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.