Author Topic: Validity of Public Member Trees on Ancestry  (Read 1116 times)

Offline Keith Sherwood

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Validity of Public Member Trees on Ancestry
« on: Tuesday 14 November 17 14:42 GMT (UK) »
Please re-direct me if this is already a well-worn/much-discussed topic, but how frustrated have other Rootschatters become through looking at all the erroneous information on the section on Ancestry called Public Member Trees...?
Members must in many cases simply copy or add in information on there to their own trees, believing or perhaps merely hoping that it is the truth and nothing but.
And I have cross-referenced on there recently and discovered that whole twigs or branches have almost been airbrushed out, particularly if there has been a previous marriage. 
I suppose it's sometimes about what people want to see in their trees, not warts 'n all...
Keith

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Offline JAKnighton

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Re: Validity of Public Member Trees on Ancestry
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 14 November 17 14:50 GMT (UK) »
There are indeed many poorly researched trees but I don't see the point in getting frustrated. It doesn't affect my research at all. I look at them when it's obvious the tree creator is closely related to the family I'm researching and it is fully sourced. Even then I make sure to double check the facts.
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Offline Josephine

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Re: Validity of Public Member Trees on Ancestry
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 14 November 17 15:22 GMT (UK) »
Keith,

You've guessed right: there are at least a few threads on Rootschat about that very issue.

It used to bother me until I came to the conclusion that most people nowadays only have online trees and they use those online trees as they would use a database on their hard drive: as a work in progress.

To me, putting a tree online = publishing it, so I would keep it all on my computer until it was ready to be published (proven to the best of my ability, tidied up, etc.). But that's not the way that most folks view it.

Add to that the fact that many people are not necessarily interested in doing hard research and are happy to assume that what they find online is correct -- and you end up with the current situation.

It's more than a bit tedious to wade through numerous repetitions of the same information copied and pasted over countless trees in an effort to find the originator of the information -- who may or may not have recorded his/her sources -- but it's either do that or ignore them all.

When I'm skimming through indexed search results from public trees on Ancestry, for example, I look for trees that have the symbols indicating attachments or photos, and look at those first. I find that people who go to the trouble of attaching or linking to source documents tend to be more thorough and are more likely to have information that I can then check on my own.

Regards,
Josephine
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Offline larkspur

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Re: Validity of Public Member Trees on Ancestry
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 14 November 17 15:48 GMT (UK) »
Very, Very much discussed topic.
However I will add -when I find a tree that contains incorrect details about my family I make a comment. Giving the correct facts with back up information. Once in a blue moon I receive a reply, but mostly not. Some of the comments I have left are years old and no correction has been made to the tree. I do it mainly for the " visitors" to the tree and not the owners. Because at least then the visitors have the correct information. Whether they use it is up to them of course  8)
AREA, Nottinghamshire. Lincolnshire. Staffordshire. Leicestershire, Morayshire.
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Offline Keith Sherwood

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Re: Validity of Public Member Trees on Ancestry
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 14 November 17 15:50 GMT (UK) »
Yes, Josephine,
I fully share your views on all this, and I suppose the most interesting items are often the photos, and also if there are BMD certificates posted too...
Regards, Keith
...and yes, Larkspur, I too feel I ought to inform those tree holders that I have the original documents - and here they are - and here's what ought to be/ought not to be there.  But I simply haven't done it yet as the internet can be such an empty echo chamber..

Offline Selina

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Re: Validity of Public Member Trees on Ancestry
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 14 November 17 16:09 GMT (UK) »
Like larkspur I prefer to post a message for other visitors to the tree to see as I find tree owners just are not interested.

The last time I did this I was contacted by the tree owner asking why I had left amended details of my grandmother's death.  I told her that I thought it would be of interest to point out that she had remarried and therefore the name had changed and the correct information would be found under that name etc.

Obviously my action had been resented and the erroneous details have remained on the tree.

One can but try!

Selina
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Offline StevieSteve

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Re: Validity of Public Member Trees on Ancestry
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 14 November 17 17:02 GMT (UK) »

...and yes, Larkspur, I too feel I ought to inform those tree holders that I have the original documents - and here they are

I don't bother with the "here they are" bit, just put a note under the relevant fact that I've got the cert.

That way it's no real drain on my time and interested people can contact me -which shows they have at least made some effort reading through my work rather than just finding it in a tree hint
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Offline Springwagon

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Re: Validity of Public Member Trees on Ancestry
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 14 November 17 17:19 GMT (UK) »
I did initially find it very frustrating as well. But having made a few mistakes myself over the years, I try not to overreact. I work very hard to verify at least 3 ways before I put up any information, and then when I find someone who has made a mistake I shoot them a message offering the correct info. Most often it is just an inconsequential addition to their main branch, I find, so they didn't work very hard at it.
The most frustrating one to me is a person who gave information to the Liverpoole Museum about an uncle of mine who was on the Lusitania when it was torpedoed. They listed his mother as someone completely different than it should be. I have contacted the museum but have yet to hear back or see a correction.
Costello - Ireland unknown
Hartford - Ireland unknown
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McGrath - Castlemartyr, Cork, Ireland
O'Sullivan - Ireland unknown
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Reynolds - Leitrim, Ireland

Offline coombs

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Re: Validity of Public Member Trees on Ancestry
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 14 November 17 20:33 GMT (UK) »
I always add notes under a birth date for instance if I have got back to a Dorothy Nicholls born about 1690 but I cannot be sure of her baptism yet have found a candidate I add underneath "A Dorothy Nicholls was born in such and such a village in 1690" And when I have verified connections I add notes, such as names mentioned in wills, poor law records as well for pre 1837 research.

What does annoy me is when someone on an Anc tree is said to be born in 1700 in rural Suffolk but baptised in Bermondsey in 1701. Sorry but show me compelling evidence first before I believe this. And even more annoying is when someone born in 1700 is the son of someone born in 1400. Many Anc trees are more mythical than fictional books it seems.
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SUFFOLK Titshall, Frost, Fairweather, Mayhew, Archer, Eade, Scarfe
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OXON Edgington, Smith, Inkpen, Snell, Batten, Brain