Disagreeing with another user
I am new to this site, which is superb, but had been working on ancestry since 2010.
Another user keeps deleting data from my tree which relates to verified historical facts. He or she appears to be reliant on Wikipedia for source material and bases information solely on that.
Does anyone know how this can be stopped, if indeed it can. They are starting to become tiresome.
Suggestions would be appreciated.
We truly understand the challenged of using a Universal genealogical tree. What is the purpose of FamilySearch and Family Tree?
Our goal is to have the best sourced, most correct genealogical site on the web. Unfortunately not every one adheres to that goal.
How can I prevent other people from making inaccurate changes to Family Tree?
Collaboration is the best option, and is wonderful when it works. But please feel free the make the necessary corrections, adding source when possible to give validity to your changes0
Hi Mike, welcome to FamilySearch!
I totally understand the frustration of your situation, it is exasperating and time consuming, and perhaps the only downside to an otherwise generally excellent model of a universal genealogical tree (ie ‘your tree’ isn’t actually your tree but actually a shared branch of single public tree linking everyone together... in theory anyway).
Unfortunately there’s no outright way to stop it, but there are steps you can take to mitigate it.
The first and best thing to do is add as many sources as possible to each individual’s profile to show your research is verifiable. People tend to be less inclined towards multiple major adjustments when a profile is well filled out and corroborated with sources.
You can also add pertinent information as to why the details you are adding are correct and substantiated in the “Reason This Information Is Correct” box under each vital entry. It sounds like you’ve done the research already via Ancestry, so it’s just a matter of finding those records/sources here and adding them (or adding external sources where they don’t exist on FS). If you’ve filled out the details of a profile record hints can be very useful in doing a lot of the heavy lifting of record finding/matching for you.
If you’ve already done all that and this other patron is still making erroneous changes, I suggest reaching out to them directly via message to explain the situation. Sometimes the issue can be as simple as ignorant enthusiasm. I find something along the lines of the following can have good results:
“thank you for the work you are contributing towards making this profile/family as complete as possible. Collaboration is a welcome and valuable aspect of FS. However, I noticed you are basing your information on Wikipedia which, unfortunately, is not always historically or genealogically accurate. I’ve been researching this family for some years and am currently in the process of attaching primary sources which corroborate my research. In light of this I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t make changes based on unsubstantiated secondary sources like Wikipedia. Of course if you have some compelling primary sources to add, they would be a welcome addition and I’d be interested to see your research.”
Of course, not everyone is open to collaborative communication and sometimes it comes down to a battle of wills, sadly. This can be particularly true of historically ‘known’ personalities where the power of myth and legend can overshadow actual facts. Some very “interesting” parental claims crop up in this regard, particularly wishful thinking in connecting to nobility/royalty.4
Thanks for the answers, all of which were helpful in helping me to understand the concept of a shared tree.
Source material is always the best corroborative evidence, but the further back in time you go the less available this becomes.
But once again, thanks for the superb answers provided which have been of great help.
@mikehalligan1 I was wondering if you were ever able to resolve anything with the user as I am having the same issue with this same person on multiple families I have spent hours working on. Thanks!0