What use is a tree that someone else has made changes to?
When I uploaded my tree I had no idea that it was community property and the changes that someone else has made invalidate the accuracy and value of the tree. It is of little value to myself and anyone that might view it for ancestral information if the changes are incorrect. It's impossible to correct every change that someone else has made and If I could I would delete the tree in its entirety. My only regret is that people viewing the tree might take the information as being accurate when it's not.
The documentation I have that the uploaded tree was created from will remain offline and with this message I will be terminating my association with this site. It may be free but it's of very little value to anyone who may be viewing it.
FamilySearch/Family Tree is unique in the genealogy world - as you have realized. Allowing for collaboration between users can be both frustrating at times - and enormously rewarding at other times. The biggest advantage is, of course, it is freely available and offers access to now millions a records that previously had not been available.
As with any database, it IS helpful to keep a private database with the information you know is correct.
The document attached here, explains the purpose of Family Tree:0
Colin Ramsbottom mod
The following article from the FamilySearch Help Centre provides information about the inbuilt features in FamilySearch that will help you work with others in this shared working environment and minimize incorrect changes by others. Working with others can have its drawbacks but has great benefits too.
If you additionally want to keep a personal tree at the same time as working with others in Family Tree, this article may be useful as it outlines the benefits of both private and shared trees:
This issue often generates questions, and these may have been answered previously. Just a tip to save you some time......before posting a question, it may be helpful to you to check if this topic has been addressed previously - You can add keywords (in this case 'changes by others' or something similar ) to the search bar, and other similarly themed questions will appear and may provide you with a quicker answer.
Hope this helps.0
Julia Szent-Györgyi ✭✭✭✭✭
@DianaHawks, actually, FamilySearch's communal tree is by no means "unique in the genealogy world". WikiTree and Geni are both free, public communal trees. There are differences -- both WT and Geni are curated, to some extent, using different mechanisms -- but the underlying idea is exactly the same as on FS.
The original poster here speaks of "uploading", which leads me to think that he "came in" via the GEDCOM import, and proceeded to the badly-flawed compare-and-add process, instead of just stopping and leaving his file in Genealogies. That he is now surprised that this lead to edits by others is a clear indication that the compare-and-add process is not the only thing wrong with the GEDCOM import portion of FS. There is also a complete failure to communicate what exactly the process does, and where exactly its results end up: the import pages fail to make it clear that the Family Tree on FS is communal and open-edit.
Granted, I haven't actually gone and looked at the import process lately, and also granted, the adage clearly applies that people don't read, people don't read, and people don't read, but given how this topic comes up again and again and again and again, something needs to change. Considering how much damage a clueless GEDCOM importer can do to the Tree, just turning it off entirely seems to me to be the best solution. Imported files should all just end up in Genealogies, where they belong.1
If it was a GEDCOM import then @RichardEddy may have quite unknowingly trashed a lot of other contributors' family trees. And now interprets the repair work as trashing his family tree.
When this happens one thing is clear: Family Tree and the GEDCOM tree do not match. When they do not match there are several possible root causes:
- Parts of either tree, or both trees, are wrong.
- The accept/reject part of the upload process is too unconstrained.
- The cognitive task of accept/reject is beyond the ability of many who are uploading GEDCOMs.
I would like to see FT develop a metric to measure contributors' ability to correctly merge profiles and split conflated profiles. Then it would be feasible and probably also helpful to limit GEDCOM uploading to those contributors who have demonstrated proficiency in merging and splitting.
I say this because I think merge/split and accept/reject are essentially the same task cognitively.0
Thank you all for your extra comments on the problem of importing a gedcom into FT. Not ever a job for the faint-hearted, agreed.0