get rid of the common family tree it is full of bad data
The brainchild of the common family tree that anyone can add or make changes is a rotten idea. Get rid of it, Rootsweb is far better.
Paul W ✭✭✭✭✭
The open-edit format of Family Tree can certainly cause a lot of stress - especially when inexperienced users come along and make ludicrous additions / changes. On the other hand, its collaborative nature can mean other users often find, and add, some very valuable detail to your relatives' profiles.
As you have found, there are alternative programs that can be used if you don't like the way Family Tree works. It doesn't suit everyone's needs, so I'd advise to stick to your personal software (or another online one that isn't open-edit) if you cannot tolerate having yor inputs interfered with. Family Tree, in its present format, isn't going to disappear any time soon.3
Bad data is everywhere. Here we can do something about it. The crappy public trees on Ancestry are mind boggling, and that's just the public ones. Imagine how much worse the private trees can be.
To me, being able to see and fix the rotten parts of the one tree here is the reason to work here not elsewhere.
See James Tanner's 1 hour webinar "Untangling the Mess on the FamilySearch Family Tree": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swa3Ub56dKI0
as stated by others - if you are looking for a system that gives you total control and your own private tree that no one else will "mess up" - then clearly FamilySearch isnt for you.
BUT there are some pretty strong reasons that for SOME (clearly not all) the collaborative approach is a desired approach.
Here are some videos on the subject:
WHY USE FAMILYSEARCH FAMILYTREE
MAKING THE MOST OF FAMILYSEARCH0
Unpopular opinion... Family Tree is mostly just for temple work submission. Anyone who really takes research seriously doesn't bother updating it much except for that purpose. There are so many other places to record and publish family history. I keep my data offline as I like to be in full control of my research.
Family Tree has its purposes but because I don't like untrained novices touching my research, I only keep information on Family Tree as a backup. Everything else is stored on my personal laptop in an offline program like Rootsmagic. That way I can keep my sources neat and tidy without worrying about someone coming in and changing it.1
I know tons of people who are not using it for Temple purposes.
In fact there are probably more NON LDS using FamilyTree as their are LDS. So NO I dont agree its mainly for temple submission. - though indeed that is a factor.
BUT I do agree with you on one point -- If you "want your research to be untouched by others" - Then FamilyTree is NOT for you. BUT There are plenty of alternative applications to handle that.
BUT no single person even throughout their life time - will be able to really seriously research more then various tens of thousands of people. IN contrast with a world community of FamilyTree users -- we can easily reach into the billions of records
The goal of Familytree is to provide one single multi billion record database -- where each person is represented ONE time - NOT a thousand times in a thousand different disjoint private databases.
A single family tree of the entire human family. But clearly a work in progress and not without its imperfections.
I think over the long haul - - there are real advantages to Family Tree - a resource that will be here for generations to come -- versus come and go systems that are here today and gone tomorrow -- and private research files that are here today - and thrown out when the person dies.
How many people do I know - who spent their entire life -- researching their own private tree - that they wanted total control over - to make sure it was just as they wanted it - - only for me to see it all disappear when they died . . .
FamilyTree lives ON beyond the life time of any one give researcher,6
I know someone who worked for decades, and every scrap of that work went into a landfill. That is part of why I am here now.0
And this is why I upload documents and photos to Family Search because not everyone has a paid membership to Ancestry and not everyone wants to lock their tree as private. Private trees are the antithesis of collaboration.0
Ancestry is a good source if you know how to use it and often the data is better than here. It's up to the user to know how to use it. Both FS and Ancestry have good sources I have found. Because the FS trees are public, if someone doesn't agree with your tree they can change the data. I've even run across big red notices so while I could go back the date to validate my research, so could they. It's a bit like a dog chasing their tail.
As a researcher, if I make an error, so be it. I am willing to come back and change it IF I can verify that your information has integrity. However, if my information is true for MY family history, but not for yours, I'd like to option to leave it. I'm sure you can understand this. With that said, I have found that the changes have not always been spot on. I guess it comes down to this, what makes your research better than mine?1
Actually I've found that Ancestry is not a good source because errors creep in because of all the individual family trees. I had one family that kept getting changed with wrong information on FamilySearch because people changed if from wrong information on Ancestry. I was able to change the information back to the correct information on FamilySearch quite easily. Whenever I make a change I contact a person who has made an error to notify them that I would be changing the information and would always give a reason and rationale based on why my research is correct. However, I had to contact about 15 people who had the wrong information on their individual family tree on Ancestry. Some responded with thanks, others didn't. I've been a family history consultant for over 10 years and know how to research sources in the UK. (It's where I'm from.) When I taught classes I stressed that people should add sources as much as possible and showed them how to analyze the source to verify that the information is correct. That being said, there were times when sources were added but were linked to the wrong people or family because they didn't take the time to analyze the source, e.g. when a mother was added who was only 10 years older than the child or when the grandparents are shown as the parents. (It's particularly difficult and confusing in Scotland where names in families are used over and over again.) So, for me, FS is a much better option than Ancestry or My Heritage.
In FS I appreciate the new option of adding the accuracy options of information when doing merges, but I still wonder if people are merely guessing and not doing research.1
Gail Swihart Watson ✭✭✭✭
I like FamilySearch and I like Ancestry. Yes, Ancestry is full of questionable trees. But the purpose of Ancestry is to give YOU the tools you need to create YOUR tree, harness data from YOUR DNA matches, and use Ancestry's billions of records for YOUR research. If you want to look at other trees, go ahead. Don't look at other peoples' trees if you don't like them. Looking at other trees is not required to have YOUR work there. Looking at trees is not even required to look at sources people have attached to ancestors you may or may not share. Few people know about that, it seems. FamilySearch has provided me a very successful place to pair up my Ancestry research. Yes, inexperienced people put some incorrect sources on some person records, but I can either remove them or add comments. What a nice choice! I usually chose to add comments. The merge process in FS is wonderful. And finally, many index records in Ancestry reference image collections in FS. I love that and recently incorporated it into a presentation I did at a genealogy workshop. Why those index records do NOT come up in search results in FS is puzzling. They are often non-indexed records in FS, yet somehow Ancestry has harnessed surnames found in many unindexed FS image collection. BIG partnership there for researchers who have time to browse image collections.2
I have Tried many sites, and I have not be pleased with any them. In my thoughts they are all trash and YES that includes family search. They have all have pros and cons. I could listed them and explain what I like and what I hate. I also could explain what it lacks and what it needs to improve on, This goes back to their Questions of improvement. Ancestry is trees for people and not a world tree aka Personal trees. Their is bad data every where I agree. I like Geni's way of fixing the Rotten Parts best, and I wished Family search would input that, Where they have a curator over look things and help end debates.
I have online trees and a offline one, due to bad data. Many of them are just used for research purposes and info move over to one. Yes Ancestry has bad trees and good ones, like said above about how it could flip either way, I have even notice this, but where Ancestry is design for People and personal trees, you can expect that. Wiki Tree is also designed as a world tree, but Never will catch up with Family search until they have a Tree dump party and clean up the Duplicates, and source it. Yes they have some unique privacy features, they do it based on how much people want to allow, which is nice they also have a code of Rules too, but they lack Trees, and Fill in of things. I heard of Talk from A Person that helps with Geni, I like what he pointed out about what Family search could really improve, and People would be shocked, I surely was.
Their is so many areas that All places that you can post trees Lack, and need improvements. Yes some are doing a poor job when adding info on here family search, Yes I have had that happen too. Yes I agree some are not doing a good job when posting them. Yes I worry some might come and go, which is a worry, I do see that Point of view, but some of them I feel will not. Most Sites are design to just be Personal trees, and Not a world tree. I could go on and on, They are all different, and Most are just personal trees and not a world tree. A world tree is where everybody can Post and help make, Personal trees is where only you can make. I agree the bad date really needs to be cleaned up. Good luck.0