketch and multiple discussions say that his parentage is not known to major researchers.

https://www.familysearch.org/tree/per...
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    They will tell you no. I asked the same thing with my parents. They will tell you it is a public so it cannot be locked. I liked it better when it was the personal ancestral file & that is saying something. Sorry. I really do not think anyone in Management @ Family Search reads this forum or they would do something about what everyone has been talking about.
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  • The same thing happened with Pieter Claesen 9312-XFX.

    Today, very few changes are being made to Pieter, other than those I've made. But those that are made are usually the result of someone having data from a well-known fraudulent genealogist (he is thoroughly documented in Pieter's record). In the case of the latest "changes" a newly-created duplicate, which came from a person with a GEDCOM file, was merged into the record. The merge was done in innocence, but it did make some unwanted changes, which I easily backed out.

    Would I like to see Pieter's record frozen from further changes?

    Not in the least! There are still many good primary sources out there and early records are being rediscovered or otherwise coming to light. Even the records that are available contain information that has yet to be incorporated into Pieter's record.

    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.

    5. Finally, I maintain a completely independent genealogical record for my family. That record is run by one of the certified family tree management programs found in the App Gallery (link at the bottom of this screen) and can be used, if necessary, to reconstruct Pieter's record.

    In addition one other person is watching Pieter's record and quickly corrects any errors that other patrons introduce. I suspect the same thing can be done with your Mayflower ancestor. But to get the record to the point where very few changes are being made, it is going to take a lot of work to create a fully documented record, such as the one that has been done for Pieter Claesen. It took me over a month of concentrated research, locating original documents that could be used, and so on. I give a lot of credit to a person who pointed me to a little work on the Wyckoff name. Maybe, if you are determined to work with your ancestor, you can do the same and effectively put together the proof that supports the lack of parentage for this early Mayflower immigrant.

    I don't know if John Alden was the subject of one of Anjou's genealogies, but there are some articles about the fraud that are worth reading. https://ancestralfindings.com/gustave...

    For a list of 305 known or identified families for which Anjou created fraudulent genealogies (which does not include John Alden), see http://web.archive.org/web/2012072101...
    And updates:
    http://web.archive.org/web/2012112201...
    http://web.archive.org/web/2012112201...

    and on the source hoax:
    http://web.archive.org/web/2012112201...

    Note that Anjou is not the only producer of fraudulent genealogies, but he is the best known of that nature. The further back in time that one travels for ancestors, the higher the chance that one or more family pedigrees were fabricated or contained sections that were fabricated becomes higher.
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    • I just put this in the suggestion section.

      Allow users to be administrators of a people in the Family Tree.
      Too many inexperienced people are making changes in error to people in the Family Tree. Allow a FamilySearch member to claim a person or people in Family Tree and become the administrator of those persons, so that all changes made, must go through that administrator.
      I've had a very distant cousin make changes to my father that weren't correct. He did this twice even after he was told that it was wrong the first time. He had never even met my father. It would have been nice if I could claim my father (or anyone else in Family Tree) so that any changes would have to go through me before they were made.
      I've noticed that MOST people in Family Tree only have a handful of people researching them anyway.
      You could even have co-administrators. If there is a dispute as to who gets to be the administrator, then you could have rules as to who gets to be that person, such as the one who is the closest blood relative or the one who added the person to Family Tree originally.
      If the administrator has become inactive or isn't responding to requests or questions from other members, then their duties could be challenged by someone else who would do a better job. FamilySearch could removed someone as administrator if they haven't been active on FamilySearch for X amount of time.
      You could even have an administrator wait list in case someone decides they don't want to be an administrator anymore or is removed from their administrator duties, then the next person in line could take over the position.
      If someone wants to merge two identical people in the Tree and each of those persons has a different administrator, then the merge would have to be approved by both administrators and both administrators could become co-administrators of the merged person.
      The reason I make these suggestions is because so many very good and very experienced genealogists are no longer using FamilySearch because inexperienced and not very good genealogists are ruining the online tree with the many many errors they are making.
      I think these changes could greatly enhance the accuracy of the Tree which would preserve history in its prosperity and avoid perpetuating misinformation.
    • This comment was removed on 2018-05-25.
      see the change log
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  • 1
    You may know this already but - Blogger James Tanner is also having issues with a Mayflower Ancestor - Francis Cooke ( see http://genealogysstar.blogspot.co.uk/... )

    JT mentions "The General Society of Mayflower Descendants or Mayflower Society has an extensive set of books called the "Silver Books" documenting every one of the accepted Mayflower passengers. Every statement about every passenger has been evaluated and compared to original documents and records. There is very little controversy about any of the entries in those books. If any new information is discovered, it is carefully reviewed by the Society's genealogists and added to the books. It takes years to get an alternative theory accepted."

    If those Books are as good as he says they are, then it would seem sensible to lock Mayflower passengers to all except patrons nominated by, or representing the Society. (I have no idea how locking works so I've no idea what's involved in my suggestion)
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  • When working on a record, it is wise to clean it up as much as possible. Legacy sources, for instance, seldom contain any useful information regard a source and can be dismissed with the Reason statement "Contains no useful source information." Those that reference a source need to be replaced with the actual source citations.

    The same is true of notes. Many are nothing more than references to sources or notes about the person. Many can be condensed down to a few notes.

    While some object to deleting sources and notes entered by others, the objective is to have a complete record, regardless of who contributed what. If a note cannot be validated with a source, I'll leave it until I have sufficient sources and then delete the note with the reason: "Cleanup of a note that is already covered by sources."

    Then, with a basic record that agrees with something like the "Silver Book" record, which I identify as the primary record, search out and merge all duplicates.

    When merging add all relatives that have been noted. Once a record has been merged and produced duplicates of relatives already in the record, merge those duplicates, as well. Do not detach any persons without validating that the person was not part of the family. You will need to study the change logs of the two records to make sure that the record is truly a duplicate of the primary record. Someone may have merged an actual duplicate with a person's record that wasn't a duplicate, creating what is essentially a mess of a record. Restore the merge-deleted record so you can merge it with the primary record.

    On the messed up duplicate, restore any replaced information created during the bad merge. Then with it cleaned up, mark it "Not a Match" with an extended reason statement that explains that a true duplicate had been improperly merged into it. Merge records are a nightmare and it takes a lot of work to clean them up.

    You may have to clean up notes in some of the duplicates before merging them as the system does not handle more than a total of 50 notes between the two records.

    Once all the duplicates have been taken care of (and there may be a lot of them, especially for a Mayflower person), then work toward fully sourcing original records (I hope the "Silver Book" is sourced -- use that book as a guide, locate the original "approved" sources, and source them to the person.

    In a discussion, you can mention that you used the "Silver Book" as a guide to locating the sources now in the record. Some may have to be added to the memories as an image and then that memory added as a source to the person. See the PIeter Claesen for examples where I did this.

    That kind of sourcing goes a very long way in cleaning up a record and helping to keep it clean. Plus, you have something to fall back upon when someone makes a bad change to the record.

    I wish you well in your efforts. It can take a lot of time, but the end result is well worth the effort.
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  • 2
    The idea of locking records is one that to me has not be logically introduced. It seems at best hap-hazard. Certain Historical Figures have had their records locked so that no one can edit or change, this creates issues for those who have information they would like to enter into the system so we find duplicate records because they cannot add information or relationships. However, other records seem to be available to make any changes you want. Look at the mess associated with Biblical names and the numerous Royalty figures. It appear that is no attempt at all to keep these records in any sort of reasonable condition.

    In general I am not in favor of locking records. I have personally only had an issue with one record where two men of the same name born in the same community within 3 years of each other in the early 1800's were confused long ago and I have had to multiple times unmerge and separate the confused families. Since one of the men is a direct ancestor, I used the watch feature and every time someone changed I quickly undid the change and present information necessary to counter. I have not had any issue for the last year but also these are very common persons and there are limited number of individuals involved with them as ancestors.

    Clearly at some time in the future, someone at FamilySearch is going to have to take some responsibility for certain Famous / Historical persons and devise and implement a system to not only restrict access to changing these records but also provide a method to allow for changes to be made if they are documented and reasonable based on the provided information. The current system of randomly locking some records and not others is really unsatisfactory. I am not qualified or have any relationship to Mayflower passengers to comment on the situation but I would expect that these records could probably be "somewhat set in stone" based on the number of experienced researchers who have reviewed the information. I could reasonably see how they could be locked. On the other hand, I do not wish to see any records locked without a defined procedure for someone to update if they really have new valid information.
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  • I asked for a name with royal descent and they did not even give a dam about them.
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  • All who would like to see some kind of limits placed on changes made to the tree, especially for new or inexperienced users:

    We have been repeatedly told by FamilySearch personnel that there are no plans to limit contributions from new users, regardless of their experience level or other qualifications, if any.

    The desire is to allow everyone (teens and above) to contribute to the tree. That is the "open-edit" nature of the tree and there are no plans to change that.

    I have repeatedly suggested ways for people to help new patrons learn how to use the tree, edit it, and so on. That response appears above and is what I have found to be particularly effective.

    But it takes work to prepare the records in such a way as to discourage changes and also a willingness to spend the time working with others through the messaging system. For older records it can take upwards of a month or longer to sufficiently source and document a single person's record.

    It also takes a willingness to maintain a separate (local to the patron) tree that has all the information in it, so any major changes made in error can be corrected back to what they should be.

    But, that by no means is saying that just because you believe a conclusion to any particular event or events of a person are correct, you can change those records. They must be backed up with credible sources (meaning primary and secondary sources). Sources that do not contain original record sources should be treated as hints for further research. Those that contain original record sources need to have those original record sources located and sourced into the person or persons records.
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  • I am in full support of the open edit system. However I agree that all Mayflower ancestors should be locked. They are very well documented and it's unlikely that new information will come to light. They are also changed frequently and should be locked.
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  • I love the open edit system, but I agree that Mayflower ancestors should be locked. They are all very well documented and it's unlikely anything new will be found. Plus they are prone to constant changes.
    I love to see this record, wish it were my ancestor. The notes and sources are exceptional.
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