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

Friday, January 2, 2015

What do I do while changes are being made to the FamilySearch Family Tree?

Change is the name of the game on the Family Tree. In my recent post about why FamilySearch is making changes to my ancestors on the Family Tree, I explain what is going on in detail. This post is aimed at the issue of what to do about the changes.

First off, if you find that a lot of changes are being made to your family line, don't get into a panic and start trying to bail the ocean. Just cool off and wait a while. Look carefully at where the changes are coming from. Here is a screenshot showing the location of a detail page of the most recent changes:

Before you get all upset, look at the whole picture. Click on the link at the bottom of this section that says, "Show all." Here is the subsequent screenshot showing the complete list:

At this point, you have a number of choices. You can start trying to contact the people making the changes, you can ignore the situation and see what happens, you can start trying to put in your own information and make even more changes, or you can investigate further before you get upset.

In this particular case, when I go back to the original Detail Page for this person, I find that there is a terrible mess. This individual, Philip Taber, still has 15 wives. This is down from a previous high of 26 or 27. It just may be that someone is working on eliminating the duplicates. Good, then I don't have to bother with this and I can just wait a while and when they whittle down the pile, I can come in a put in sources and correct the information, if it needs correction by then.

But what about changes to people whose files are not so messed up? What about changes to my immediate family? Well, first off, you should probably get to know the people who are making the changes because they may be near relatives. But in any event, you can go through the same evaluation and consideration outlined above, first of all, try to contact the person and see where they are getting the information. For example, going back to Philip Taber, there are yet no sources at all for him except two "Legacy NFS Sources" and both of those are worthless.

Back to the near ancestor issue. Lets suppose that someone insists on changing information to my Great-grandfather (or whomever) without adding any sources and without an email or other contact information. What do I do? I report abuse. Here is another screenshot of Philip Taber pointing to the link:

I keep reporting abuse, every time there is a change without a contact or supporting sources and I keep changing the data back the way it was and giving more sources. Of course, I have contact information and my sources are real and valid.

What do I do in the meantime while all this is going on? I keep compiling more sources to add to the Family Tree. I keep making corrections to existing data. I wait patiently (or not) for FamilySearch to get through the process of moving over data. I maintain separate family trees on, and in the event that FamilySearch ever gets to the point where sources can be moved over. If that never happens, I keep adding sources anyway and moving them one by one over to Family Tree. Personally, I am using RootsMagic to accumulate sources so they can be moved to Family Tree when necessary.

Oh, and I keep doing research on my ancestor's descendants in the event I ever find anyone who needs Temple ordinances. Plus I keep doing all my other stuff.

What I do not do is fixate on the changes being made to the Family Tree.

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