Why did Family Search attach a christening record for Margaret Allanshaw McFarlane (L715-DVH)
Why did Family Search attach a christening record for Margaret Allanshaw McFarlane (L715-DVH) as the wife of Robert Young? What criteria did they use to attach that record? Old family groups give her name as Margaret McFarland. They give her birth "about 1813." It is possible that this is the record of the correct person, but Margaret McFarlane or McFarland is a very common name and more than one exists in records of Renfrewshire, Scotland which is the place that a family biography says she was born. We could be connected to the wrong "grandmother" and researching the wrong family line. Please let me know how these records are determined to be accurate.
Rosalie D Young
This person already existed prior to 2014 when "FamilySearch" added a source. However in the past, when this has happened it either been in error or due to special circumstances. FS does not actively edit the FSFT.
Firstly, since this is an index-only source, you should find the original if you haven't already. ScotlandsPeople is the official website for pre-1855 Scottish church records, and for a few pounds you can see the image of this record. Otherwise, you may be able to find it in the FamilySearch Catalog and view it for free from a FHC or Affiliate Library.
As you may know, anyone can edit the FSFT, and sometimes incorrect edits are made. If you click on "Show all" below "Latest changes" on the right side of the profile page, you can a list of all the edits that have been made to this profile. You can also click on the names of the people who made the edits and see their email address if you want to contact them to ask about the edits they made.0
This is an excellent question and one that many guests will appreciate you asking!
In viewing the two similar sources for the deceased person you reference, we see that there are two records attached as sources that appear to be separate index records for the identical original document. The first of the two identical sources appears to have been already attached to the IGI record prior to the person record being migrated into the current FamilySearch database on November 6th, 2014. The second index to the same source was attached on 28 April 2015 by another guest of FamilySearch, possibly a relative or descendant of the deceased, who apparently identified it as a match. There is no explanation for how the original contributor or the second guest determined that the source was a match. The names of the parents do match but we don't know without further investigation if that is only because this source was used to derive the parents.
However, getting back to your question: The answer is that, when you see "FamilySearch" as the contributor, it is usually because the source was attached prior to the current version of the system and it was not possible to identify the original contributors as part of the database migration.
Here is a link to the article in the Help Center that gives a more complete explanation of the various reasons why FamilySearch shows as a contributor in Family Tree: https://www.familysearch.org/help/helpcenter/article/why-is-familysearch-a-contributor-in-family-tree
Thank you for your efforts in ensuring that sources are accurately matched and clearly explained. In this case the explanation of how the records were determined to be sources for the deceased is unfortunately lacking.
However, if you find corroborating information, we encourage you to add it to the notes in the record for your relative in Family Tree. Likewise, if you determine that the records reflect sources that belong to a different person, you may detach them and mark them as "Not a Match"--preferably with a documented explanation of why they belong to someone else.
Thank you for your diligence in helping us improve the accuracy of the information in Family Tree!
Gordon Collett ✭✭✭✭✭
Here is a bit of historical background to add to the above explanations. This is an exception to the general rule that FamilySearch itself does not add to or edit records.
Back in the 1970's in FamilySearch's record extraction program, the predecessor to the current indexing program, volunteers went systematically through sets of birth and marriage records and copied out birth and marriage information. The resulting records then went into either the International Genealogical Index or the Vital Records Index or both. Sometimes there would be more than one copy of a record set so it would be indexed this way twice.
As part of the original creation of Family Tree, the entire IGI was copied into it. Those Family Tree IGI records match exactly what was originally in the IGI. FamilySearch had maintained the connection between the Family Tree record and IGI record and the source for that record and so was able to automatically connect the Family Tree record and the IGI indexed source. For these records, you will always see this yellow banner in the source:
Typically an IGI birth source would contain the child's name, christening date and place, and parents names and nothing more. Sometimes this record lies undisturbed in Family Tree and you can see the exact correspondence between the record and the source. This was the case for Margaret as you can see here: Margaret Allanshaw Mcfarlane MDT6-Q4L. You do need to check the Change Log to see her parents since this record has been merged and the version that can still be viewed has limited information. However, you can see there that the record matches the source exactly.
These records do tell you that there is an underlying original birth or marriage record in the reference named in the source for you to go and find.
Sometimes the Family Tree IGI record has been merged, correctly or incorrectly, with other records to add information to the person and to create the full family for that person. You can see in the change logs that that happened for the Margaret in this IGI derived record:
It was Brian who decided that these two Margaret's were the same person, not FamilySearch. The IGI source FamilySearch attached just came along in the merge. Whether Brian should have done that merge and whether the other 24 contributors to her record have done everything right, you will need to evaluate and decide. It looks like Brian is the one who added Margaret's middle name and decided he had found the correct christening record for her. He is also the one that changed her birth date from about 1813 to the current 1816 date. If you click on his name anywhere you see it you can send Brian a message to discuss how he came to his conclusions, assuming he is still actively working in Family Tree.
If you conclude that this christening record is not for your Margaret, I would encourage you to not simply remove that source attached by FamilySearch, but rather to Restore Margaret MDT6-Q4L since she was a real person derived from a real birth record and it would be best for her to remain in Family Tree for her real family to find. If you restore her the source will be attached to both her and your Margaret but you can then safely remove it from yours.
Here is a help center article about these IGI sources: https://www.familysearch.org/help/helpcenter/article/what-does-this-extracted-igi-record-was-used-to-create-this-person-mean
You can find the original record by checking the microfilm it came from which you can find in the source by opening the Document Information section:
Checking for this film, I see that it can only by viewed at a Family History Center or Affiliate Library as shown by the little key over the camera icon:
If there is one near you, it is probably worth checking out in case it contains more information about this Margaret, such as exactly where she lived, that you can use to determine if this is your Margaret or not.2