Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE: FamilySearch is Corrupting Sourced Entries; Needs to Stop IMMEDIATELY

Note: There have been some updates to this whole story. Please check out Amy's latest comments on the blog post linked below.

This was written by my daughter Amy in her blog TheAncestorFiles. I agree completely. This sort of action invalidates the entire Family Tree. If this continues, the Family Tree program will be essentially useless to real researchers. The problem does not stop with what Amy has pointed out. What I found last night was that I could not enter the corrected information at all. Here is Amy's blog post in its entirety:

As far as we can tell, FamilySearch is employing a battalion of volunteers to go in and corrupt sourced entries on Family Tree.

Named people are migrating data from the old NewFamilySearch by hand. Instead of a carefully and thoroughly sourced entry, these sources now look like this:

Basically, most or all of the sources have been stripped from an entry and replaced with nonsense.

For example, if I had added a census source and created a citation and copied the information out of the census about family members and the pertinent data contained in the census, now it looks something like this:

No data. Just nonsense.

In the case of George Jarvis (LWYL-M7G), his entry had been carefully and thoroughly sourced by myself, noted genealogy lecturer James Tanner, and many devoted members of the Jarvis family including Sharon Simnitt, Danelle Curtis, and family website manager Mark Jarvis.

A few of us have been trying to correct the mess, but there does not seem to be any way to restore the previous contents of the Sources and the entry is so corrupted that it could take months to get it back to where it was before FamilySearch started making corrupting the data.

This is outrageous. It is compromising any reputation FamilySearch had left with the serious genealogical community. It is compromising its integrity. It is compromising the trust I had that my work will be preserved, and if changes were made by other family members, we could negotiate and come to a reasonable conclusion.

This is not a case of what Ron Tanner at FamilySearch calls "my-tree-itis." This is clear cutting of the virgin forest.

Fix this problem immediately, FamilySearch.

End of Amy's post.

If you want to see this for yourself, you can enter George Jarvis' ID number into the program and see the entries. This is not just a minor issue. It is a deal breaker. 


  1. I saw this the other day when I was on FamilySearch FT. I wondered what it was up. I haven't added many names or sources to FSFT yet and now I'm glad. I'll wait till things get cleaned up a little and then work more diligently. What a mess!

  2. I have seen this on my tree and after looking closely at one profile this morning, found that some of the information brought over had some information to some documents that hadn't previously been sourced. The "Legacy" information was garbled such as the link to the source in the notes etc. I went through each source like this and changed the title to reflect the correct reference, added the proper link and notes. If there was no real information there, just deleted it. So - I've at least got one ancestors' sourcing tidied up!

    1. Basically, I means that we have a lot more editing to do than we had thought about previously.

  3. I was confused as well when I saw those "Legacy" NFS entries too. It looks like it stopped today.

  4. As I explained elsewhere, what I detailed here seems to have been a technical glitch, and not an ongoing problem. There are, however, underlying issues, and hopefully FamilySearch will be able to deal with some of them and let us know when all the migration of data from NFS is finished.