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Family Tree on Family Search

Discussion in 'Online family trees' started by LynneB, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. LynneB

    LynneB LostCousins Member

    I know that Peter actively discourages us from putting trees online but I am curious... Why would anyone want to add their family to the wiki tree on FamilySearch.org?
    What do you think would be the pros and cons?
    Somehow it feels like "information harvesting" to me.
  2. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Quote from the FamilySearch wiki - no wonder there are so many dodgy online trees if this is what people are being taught!

    Purpose of Uploading your Family Tree Online
    Recently a webinar at Ancestry.com taught how to use their family tree section of their website. The teacher encouraged the attendees to guess at the dates and places and relationship of the people in their pedigree charts. He went on to explain that the purpose of the family tree section was to assist you in finding out more information about your ancestors. When you upload the information that you have, either by gedcom or by simply typing it into the website itself, the search engines on the site will start searching for matching records for you to look at. Then you can look at the records and correct your family tree. This seems like a wonderful tool and the fun news is that you don't have to be a paid subscriber to upload your tree; however, you do have to subscribe if you want to look at the records it finds for you. Another reason they suggest that you upload your tree even if it isn't correct is that there is a place where other users can comment on the tree and give you correct information if they have it. A third reason to upload your tree is to share with others the information that you have already found. The teacher went on to warn that these trees are meant to be used by others only as stepping stones to assist them in their search for their ancestors. There are many sites where you can upload your family tree and several of them are free.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  3. Rhian

    Rhian LostCousins Member

    Oh dear!

    Well that is the polite version of what I thought when I read it. I have nothing against speculative trees for research purposes, just seeing the relationships will show up timeline errors to start with. They should however either be private until confirmed or clearly marked as speculative research.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I'm planning to feature the paragraph above in my next newsletter - if anyone can figure out which Ancestry webinar it's referring to I would be very grateful (looking at the page source it appears that paragraph was written no later than July 2008).
  5. DavidL

    DavidL LostCousins Member

    Blimey! That gave me a shock. I had to read it twice before I realised I had missed Peter's comment and the rest was a quote. I already know his views, so I thought someone may have hacked his access. Back to normal now.
  6. LynneB

    LynneB LostCousins Member

    "Why would anyone want to add their family to the wiki tree on FamilySearch.org?" I asked in my original post that started this thread.

    Well, it didn't take me long to realise it doesn't matter whether I want to put my family tree on the FamilySearch wiki tree -- it's already there! On mum's side I had to go back several generations before I found anyone. They were there because FamilySearch has added all the records it holds to its tree. My paternal side was a different matter - my late dad, his deceased sister and my grandparents were already in the tree, courtesy of a second cousin sharing.

    According to James Tanner, of Brigham Young University, in a webinar about the Family Tree (because there is only one), "every person who has ever lived on the planet will have one identification number". It is up to genealogists / family historians, to find the duplicates and merge them, (preferably) giving sources to justify their actions.

    I have not yet been able to find a person added by Family Search that has two records, therefore duplicates must (and do) exist. For example, I have found a marriage record for what I'm assuming are my 4G grandparents - "assuming" because I have not yet proved it. At the same church, within a few years, are what I assume are the baptism records of my 3G grandfather and his siblings. The parents are, of course, listed on the baptism records, yet none of these baptism records are attached to the parents, instead duplicate parents are created! Do I want to go through and fix all these duplicates? Maybe, one day, when I'm more sure of my facts.

    Living people do not show on the tree except to the people who put them there. So, just because I can't find myself (my mother, my siblings, my husband, my children and grandchildren) on the tree, doesn't mean some cousin hasn't put me/us there - it only means he/she can see me/us but I can't!

    Moral of the story, if there is one (because somebody may be as surprised as I was): some of your family data is probably already in the tree in some form - either because FamilySearch holds records relating to your ancestors or because some cousin has added your mutual relations.

    I think the concept of a "one world tree" is a fascinating idea but I'd want more control over it than the wiki format allows and, more importantly, I wonder what the hidden agenda really is. James Tanner seeks to comfort the concerned by stating that the LDS church will never sell your information -- but why are they collecting it in the first place? Interestingly, genealogy is part of the "mission training" of LDS members. Perhaps I'm too sceptical - perhaps, because genealogy is important to them, they are genuinely trying to connect family members?

    Something to think about perhaps, but I'm not going to let it concern me.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
  7. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    You must know, surely, why the LDS are so keen on genealogy?
  8. LynneB

    LynneB LostCousins Member

    I know that Mormons practise the "baptism" of their deceased ancestors. I guess having my family history already on their "tree" would make it easier if they ever convinced one of my descendants (or my cousins' descendants) to become a Mormon!
  9. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    But most of their ancestors are also your ancestors.....

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