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FamilySearch Tree and Sources

What are your feelings regarding the FamilySearch tree? Do you dislike it because anyone can change anything? Or, do you like it because of the ability to collaborate?

Even though I get frustrated with unexplained changes that don’t fit my conclusions, I like the FamilySearch tree. I like it because it is the one of the places where collaboration happens. When someone else makes a change to one of my ancestors that doesn’t agree with my research, I see the opportunity to collaborate. When this happens, I will often add a discussion item either questioning the change or explaining my conclusion. I also use the messaging tool to contact the contributor and inquire about their sources and reasoning.

My first encounter with this was when someone changed the birthplace for James Crawford [M9X2-NWS] and added parents. I was ecstatic! Someone had found the parents of James Crawford. They even attached a source! However, when I started studying that source in relation to everything else we knew about James Crawford, I realized that the source was for a different James Crawford and not for my ancestor. I let my discussion post sit there for a while before removing the parents, the source and restoring James’ birth date and place.

Yesterday, I was reviewing changes to individuals I monitor on the FamilySearch tree and found where a sibling of my 2nd great grandmother, Emeline Minnick [K8K7-NHW], was removed from the family. It took me a while to figure out the changes, but Emeline’s brother was merged with another male of the same name and ended up in a different family.

As I was reviewing my data to see if I had Wilson J. Minnick [LV86-BFV] placed in the wrong family, I realized that I had more information about the family than was visible to others. I have sources in my RootsMagic data that aren’t on the FamilySearch tree. I’ve found that to be true of many people in my database: I have more sources than are on the FamilySearch tree.

 RootsMagic has the capability to transfer my sources to FamilySearch. So why aren’t those sources attached? For me, I have a

  • hesitancy to add source because I don’t know how to tag it (Name, Gender, Birth, Christening, Death, Burial). Many of my sources place a person in a particular place at a particular time and have nothing to do with their birth or death. 
  • hesitancy to add source because I don’t know what is expected in the ‘reason to attach source’ box
  • reluctance to spend the time. I would rather be researching than adding sources to the FamilySearch tree.

Because of my reluctance to upload my sources to the FamilySearch tree, I know have to figure out how to separate two families that have been merged.

Thus, I’m plan to not worry as much about whether my reason for attaching a source is good enough and to spend more time uploading sources.