Moderator Control Panel ]

Do You Put Them Right?

Share your thoughts with your fellow family historians – and the Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine team – here

Do You Put Them Right?

Postby Norfolk Nan » Tue Oct 15, 2019 12:06 pm

Do you ever look at other family trees in places like Ancestry and see terrible mistakes and lots of incorrect facts? :evil: What do you do? Do you get in touch and suggest changes or just leave it alone?
Norfolk Nan
 
Posts: 73
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:13 pm

Re: Do You Put Them Right?

Postby junkers » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:17 pm

I generally leave them alone, even when they are obviously wrong, unless they are directly related to my family. Some of the family trees are in my view rubbish and based on no facts.
junkers
 
Posts: 1004
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:59 pm

Re: Do You Put Them Right?

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 1:57 pm

Frankly, those that are shambles to start with - and usually copied from other Ancestry trees - I leave well alone on the basis that if the authors are so dumb as to have 60y old mothers giving birth, then they are hardly likely to listen to a voice of (I hope) reason.

And if their tree has over 10,000 people in, I'm really sceptical - I've been at this for about 19y and I've got about 3,700 people - each of those was identified and added "by hand", whereas the 10k trees have, I suspect, been created by copying entire trees into their own with no "quality control" checking.

Sometimes if they're touching on a favourite ancestor (naughty concept on my part, but it happens) and I think it's a genuine mistake, I might drop them a line to say something like, "I know they're the right names and the right dates but my lot never lived outside Cheshire and you've got them partly in Cheshire and partly in xxxxx". Sometimes I get a "Thanks for that!" response. Sometimes I get ignored - their problem.

From a slightly different angle, I'm more likely to contact them if they claim to have identified a marriage or parentage for a brick-wall, asking them where they got the data from? Sadly, if I get an answer, it's usually along the lines of, "Oh dear - I don't know - but I know I didn't make it up!" Um. Yeah, sure.
Adrian
AdrianB38
 
Posts: 2653
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:07 pm

Re: Do You Put Them Right?

Postby meekhcs » Tue Oct 15, 2019 2:42 pm

Difficult.
About a year ago I received a hint concerning my "Great Grandfather". I investigated and found that my Great Grandmother, my Grandmother and even my Mother had all been added to the wrong "Great Grandfather" and therefore had nothing to do with her tree.
I contacted the owner and gently pointed out the error...........and nothing! She didn't even bother to reply.
It annoys me intently that my Mother has been attached to the wrong tree. I am beginning to hate these "tree sites" more and more. They are not policed properly and given my recent dealings with the DNA side I am worried that is heading in the same way.

Sally
meekhcs
 
Posts: 1581
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 7:43 pm
Location: england

Re: Do You Put Them Right?

Postby Norfolk Nan » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:27 pm

Me too - I generally leave alone but it does enfuriate me sometimes, particularly when the error is close to home. I used to email/message but have never had a response. Once, when someone had included my dad(!) I sent a shirty message demanding they made corrections but that was ignored, of course.
Norfolk Nan
 
Posts: 73
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:13 pm

Re: Do You Put Them Right?

Postby JaneyH » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:28 pm

My position is much the same as what Adrian and Sally have already said.

However, I’m always very happy for anyone to question my tree. I’ve worked on it slowly and methodically for ten years, being careful with sources etc. But I have made the odd mistake along the way. I once contacted someone who had an overlapping - but slightly different branch to my tree. When I compared notes and sources I realised that the error was mine, not hers. Armed with the new information I happily made a correction.

Since then I’ve had a disclaimer on my public tree to say that it’s carefully researched and correct to the best of my knowledge. But it’ll always be work in progress as things may change in the future.


Sent from my iPhone using WDYTYA Forum
User avatar
JaneyH
 
Posts: 585
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:35 pm

Re: Do You Put Them Right?

Postby Robbie J N » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:39 pm

First of all, I want to say thank you for asking the original question in this message as it is something I have thought of doing with several trees I have looked at on Ancestry.

I think Adrian says it well, that when people have 10,000 or more people in a tree, it is unlikely that they have properly researched them. People add names and ages to people based on a census and don't bother to look up the birth record to check the actual age or mother's maiden name. They mix up 2 or 3 different families with the same surname, even if they live several counties apart. (Sometimes families moved around a lot but not very common more than 200 years ago!) Plus, if the number of records does not equal the number of sources for an individual, then you know they have just linked to another tree and not done the research themselves. (A source without a record means they referenced another tree.)

In my case, there is a photo currently on Ancestry of my great-grandparent's wedding, which a user uploaded and incorrectly attached to my great-grandmother's sister and her husband. I added a comment over 2 years ago that it was the wrong sister, and also one of the 2 bridesmaids is actually the daughter of the wrong sister (it's a bit hard to be a ~22 year old bridesmaid at your own parent's wedding), but still it has not been corrected. It is attached to several people's trees, so I imagine their trees are all wrong too. I contacted the original uploader several times and got no response.
That was just a photograph. I won't even go into names that shouldn't be in trees or getting the wrong mother's maiden name in a family, with all the mistakes that leads to!

When I find a 'wrong' tree, I check to see who the 'home' person is. If they are a blood relative of mine, I might try and contact them to ask if they can help me with my tree, rather than say "your tree is wrong and you need to fix this or that", as that way you can share information and things can only (usually) improve for both of you. If they are not a blood relative, merely a relative of a relative, or even further, then I leave them to it. (Often wondering why they have people in their tree they aren't even related to!) However, if they have some specific information about a relative we have in common, such as letters or photos posted in their tree, then again contacting them can be useful for both parties.
Robbie J N
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:25 am

Re: Do You Put Them Right?

Postby Guy » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:17 am

Norfolk Nan wrote:Do you ever look at other family trees in places like Ancestry and see terrible mistakes and lots of incorrect facts? :evil: What do you do? Do you get in touch and suggest changes or just leave it alone?


When I see questions like this I ask myself why do people even look at trees on Ancestry? This is not a new problem some here may remember when the question was not trees on Ancestry but trees/data on the IGI (International Genealogical Index). Thinking about it I would not be surprised to discover that people asked the same question in the 15th and 16th centuries about the dubious pedigrees from some Heralds Visitations.

Genealogy/Family History is a process of assumptions or deductions, although we use written facts we have to decide whether the written details appertain to our ancestor or someone with the same name as our ancestor. Very often we are basing our decisions on very little actual evidence of a connection.

Often when a person looks at a tree on Ancestry and similar sites they are doing so to try to further their research but I would suggest that in doing so they are opening themselves to falling into a trap our minds play on us.
If we see a tree with sources displayed our minds tend to accept the information given rather than actually thinking yes this is a possibility but are there other similar possibilities? Could that particular person have died 3 days after birth rather than lived and married?
We are more inclined to accept the "evidence" shown by the sources supplied than researching the possibilities they could be in error.

I would suggest only look at other people's trees when you have your own well researched tree which you are happy to question and compare (you do regularly go back over your own research and question it don't you?)

Cheers
Guy
As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.
Guy
 
Posts: 394
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:56 pm

Re: Do You Put Them Right?

Postby Guy » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:28 am

Robbie J N wrote:
In my case, there is a photo currently on Ancestry of my great-grandparent's wedding, which a user uploaded and incorrectly attached to my great-grandmother's sister and her husband. I added a comment over 2 years ago that it was the wrong sister, and also one of the 2 bridesmaids is actually the daughter of the wrong sister (it's a bit hard to be a ~22 year old bridesmaid at your own parent's wedding), but still it has not been corrected. It is attached to several people's trees, so I imagine their trees are all wrong too. I contacted the original uploader several times and got no response.
That was just a photograph. I won't even go into names that shouldn't be in trees or getting the wrong mother's maiden name in a family, with all the mistakes that leads to!


Is it? ;)
My grandparent's family were born between the years 1912 and 1922. My grandparents did not marry until 1934, their first daughter could easily have been a 22 year old bridesmaid on their wedding day and their youngest child would have been 12.
Strange things do happen in family history sometimes with a simple explanation (my grandfather was married and his wife refused to give him a divorced so they had no option but to wait until she died before they could marry).
Cheers
Guy
As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.
Guy
 
Posts: 394
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:56 pm

Re: Do You Put Them Right?

Postby Robbie J N » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:03 am

To Guy:
If the only thing you are questioning is whether you can be a ~22 year old bridesmaid at your parents’ wedding, then yes you probably could, but only if your parents had not been married since before you were born, so why get married twice?
Perhaps to avoid confusion I should have written:
‘it's a bit hard to be a ~22 year old bridesmaid at your own parent's wedding, when your parents got married the year before you were born’.

This photo has been verified incorrect from several sources that I took the trouble to contact. My father lived with his grandparents and knew what they looked like. We have many photos of them to compare it to. There is also another one with the same people in it from the wedding plus others, such as the brother and mother of the groom, which we also have other pictures of. Plus, the 22 year old bridesmaid, I personally contacted her granddaughter to confirm that it was her, as initially we were not sure, but her identity was confirmed. The 2 grooms, who married a pair of sisters over 20 years apart, do not look alike, other than both have moustaches. And to add to everything, the copy of the photo we own has a date on the back of it which matches up with the correct wedding year. Plus, the quality of photographs changed a lot between 1884 and 1907, the years the 2 weddings took place.

I also have ancestors, at least one anyway that I can reasonably confirm, born before their parents were married, but usually only if they were the oldest child, and then usually only about a year or so before the marriage. Plus lots of ancestors who managed to produce their first child before their marriage was 9 months old! Not counting the illegitimate ancestors whose parents never married, and whose father’s identity I will never know.

Going back to my personal case with the photograph, I think the reason the uploader got it wrong was the fact that the 2 sisters were called Jane and Mary Jane, so they probably saw it said ‘Jane’s Wedding’ on their copy and thought it was short for Mary Jane, or a similar reason to that. I cannot know their reasons for making the mistake when they refuse to reply to my messages. Other members of my family descended from the sisters agree with me after I pointed out who was who in the photo. If people put photos on a public tree for the world to see, then they should do their best to confirm it is correct for the people they have assigned it to. Or at least be prepared to change it when someone tells them it is wrong. Sorry, but that particular case irritates me!
Robbie J N
 
Posts: 128
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:25 am

Next

Return to Genealogy chat


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests