Can we help people improve their record entries
I have been doing some extensive research and finding some significant problems. There are a lot people listed (dead ancestors) with a number of other users of familysearch. The problem is there are many, many users that are not sourcing their data. Under "Reason for attaching record" they put "GEDCOM data". When I first started doing this work 3 years ago, I had to do a google search to find out what that meant. It is not a term familiar to new users. The second problem is that when people put this in and do not attach from which source it came from follow-on people like me can't see it which impedes making corrections. GEDCOM data could be anything from a webpage, to a local parish record, to national archive document, to a shoebox of stuff from under a bed, to a family bible. I am wondering if familysearch can send out a bulletin of "best practices" and address this issue. Similar issues include marking duplicates as not duplicates but not providing a reason or not providing a reason for attaching a source.
Áine Ní Donnghaile ✭✭✭✭✭
When "GEDCOM data" is listed in the reason box, that means someone has uploaded their GEDCOM. The person has not actively added the comment "GEDCOM data" - the system adds that detail.
You will find several threads in this forum with laments over the practice of allowing the upload of a GEDCOM.2
In addition to what Áine said, the GEDCOM upload process on FS strips off all notes and sources. This means that not even the best-crafted genealogy will preserve any of its documentation if transferred using this badly-flawed tool.1
I have contacted numerous other people to ask then where they got their data and the responses vary and yet not one of them has said that they uploaded anything into FS. They say they pulled the information from other places ranging from boxes of information handed to them by a relative to other genealogy sites to national archives to family bibles. While someone may have data, why don't they attach it as a source? It then leaves a paper trail for the next person. That's what I've been doing and adding comments on why I am attaching the information I just did. For example, I may say something like "This information was found in a family bible of the decedents of this person that I have in my possession. Scanned copies cannot be uploaded so I have recorded the information in the FS format here." In every instance I've contacted people with, they have not provided a source or explicit reason why they are adding the data so I'm not sure if the FS system is stripping out the information since the respondent has not indicated they uploaded anything. Rather, several said they saw the information elsewhere so just put in GEDCOM or GEDCOM data. I did help one guy sort out his uploaded information, but that wasn't an issue of FS stripping out data but rather entry errors. Is there a way, then, that the FS database engineers can prevent the stripping or provide a warning prompt that says "No source is attached, do you have a source?" or something to that effect?1
I am just another 'lowly' User/Patron ...
Just in passing ...
Ah ... GEDCOM Flies ... the 'scourge' ... of the "Family Tree" Part, of 'FamilySearch' ...
Better still ...
Like many, I really wish, 'FamilySearch', would just STOP allowing, the "Upload", of GEDCOM Files, into the "Family Tree" Part, of 'FamilySearch' altogether.
There is just NO need, to "Upload", GEDCOM Files, into the "Family Tree" Part, 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 a GEDCOM File, into "Family Tree" Part, of 'FamilySearch' ...
You can; but ...
Please, DO NOT, Upload, a GEDCOM File, into the "Family Tree" Part, of 'FamilySearch'.
Upload, the GEDCOM File, in the "Genealogies" Part of, 'FamilySearch', that is fine; but, please NOT, into the "Family Tree" Part, of 'FamilySearch'.
Some of the reasons, that Users/Patrons (like myself), DO NOT want the ability, to upload, a GEDCOM File, into the "Family Tree" Part, of 'FamilySearch' are:
(1) It is most likely, that individuals/persons, in a GEDCOM File, are ALREADY, in the "Family Tree" Part, 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 the "Family Tree" Part, 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 the "Family Tree" Part, 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 one's 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 the "Family Tree" Part, 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 the "Family Tree" Part, 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 the "Family Tree" Part, of 'FamilySearch"; BEFORE, some of the "Deceased" individuals/persons, from one's Ancestral Lines, ALREADY existing, in the "Family Tree" Part, of 'FamilySearch', are discovered.
Use the "Find" facility/function/feature, to Search, the "Family Tree" Part, of 'FamilySearch', one may be surprised to find some (if not, many) of them already there.
Many well established and documented (eg. "Sourced") individuals/persons, in the "Family Tree" Part, of 'FamilySearch', have been RUINED, by the upload, a GEDCOM File, into the "Family Tree" Part, of 'FamilySearch'.
I hope, that this puts things into perspective.
Just my thoughts.
I know, that this certainly does not help/assist; but, I hope, that this may provide, some additional, insight; and, perspective.
Thanks for the detailed response Brett. Much appreciated. Gord0