Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Your Weekly FamilySearch Family Tree Report
If you have been watching any of the people in your ancestral lines on FamilySearch.org's Family Tree program, you will likely have been receiving a weekly update from FamilySearch listing any and all changes made to those people on your watch list. If you are not receiving this list, it is because you have either failed to provide a current email address or you have not marked anyone in program to be watched.
This is an extremely valuable function and helps maintain the integrity of the data in the program and enables you to communicate and collaborate with other family members. Here is a screenshot showing the link to adding a person to your watch list:
When you click on this link, the word will change to "Unwatch," telling you that this person is now on your Watch List. Here is another screenshot showing the change in the word:
Here is a screenshot of the Watch List showing all of the people, including the one just added, to my watch list:
In my case, I have lots of people on my list, so I have to scroll down in the list to see the newly added person:
What do you do if someone changes a person in the Family Tree? Well, the answer depends on whether you agree that the change is necessary or not. If you agree with the change, then you do nothing. If you do not agree, you should change the entry back to what you believe to be the correct information and communicate with the person who made the change in an attempt to collaborate in the future. The key here is whether or not the changes are supported by documentary sources and the evidence in those sources. For example, if the change involved a birth date, if you don't have an documentary evidence to correct the change, then why make the correction? What you need to do is see this as an invitation to do some research. If the other person provides a source and you have no sources then you can expect changes and should welcome both the change and the source. But if the other person makes a change when you have sources already listed, you should change the information back to reflect the sources and contact the person as I have already indicated.
Watching entries in the Family Tree is a basic mechanism for helping to advance the objective of the Family Tree to provide accurate and complete entries, supported by sources, for each individual in the tree.