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

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Conclusions on the Accuracy of the FamilySearch Family Tree

Although accuracy does not seem to be priority with the promotional materials accompanying the Family Tree, it is a fundamental aspect of the Family Tree program. Because it has a collaborative wiki-based structure, the Family Tree will, by its nature, continue to become more accurate. This does not mean that those using the Family Tree do not have a personal responsibility to be as accurate as possible, it just means that over time, the Family Tree will become more accurate as the users become more sophisticated and the information becomes more complete.

My analogy is that the Family Tree is like a beautiful garden. But it can only become beautiful and stay that way with a lot of work. Just as we need to be vigilant about weeds in a garden, we also need to be vigilant and root out the weeds in the Family Tree. They will seem to pop up during some seasons in profusion, but if we ignore the Family Tree the weeds or bad data will soon take over. Just as weeding a garden is best done consistently and regularly, the Family Tree will grow and blossom into a beautiful, well organized and corrected Family Tree with hard work and dedication.

My admonition to all who want a lovely Family Tree is to get to work and be as perfect and correct as you can be. Add sources, correct the entries and think about what you are doing. Have faith that your efforts are worthwhile. Start to work and you will soon learn to love the garden (Family Tree) like I do. Take my word for it, it is worth the effort.


  1. Sometime during the past month my tree expanded along various branches back to dates unimaginable- one even tho Jesus and beyond. Is there some hacking going on of late?

    1. I guess my answer revolves around your use of the term "my tree." It seems that this is a persistent issue. The Family Tree is not your tree. Anyone can make changes. It doesn't take a hacker to change the Family Tree as you describe, it just takes ignorance.

  2. How do you get people to stay excited and interested in continuing to use the family tree, instead of working on closed family trees on other sites, when every time they open up their branch of the family tree they find information has constantly been changed by well meaning individuals. Unfortunately most of these changes are made without any solid sources, and people just tire of having to constantly make corrections.