Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Interchangeable Ancestors? The Family Search Tree

Musical Ancestors?
The game I've been playing at FamilySearch Tree . First an explanation of the situation at FamilySearch Tree. I am not sure whether this is now open for everyone to look at? If you have access it is the Tree which is displayed when you sign into FamilySearch and click the link to your own tree. This is the shared Family Tree created by FamilySearch which merges info that you may have contributed with contributions from other researchers. FamilySearch is also attempting to combine duplicate entries. All this merging has led to the merging of separate individuals, with the same name, being merged into one person.  So when you display your ancestor's individual profile you might see something like the profile to the right. What's the matter with that info? Well could someone born in in 1732 have been a resident of Calumet, Pike, Missouri in 1850? Also Andrew Forgey died in 1809. So obviously two separate Andrew Forgey's are being referred to in this one profile.
Another problem is disagreement among researchers regarding facts. If several separate facts are available for an ancestor all remain attached to the person. This can be useful. Research can then focus on resolving these discrepancies.
The biggest problem is once we have solved these discrepancies the bad information remains posted. The visible information may be changed to that verified with documentation as correct, but all of the bad information remains and can be added back at anytime.
Here is an example in my own family. There is a disagreement among Forgey Family researchers regarding the father of Andrew Forgey b. 1794. Some believe his name was James Forgey. I've done extensive research and believe his name was Hugh Forgey. Some researchers will never accept this. The parents I found for Andrew Forgey when I looked at the New Family Search Tree were James Forgey and Margaret Caldwell. We have their bible, and they didn't have a son named Andrew Forgey listed. According to his date of birth he does not fit into the birth order of their children; unless, Margaret had twins born 6 months apart?  I was able to add the parents I believe to be Andrew's parents at New Family Search (apparently you cannot add parents at the Family Search Tree).  You can see in the example image that Andrew Forgey now has four possible parents. These can switched be at anytime; hence, musical ancestors. I guess if you get tired of one set you can switch. Seriously though, this creates a muddled family tree with contending relatives switching parents back and forth. Hopefully, an arbitration situation can be created in the future where only the ancestors proven by a preponderance of the evidence can be displayed. 

1 comment:

Andy Hatchett said...

Sounds like Ancestry's OneWorldTree re-incarnated... and we all know what a total disaster *taht* was!