I had someone change my grandmother & her entire family & it was all inaccurate information. They had her name mixed up & just changed my entire family history.
Many Family Tree users have similar experiences. Sometimes total identities are changed, on other occasions two individuals IDs are merged, when (even if they do not completely match) at least their identities are very similar.
The straight answer to your question is - because they can! Whatever their motive - from sinister to complete inexperience - the open-edit format of Family Tree means that (apart from certain "read-only" / locked records - usually of famous individuals or prominent deceased members of the LDS Church) the details of any deceased individual can be edited by any other user.
The advice nearly always provided is to make sure you keep a copy of your family tree on your personal software program (preferably one that can be synched with Family Tree), in order to make it easier to restore the original "facts" if someone does come in and makes incorrect changes or entries. Also, to add individuals of interest to your "Following" list, making regular checks for changes. The change log makes it must easier (than otherwise) to restore your original inputs.
Sadly, whilst it remains important to do so, it seems no amount of added sources, reason statements and other notes, will prevent other users (whatever their "motive") in making changes that can cause a lot of pain and much hard work / many hours in getting things back to their original state.
The only consolation I can offer is that you are far from alone in experiencing this issue. However, "FamilySearch" just does not have the resources to prevent others from making incorrect changes in this "shared", worldwide tree and appears to be reluctant to invoke sanctions towards individuals who (in many cases) are just making innocent (albeit very careless) mistakes.
We hope the reason others remove a person from a family or marriage relationship is they have records that show they are making correct changes. They should be leaving a reason statement.
If you feel the change was in error, you can go to Latest Changes on the right in the Details tab on the person page and see what the changes were and who made them on a certain date. If you see the change, you will see Restore on the right of the change. If you see Reference, click on that and see if you see restore then. If you would like to give an ID, we could give better help.
I am experiencing the same problem. Just because someone's ancestor has the same or similar name doesn't mean they are my ancestor. In this case, George LW4X-QR7 is not the same as Georgianna-not even the same gender. And this time it says I can't delete this nonexistent man and his wife and kids because a bunch of other people copied the first mistaken entry. It's a nightmare of playing whack-a-mole'. Just as one ancestor is corrected someone else adds another incorrect person to my tree. I regret ever having put my family tree on this site. Why should I have to keep checking to see what total strangers have changed on my tree and then go to the trouble of correcting it?
I am a very careful researcher and have proven 4 different RW ancestors to the DAR and 2 Mayflower ancestors to the Mayflower Society. I find it incredibly frustrating that people can just add anyone they please to my tree. Common sense would indicate that a woman wouldn't give birth twice in the same year in two different states!
Hello @Julie Koenig_1,
Do you mean LW4X-QR7 George R. Ferguson is not a child of L2FL-6FC Walter Ferguson and L2FL-6BT Mary Perkins? LW4X-QR7 has 22 sources attached and does not appear to be fictional.
In any case, you do not have to keep checking. You can walk away.
Why do think this man is fictional? he has many valid sources to prove who he is. Just wondering why you don't believe a US census record?
In my experience, the "Hint" facility is to blame. It does not present sufficient information for the novice to see at a glance that the proposed match is not correct. The novice might have some trust in the hint system, I certainly haven't.
Who has time to double check Every. Single. Change. people make to your line?!? I have had entire lines deleted. Different lines. Multiple times. It takes endless hours to fix. I’m tired of doing it. So I quit. I will enter things on Ancestry and just take random names to the temple.
Family search - stop allowing others mess with any public line. This is ridiculous. I hate family search for this reason alone.
@Cassaronda House Schneider
Welcome to the "Community.FamilySearch" Forum.
I am just another 'lowly' User/Patron ...
I am sorry to 'hear', your dislike and disapproval, of "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch'.
[ And, like many, I totally understand your, angst; and, frustration ... ]
For starters ...
You are not alone ...
It is very much unfortunate, that MOST new (and, some old) Users/Patrons DO NOT understand the basic 'nature' and 'premise' of "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch', when they join in.
Which is that ...
We do not have our OWN "Tree" in "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch'.
We ONLY have "Branches" (ie. Ancestral" lines), that are interconnected, in this SINGLE "One" World "Tree", for all of us, that is "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch'.
"Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch' is NOT like 'On-Line' "Websites" (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).
We DO NOT have "Private"/"Personal" 'Trees' in "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch' like other 'On-Line' "Websites"; and/or, 'standalone' personal (computer) programmes.
We do not even, own; or, manage; and, are NOT even responsible for, the "Deceased" individuals/persons in "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch'.
And, most importantly ...
We DO NOT even, own; or, manage; and, are NOT even responsible for, Our OWN "Deceased" Ancestors/Family/Relatives in "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch'.
"Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch' is built on a "Open Edit" Platform - hence, why any registered User/Patron can "Edit" (ie. Add, Delete; and/or, Change) ANY "Deceased" individual/person in "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch'.
That is WHY ...
MANY; Many; many, Users/Patrons, of "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch', STILL maintain, their OWN Personal (and, often, PRIVATE) "Copy", of their "Ancestral" Lines, in the various OTHER, 'On-Line' Websites; and/or, in the many 'Standalone' Databases.
You might say that, "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch', is ONE "Communal" Working Database, that connects/links us together; as opposed to, the Other PERSONAL/PRIVATE Working Databases, that are NOT connected/linked.
It is said, that "Collaboration", is the KEY to the success, to "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch', which it is.
That Said ...
Unfortunately, "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch':
(1) CAN be time consuming to monitor; especially, in regard to all the 'wayward' CHANGES, made by Other Users/Patrons, that can occur, to one's "Ancestral Lines; and,
(2) THAT "Collaboration", is NOT always 'amicable'; and, DOES NOT always work.
Such, are the pitfalls, of the basic 'nature' and 'premise' of "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch', with working in a SINGLE "One" World "Tree".
As an aside ...
Unfortunately, I would humbly suggest, that the basic 'nature' and 'premise' of "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch', being a SINGLE "One" World "Tree"; and, being built on an "Open Edit" Platform - hence, why any registered User/Patron can "Edit" (ie. Add, Delete; and/or, Change) ANY "Deceased" individual/person, will NOT change.
I am sorry to 'hear' that you will be 'quitting', "Family Tree", of 'FamilySearch'; but, like MANY, I understand.
ps: Of course, regardless of the above, you know that you can STILL remain a "Registered" User/Patron of 'FamilySearch'; al least, for searching the available "Records" in 'FamilySearch'.