Thursday, September 18, 2014

Family Search Family Trees – A Problem

The new website has a feature in which you can build your family tree. It is quite sophisticated in that it allows/encourages/facilitates genealogists to add sources, photos, stories, and in time audio clips.

My hubby volunteers at the Family History Center and regularly takes their Saturday classes in order to be on the cutting edge of the new features offered at the FamilySearch site.

One of the family tree features is when you put in a name, the site searches through its “zillion” records to see if there is a match. If so, it gives you the list and if your guy is there, you can then attach that person and all its research to your family tree.  Neat, huh?

Yesterday we found this was not so neat.

Another feature is you can check a “Watch” box that will tell you if anyone has made changes to your family tree.  You can then check those changes and if incorrect, you can contact the person making the changes. If there is a dispute, Family Search will arbitrate.

Yesterday the “Watch” feature notified hubby of changes to his relative Abraham Brown. Now realize, Abraham was a challenge to research, but trips to the Westchester, NY historical society and to Scranton, PA we were finally able to document that Abraham was indeed born in Westchester County, New York.  And from there hubby carefully researched and documented Abraham’s family that ended up in hubby’s home town of Newfield, New York.

Hubby was quite surprised to see that his information on Family Search was now changed to show his Abraham Brown was born in Rhode Island. Hubby contacted the person making the changes as no citation was supplied.  The man replied he had just taken the information off!!!  OMG – when will people learn that information without citation is fantasy, and research is needed!!!!!

Bottom line is the man who linked the Rhode Island Abraham Brown to hubby’s Abraham Brown admitted his was a different one.

Not the end of the story. Hubby found that also attached to his family line were all the children of the RI Abraham Brown that had similar birth dates.  Hubby spent all afternoon correcting his family tree removing all the erroneous information.

To say the least, hubby was not a happy camper. has to come up with a better way for linking families.   We were great advocates but now are discouraged with that site.  We have better things to do with our time than spend it correcting wrong data.

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