"GEDCOM DATA"-- is this stuff somehow foolproof and should I heed it?? What is it exactly?
I've got a set of 4th Great Grandparents (Allen Smith & Piety Watt) for whom I seem to be about the only living person interested in finding records (vs. undocumented/ non-referenced hearsay) to prove out Allen's and Piety's parents' identities, siblings, etc for more historical knowledge.
I've worked diligently for years on them over on Ancestry- and here at FS- and smaller attempts elsewhere. Those searches and working through ideas has helped me learn about others of the same surname in the region, which probably are distant cousins-- but I am still looking for the people we have in common with all those probable cousins, i.e., my 5th?, 6th?, 7th? further? Great Grandparents, or even definite siblings of theirs.
SO, imagine my excitement when I find a record linked to one of them that is also attached to someone else!! ONLY to go open that id and see entered for 'the reason this is correct' simply read "GEDCOM DATA," ... no sources or mention of anything seen or heard that might support anything at all. At first I thought this "GEDCOM DATA" must mean DNA evidence, or something with some fact behind it. However, I dug around a little before posting this question and have surmised this isn't the case. Disappointing. Frustrating, too.
My questions then:
- Is GEDCOM DATA potentially just someone's guesses from another site (like Ancestry, etc.), or is there more to it? What is it exactly?
- Should I pay any attention to this stuff when it seems in contradiction to what I have found and I can't otherwise find any support for it?
- IF there were sources/reasons attached to the information in the original location, would it somehow be indicated here? Or is 'GEDCOM DATA' all that can show up, regardless of how many sources supported the data in its original location (perhaps because that level of information is not extracted with the data obtained by FS)?
- Who actually enters this "data" into FS/ FT? ( I did think briefly that it's someone working through their section of the tree. I'm now getting the idea that its not typically anyone with any ties to the person or their particular area of the tree- that these are large numbers of files extracted from another source and imported into the FS database via a FS volunteer/employee manually creating them as an assigned project.)
I will sometimes merge IDs while searching around when I can clearly tell they are indeed the same person. However, some of the would-be duplicate people pertaining to my Allen & Piety mission that are only supported by "GEDCOM DATA" will have a slightly different birth date, or maybe the wrong parents, or something else just enough different that I leave it alone, unsure if they are unique people or not. My hunch is that they are the same and that incorrect information is being imported with the GEDCOM DATA batches. I hope my hunch is wrong, because the duplicates (if they are) are adding a lot of noise and impeding a cohesive tree.
I'm guessing that most users run into this at some point (I seem to have hit upon a massive amount!). It would be useful- even responsible- for FS to have a user alert about what GEDCOM DATA is and isn't and how to factor it in when found for someone in your tree section. If such already exists, I've somehow missed it. Apologies if that's the case and you've had to tell me to go read it!
Brandi (who wishes people, especially from 1900 back to the BC era, would have had the good sense to leave their biography, all supporting documents, and answers to any likely questions, including a self-sketch- if not a painting or picture of themselves- in a universal repository completely safe from destruction)
This link from the FamilySearch Wiki explains how GEDCOM came about:
It is just a computer file structure that was created to allow genealogical data to be passed between programs in a common format. It has nothing to do with the value or authenticity of the genealogical data that you see in FamilySearch.
Each person entry will have a link associated with it that tells you where it came from and who added it. You can find this in the column on the right labelled Latest Changes. This will allow you to make a better judgment on the value of the information.1
Welcome to the "Community.FamilySearch" Forum
I am just another 'lowly' User/Patron ...
Ah ... the "Dreaded" ... GEDCOM File ... "GEDCOM Data" ... a 'scourge' of "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch' ...
The, preference; and, requests, to NOT allow the ability the "Upload" of GEDCOM Files into "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch' has been, discussed; and, canvased, on countless occasions, in the many 'iterations' of the various 'Feedback' Forums in 'FamilySearch' over the Years - unfortunately, to no avail.
A GECOM File, is SIMPLY a way/means, for a User/Patron, to make a "Copy", of their Own ("Personal") Database of their Genealogy / Family History (eg. Ancestry) research, from the likes of either, an 'On-Line' "Website" (eg. "Ancestry_com"; or "MyHeritage_com"; or, the like); and/or, 'standalone' personal (computer) programmes (eg, the OLD, now no longer supported, "PAF"; or, "Ancestral Quest"; or, the like), to be able to 'Transfer' (ie. "Upload") that "Copy", into another, 'On-Line' "Website"; and/or, 'standalone' personal (computer) programme.
Nothing more, nothing less ...
As an aside ...
And, further to the problem/issue of "Duplicates", created by the "Upload", of GEDCOM Files, into "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch':
I really wish 'FamilySearch', would Just STOP allowing the "Upload" of GEDCOM Files into "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch' altogether.
And, I am certain, that, MANY; Many; many, other Users/Patrons wish the same.
There is just NO need to "Upload" of GEDCOM File into "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch', under ANY circumstance, even if one's "Ancestral" Lines are NOT already in "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch'.
As I always 'say', to User/Patrons, who mention the "Upload" of GEDCOM File into "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch' ...
You can; but ...
Please DO NOT Upload a GEDCOM File into "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch'.
Upload the GEDCOM Files in the "Genealogies" Part of 'FamilySearch', that is fine; but, please NOT into "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch'.
Some of the reasons that Users/Patrons (like myself) DO NOT want the ability to upload a GEDCOM File into "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch' are:
(1) It is most likely that individuals/persons in a GEDCOM File are ALREADY in "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch'; and, most Users/Patrons DO NOT even take the time to look to see if any one in their GEDCOM File is already in "Family Tree", in some instances, negating the need to even upload the GEDCOM File.
(2) There has been (many) cases where Users/Patrons, using the "Compare" process (of the upload) have "Dismissed" a "Possible" Match with an individual/person already in "Family Tree"; so that, their "Record", from their GEDCOM File, is loaded into "Family Tree", regardless; just so that, their "Record" appears in "Family Tree" (and, in some instances, for Members of the Church, so they can do the "Temple" Work, despite the fact that the "Temple" Work is ALREADY done with the "Possible" Match with the individual/person already in "Family Tree").
(3) Even with the "Compare" process (of the upload), there has been (many) cases where Users/Patrons have uploaded THEIR version of an individual/person in their GEDCOM File, on top of (ie. Over) an individual/person ALREADY in "Family Tree" of "FamilySearch" that has been there for MANY years and is well documented and "Sources" - in many instances obliterating all of the documentation and "Sources".
(4) If an individual/person is ALREADY in "Family Tree" of "FamilySearch", there is NO need to up uploaded one's version of an individual/person from one's own GEDCOM File - just take note of the the 'FamilySearch Person Identifier' (PID) of the individual/person that is ALREADY in "Family Tree"; and, one can go back later to ensure what information/detail is recorded and attached for that individual/person. Just DO NOT uploaded one's version of an individual/person in their GEDCOM File, on top of (ie. Over) an individual/person ALREADY in "Family Tree" - obliterating all of the documentation and "Sources" ALREADY in place/on record.
(5) The "Hours" (sometimes "Days"; or, even, "Weekes") of work, by other Users/Patrons, that can be needed to CORRECT the DAMAGE done by the upload of a GEDCOM File can be disheartening.
I am sorry ... 'off my soap box' ...
Enter (ie. 'Create') the individuals/persons in "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch' one at a time - on a one by one basis.
Many of the individuals/persons in a GEDCOM File, most probably, ALREADY exist in "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch'.
Only one or two generations of the "Living" individuals/persons; and, perhaps, maybe, only one or two generations of the "Deceased" individuals/persons, may be required to be entered/input into "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch"; BEFORE, some of the "Deceased" individuals/persons, from one's Ancestral Lines, ALREADY existing in "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch', are discovered.
Use the "Find" facility/function/feature to Search "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch', one may be surprised to find some (if not, many) of them already there.
Many well established and documented (eg. "Sourced") individuals/person in "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch' have been RUINED, by the upload, a GEDCOM File, into "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch'.
I hope this puts things into perspective.
Here are some "Knowledge Articles" in 'FamilySearch'
What is a GEDCOM file?
What happens to information uploaded from a GEDCOM file?
Where it states, among other things:
After you upload your GEDCOM file to the Pedigree Resource File, you can transfer the information to Family Tree. We do not typically recommend that you do this, since the information may already be in Family Tree. Transferring the information from a GEDCOM file can end up creating more work for you or someone else to do:
- You may add duplicate records to Family Tree, which will need to be merged.
- You may overwrite or delete accurate information that is already in Family Tree with less accurate or less complete information from your GEDCOM file.
- The sources, notes, and media in your GEDCOM file cannot be transferred to Family Tree.
- The relationships to parents and spouses are not automatically included when you transfer the person to Family Tree. However, the parents and spouses are listed separately, and when they are compared and transferred to Family Tree, the relationships are automatically created.
- Your FamilySearch contact name and information will be shown in Family Tree as the contributor.
Important: Before you transfer information from a GEDCOM file, make sure that it contains information that is not already in Family Tree.
Which, MANY; Many; many, DO NOT either, 'read'; and/or, 'take note of'.
Just my thoughts.