How do I prevent someone from making unauthorized changes to my family tree
I have a tree with me as the beginning. Someone unrelated to me or anyone else in my family has started to change ancestor information many generations in the past that do not relate to my family. The information he is entering is incorrect and unrelated to my ancestry. How do I prevent this from occuring?
Thank you for contacting FamilySearch about changes that are being made in Family Tree to the records of your ancestors. We understand your concern that the records be accurate.
What you are seeing happens when people have many descendants who are submitting information about them to Family Tree. This can cause incorrect information and relationships to be in the database.
We need to explain what Family Tree is. Then you can understand why what you see is happening.
- Family Tree is an open collaborative environment. Here is a link to a FamilySearch Blog page” that will explain the situation. https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/online-family-tree/
- Family Tree is a single tree linked together in families. Therefore, it is different from other sites which display private user trees.
- The information/data in Family Tree is not the exclusive property of any one person. The persons in the records typically have many descendants who can claim them as “their” ancestors/family. Each generation back the more descendant there will be who can claim the persons.
- The only family information that you can truly control in FamilySearch is the version from your personal computer that you send to the “Pedigree Resource File” section of FamilySearch. Others can look at it there, but only you can change it.
- In Family Tree, any user can add or “correct” information in a record regardless of whether they added it. The changes will show in a change history, along with their user ID and a means to contact them.
- Since patrons, such as yourself, are the ones most familiar and most qualified to make decisions about their ancestors, we are asking them to make needed corrections in the records. However, if there are other people involved with the records, we suggest that you try to contact them before making changes. They may have information you do not have. Working together will make your efforts more productive and you could reach a consensus on what should be done and avoid conflicts.
- Just as you can make a change in Family Trees, someone else, who does not agree with what you have done, can undo the change. Here is a link to a FamilySearch Blog page that explains how to contact and work with others. “How to Contact Other Users—Working Together on the Family Tree” https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/contacting-other-users/
- You are not left totally without ways to try to reduce the number of errors made. Here is a link to an article entitled “How can I prevent other people from making inaccurate changes to Family Tree?” https://www.familysearch.org/help/helpcenter/article/how-can-i-prevent-other-people-from-making-inaccurate-changes-to-family-tree that will show what you can do. Also, here is a link to a FamilySearch “Blog” that will further explain the situation https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/correct-mistakes-family-tree/
- To follow for any changes that are made to the records you are interested in, consider using the “Follow” feature in Family Tree. To explain this here is a link to an article entitled “How do I follow or unfollow a person in Family Tree?” https://www.familysearch.org/help/helpcenter/article/can-i-follow-an-individual-in-family-tree
To view the articles, click the links. Please note that on the bottom of the articles there may be links to additional articles for related subjects that may also be helpful to you.2