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

Friday, August 29, 2014

Response to Online Tree issue

 I may have written about this before, but some time ago I attended a conference in Florida. While at the conference one of the members of the genealogy society came into the meeting carrying a pile of records. He handed the records to the president of the society and explained that one of the members of the society and recently passed away. The other member had lived a few doors away and as the surviving genealogical society member observed, someone began cleaning up his apartment. The member noticed that a pile of records was ready to be dumped into the dumpster and rescued them. These records constituted all of the research done by the departed genealogist.

I suspect that this scenario is played out again and again across the world. Genealogists spend years of their lives doing research but often failed to provide for the preservation of the records. Today we have a rather simple way of preserving the vast majority of the research done by all the genealogists in the world. That information can be placed online in appropriate websites.

In this regard I came across a presentation made by Israel Pickholtz. Unfortunately, the text of the presentation does not identify either the date or the place, but the information presented reaffirms the need to preserve genealogical information. The presentation relates an experience where a relative of the presenter died and all of his research was lost or unavailable. The presenter suggests using as a repository for permanently storing information. I certainly agree with this opinion. This is especially true since was purchased by This acquisition makes the survival of both databases more secure. An alternative online website would be's Family Tree. Granted, Family Tree is still in the development stage but it shows much promise in becoming an extremely valuable place to preserve genealogical data.

 Although, there are a substantial number of negative factors about online family trees, it is important to understand that they are a vital repository for preserving and securing genealogical data that would otherwise be lost. This is not true of every online family tree, but the presentation cited above and my own experience clearly indicate that there are places online where genealogical information can be reliably preserved.

In another blog post entitled "Genealogy as a Quilting Bee,"  I found another interesting article by Israel Pickholtz entitled "Concerns about Geni and Other "Collaborative Genealogy" Websites."  I recommend both these articles and the presentation referenced above as very interesting commentary on the appropriateness and particularly the limitations of online family trees.


  1. While I was a FamilySearch Center Director people came to me or called me to tell me they were throwing away their mother's records or the like. I begged them to find a box or something and keep them, generally to no avail. Several times I accepted the records, had some staff members input the info int FamilySearch to preserve. The issue I had was the staff needed to log in to FS, and they did not want to use their logins, so the used mine. Now I receive questions regarding a family I know nothing about. I am sure someday I can correct this.. Great post.

    1. It is a never ending story and the comments I get when I suggest putting all that information on line indicate that it will continue to be a never ending story.

  2. I gave you the link to the shortcut, skipping the page with the date and place. You can see that at

    (I'm new at some of this.)

    1. Thanks that helps. Thanks for your articles and post also.