RootsTech 2015

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Evolving FamilySearch Family Tree

Warning: If you don't understand what I am talking about after the first sentence, then don't worry, the people I am writing this to know all too well.

It is interesting to "watch" some of my IOUS ancestors on FamilySearch.org's Family Tree program. Lately, LDS Church Membership has been getting into the fray and making wholesale changes to the records. The results so far are not too promising. My Great-great-grandfather Sidney Tanner's (b. 1809, d. 1895) family was looking pretty good. For the first time in recorded history, they (all of the combined changes for the past 100 years or so) had been straightened out and he had all the right wives and children. Too bad all that didn't last very long. He is back to a profusion of duplicates and missing wives and duplicate wives. Normally, this would not be much of a problem, but he did have four wives (not all four at the same time, but some at the same time).

As I watch all these changes (not so patiently I might add) I am now getting slightly amused at the iterations. This is due to the fact that my Tanner line back to my 3rd Great Grandfather, John Tanner (b. 1778, d. 1850) is probably one of the most heavily documented family lines in existence anywhere in the world other than the royal families of Europe. I just keep wondering when they are going to get through fixing the line so I can go in and straighten it all out with the correct people, dates, places etc. Not that I am any kind of ultimate source mind you, but I have been researching my family line for a very long time and have a huge number of sources to add when they get done. Perhaps it is time to add the rest of my sources to my Great-grandfather Henry Martin Tanner?

If anyone has made it this far in this post, I was just wondering if there were any Smith, Flake, Morgan, Snow, Brown, Hamblin, Sirrine, Pomeroy, Bushman, Randall, Udall, Richards or other families who have people waiting around like I am to work on the Joseph City, Arizona folks or the Mesa, Arizona folks?

6 comments:

  1. For a little clarity, LDS Church Membership has been making wholesale changes to the *Family Tree* not to ~records~ on FamilySearch. Unfortunately, engineering has not yet fixed the Watch List function so that it reflects the many relationships and most other data changes being made for users' persons of particular interest.

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    1. Sorry if I wasn't clear. I am talking about Family Tree. There are records in Family Tree also, the information about each person and family.

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  2. Oh, don't get me started on this subject!!! I love the idea of collaborating on family research, but we keep forgetting that people have different reasons for doing their research, and not all of them reflect the goals of accurate scholarship. My feeling is that FamilySearch should have two entirely separate trees, one for the "feel good about your family" types, and the other for people who cite their sources and can analyze them as well. I've written about my frustrations on this subject on my blog, too. It is not a pretty picture….

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    1. I can sympathize with your feelings on this subject. But I really like the Family Tree program, I am just not enamored with the data.

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  3. My greatest disappointment is how I mess up my own changes! I am learning to use all the features: like DISCUSSION to write clear notes on the issue as specifically as I can. I recently found https://familysearch.org/tree-training to learn the latest tools they give.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. Yes, there are instructions.

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