Collaborating TACTFULLY in FamilySearch.org
a great video for anyone.
@How to Use FamilySearch Community
@How Things Work
@FamilySearch Tips and Tricks
@Family History Research
There was one thing Im not sure I agree with on this video
not all the stuff they said was to be considered reportable as "abuse" did I feel was correct - based on my own experiences reporting abuse.
Even a person that continually/repeatedly updates a person record (in what we, someone else, consider wrong) is not in mye experience considered "abuse" by FS. I mean - yes in a general sense it is abuse - but FamilySearch abuse representative will not take action - as far as I have ever been able to see in such a scenario.
Not having watched the Video ...
In relation to what you proffer ...
'NO', that is NOT "Abuse" ... A nuisance ... but, NOT "Abuse"...
It really all depends on whose perspective ...
And comes down to "Survival" of the MOST "Persistent" ...
[ ie. WHO lasts the longest; and, who gives up ... ]
It is clear to me that FS Support will only take action against abuse that is abuse in the sense of slander or libel. They do not recognise abuse as in "abuse of process" to be abuse at all. Witness the number of attempts that we had to make to get a PID for "The Devil" (IIRC) removed from the system. Somebody (thank you!) eventually worked out that this was, by any sensible definition, not a good thing.
Creation of data with no sources; edit wars; refusal to evaluate sources; wifull duplicating of people so that their ordnances can be carried out by the inputter - all of these would constitute abuse of process in my view. None would be accepted as abuse by FS Support.
Let's be clear - there is a massive grey area about potential abuse of process but by and large we're seldom talking about what happens in that grey area. FS surely have to do something to enable more clarity about what is, and isn't accepted. Right now they don't have the agreed processes documented, required skills defined or tested, software capable of accomodating shades of grey, or manpower in place.
Same goes for people who add very dubious (okay, downright outlandish) genealogies to the family tree. My genealogist grandmother always claimed that she'd gotten our family tree "all the way back to Adam", which astounded me as a kid... and then I learned more about family history and realized how improbable that statement was. But she was serious in her claim, and I don't doubt that most other people who add that kind of information to the FS tree are serious too. Terribly misinformed and in need of a reality check, but serious. Years ago, in going through my line of descendancy in FS, I really did find a line that went all the way back to Adam, complete with extremely unlikely birth dates clearly based on James Ussher's unsound Biblical chronology. It was a little irritating, and a little amusing, but I got the impression that someone had very sincerely and carefully added this information from their genealogical records. While it may have been almost completely wrong, it was not malicious abuse of the system.
I actually had a quite positive experience with FS in taking care of something that both FS and I thought was pretty clearly abuse. In one line of my family tree, I found at least ten successive generations where every father and son had either the same name, or the name spelled backward, with birth and death years all ending in the same digits. That was a clear case of someone having absolutely no intention to contribute constructively to the family tree (as would also be the case with slander and libel). I informed FS of what I had found, and promptly received communication from them that they had removed the spurious individuals.
Looking at it from FS's perspective, if they assumed responsibility for making judgment calls about who is "right" and "wrong", the person whose information was judged "wrong" will be deeply hurt, because they likely strongly felt that they had the right information (even if in reality they didn't). Rather than allow this person to go through their learning journey, FS would be effectively saying "we don't want you or your inaccurate information here", which I think is the opposite of how inclusive and welcoming they try to be of users of all backgrounds, technological skill levels, and research skill levels. I'm sure FS knew these kinds of issues would arise when they developed a user-editable family tree, but I think the ultimate point of FS isn't to try to get things 100% accurate and error-free; it's to provide an accessible, user-friendly place for people to come learn about their family, share what they have to contribute, and aid in temple work. Everybody makes mistakes and does dumb things sometimes. I've made plenty of accidental errors in my own family tree. I wouldn't want any user to feel shamed or excluded just because they aren't a skilled researcher (yet).
As for people who make duplicates just to re-do someone's temple ordinances themselves, that's really on them. I'm sure their conscience (and Heavenly Father) will catch up with them sooner or later, and I don't think they should expect any blessings from carrying out temple work in such a dishonorable manner.
I have had success in getting FS support to remove fictional characters from FS.
(Though it was not "abuse" that I reported it to - but the general support line).
Especially when I explained what a laughing stock they would be in the news for the work done for . . . .
I agreed with you Adrian Bruce1, quote -"Creation of data with no sources; edit wars; refusal to evaluate sources; wifull duplicating of people so that their ordnances can be carried out by the inputter - all of these would constitute abuse of process in my view. None would be accepted as abuse by FS Support."- You are so right! I reported a person in FamilySearch that multiplicated names about 3 times each to confuse me and mess up the tree more, not only that he send me an email thru FamilySearch stating that he did not care or believe in any Ordinances and he did not care that the work in the Ordinances will be confusing because he is "not a church member". I send all this and his email to FamilySearch but they did not consider it abuse but just a member of FamilySearch expressing his views. This is ongoing for the past 8 years and he still doing the same duplicatin over and over again. Even when he proposed a "truce of peaced" in his heart he did not mean it. Now there other 3 persons imitating him and duplicating like there is not end. So now what I do is do the Ordinances (for now due to Covid just submit) myself and forget about the tree itself and keep my "good tree" in Ancestry.com and keep it private and only invite persons to look but not to change anything. I understand that elderly individuals may change things thinking that they are correct, they are honestly doing those changes, but when you encounter persons like Wallace who truly don't care that is abuse, but let FamilySearch continue their policy in abuse and I will keep my good tree nicely untouch by the FamilySearch "abuser" in Ancestry.com.Thank you all for your input in this matter, stay healthy, be safe and have a wonderful day!
I'm so sorry that happened to you and that the other individual was so insensitive to the concept of ordinance work. That was definitely uncalled for and it sounds like an intensely frustrating experience.
I have fictional Native American pedigrees substituted for my Charles Fallin of Northumberland, Virginia family. They delete his children and his sources. They give him children like Running Wolf, that belong to a mythical tribe. We have Y-DNA that proves this line is from Ireland. We even know the county in Ireland. There are two websites showing this family is a scan, but repeatedly, I have to go in, restore my family and detach the Chief Charles Falling Tree. I write this up and sent it to FamilySearch, but Chief Charles Fallin tree keeps returning.
Yes, this is the very reason that folks will simply dump parts of their tree from other places into the FSFT as duplicates, simply in order to get the temple work done. Then leave the mess there for others to clean up or scramble further. GEDCOM imports are one of the biggest contributors to this problem as well.
@Dennis J Yancey Thank you for sharing this valuable information to our community.
M G Thomsen I am referring you to @All Temple & Family History Consultants Hopefully, they can assist you with this. Also, there is a group @Genetic Genealogy Research I hope that this will help you. Please do not hesitate to contact us if there is more that we can assist you with. We are always here to help you.
@All Temple & Family History Consultants
I don't have an answer for you but have a suggestion that may assist in resolving the issue. Go to your Charles Fallin of Northlumerland, VA. When you pull him up, on the right-hand side it will reflect the latest changes that have taken place--and who had made those changes; the changes will be listed going back multiple years and you will be able to identify the "user name" of the individual(s) making changes. If it is the same individual making the erroneous (fictitious) changes, click on the individual's name and note the information pertaining to them. Then contact FamilySearch and provide them the details of what is occurring. They will take appropriate action.
Thank you Wilberg Clark. Unfortunately, I have done that, but FamilySearch's response is "you are able to restore..."
Last week I sent them another request. Pointing out this is a long term issue. The persons that change Chief Charles Fallin vary, or someone creating multiple identities...The Wolf Clan...Ha ha.
I have contacted the individuals who create this Wolf Clan in my Irish pedigree. The first time contact them I treat it as an accident and point out the numerous notes, documents, DNA study, comments and life sketches that they overlook to remove the correct person, children and notes. The second time, I ask why they are choosing to pollute the water going down stream?
The saddest part is so many researchers stop putting information in the Tree, because they want to be problem solvers, not cleaning up other people's mess. Because FS will not intervene, people give up. On a couple of lines I am growing to feel that way. When I talk to my cousins who are good researchers they say, I have just stopped trying on that line. I can do good research somewhere else and not have to deal with deliberate miss information.
I wish FamilySearch be open to the idea that some people are not contributing to the tree for the right reasons. Kathryn Grant's video is correct 97% of the time. But when you get the 2%, someone needs to step in.
I spoke recently with an individual who had gone to England, met with professional researchers, had documents that proved the correct ancestor was different than FS shows. He repeatedly talked to the person who kept changing the tree back to match the pedigree on her wall. He called FamilySearch several times. Offering his evidence. If you knew my friend you would say he is a kind level headed kind reasonable person. FS would do nothing. My friend has stopped adding to FS Tree. Why he says, FS isn't interested in the truth. They just want to not offend. Ironically, FS offended my friend by not helping bring the other individual to reason.
Thanks for caring. We will keep trying.
Keep in mind FamilySearch supplies the database engine that we all use - and to a very large degree - we use the system - and they dont get involved in the raw data unless they really really have to.
They are not and have never claimed to be a "referee" to decide who is right or who is wrong - nor do they even come close to have the resourcs to do that if they wanted to.
What does or does not happen in FS (as to the data entered) - is not because FS leadership wills it that way - its because of what indiviudal users work out - with each other (or dont work out
No one should expect FS to be the referee of who has the better proof . . .
Nor should anyone get offended as to FS lask of intervention.
It was never designed to work that way from the beginning.
That's an interesting view of databases. Could I suggest consideration of an extended point of view. FamilySearch is responsible to create a safe place for people to contribute information. They create the rules for the community. When individuals do not abide by the rules, FamilySearch can and should step in.
For example, a user name "CurseMe2", related to me through a pioneer line, changed all the names to "1", the dates to "1" and the places to "1". Then she merged 5 men by the name of William Wall. The first time I sent a request to FamilySearch the response was, "the contributor had added reason statements and the changes were brought over from newFamilySearch."
I was aghast.
I responded that the missionary looking at the page, didn't now how the change log worked. The reason statement were just the auto check boxes. CurseME2 said "Don't tell me to find another tree, these are my people too." It had taken me 10 hours to undo the mischief to my area of the tree.
The missionary hadn't considered that this type of activity is not motivated by contributing to the tree, but is like graffiti. Trying again to "work it out with the other party to stop the mischief" resulted in the mischief increasing. I again set a request to FamilySearch because they had not intervened. After 2 months I received a notice that they had reviewed all the the actions of this individual. Her caretakers and she had agreed not to sign on to FamilySearch again. They then undid all the changes that she had made that did not appear to be valid or correct.
FamilySearch has taken responsibility to review memories and sources to see that they do not contain inappropriate material.
Likewise, because FamilySearch is a wiki platform with a responsibility to review requests to intervene when circumstances demonstrate that individuals are not following rules or their contributions to the tree have unsavory motives. In my above example of Chief Charles Redman Fallin, the motive was to sell books. The author had created a fantasy tribe and was changing many early American pedigrees in FamilySearch to "document" his books. I still believe it is FamilySearch's responsibility to hire individuals who can review and act when individuals request an intervention. FamilySearch can determine if the motive is research based or territorial.
Perhaps this is an extension of your "data suppliers". Please consider that FamilySearch is also a public forum where usually people can work together, but occasionally rule breakers need to be removed.
With that said. I'm grateful for service missionaries. I would not want the joy of tactfully resolving problems. I'm also grateful when FamilySearch has intervened at my request. And grateful for the adventures ahead.
I agree with most of what you said, but then you said, "I think the ultimate point of FS isn't to try to get things 100% accurate and error-free; it's to provide an accessible, user-friendly place for people to come learn about their family, share what they have to contribute, and aid in temple work."
The problem with that statement is that if you aren’t trying to get things 100% correct, then you aren’t helping anyone learn about their family or aiding in temple work because it’s not correct information. Yes, I know helping people learn of their families and aiding temple work is important, but if you aren’t getting the information correct, then you aren’t helping anything else.
There are definitely people out there trying to destroy the work and abuse the system - there is not much we can do there except play cat and mouse and keep repairing the damage. But there are another group of people out there that innocently destroy the work. I wouldn't want to discourage them - I have been in their shoes. But they lack good research skills, they jump to conclusions too quickly, and they make too many changes that are too hard to fix.
I recently had someone innocently undo years of research, thorough documentation, sourcing, etc. in one day and a father/son duo with the same name. I had made all kinds of notes and provided clear evidence and included warnings all over that they were different people… but none of that could stop the path of destruction of one individual who sees the same name from merging and deleting two generations. I’m hoping FS can help restore it all, But I was completely and utterly discouraged and though, “What’s the use? Why should I continue doing this? Years and years of research to correct this is destroyed in one day."
So, If FS is more about spreading misinformation and wasting time in the temples sealing fictional families (which I a certain they aren’t), then I give up! And it sounds like I’m not alone. I can’t keep taking one step forward and two steps back. If I am to move forward in research, I can’t keep wasting time playing cat and mouse with people constantly undoing things. And to be blunt, my constant problem is trying to prevent the misinformation on Ancestry and FindAGrave from making its way back to FS - which will never happen. I hate it! But if getting things correct isn’t the #1 priority, then all of the researchers will eventually get discouraged and leave (those who haven’t already left), and you will be left with FS - where the only thing certain is you can make your ancestry whoever you want. I guess in this day and age - we may not be too far from that being politically correct!
This is somewhat of a sensitive subject that many people have strong feelings about - and it seems you do to - and we respect that.
I think the key word there is TRYING to be 100% accurate - versus that things ARE 100% accurate
We should be doing what we can to ensure accuracy - I totally agree and I think most all of agree with that . BUT at the same time - if we are so consumed with 100% accuracy - and if we think that we cant do the temple work until things are 100 % accurate - then so much of the work would grind to a halt. and I would think we would be missing the spirit of what is being asked.
I think its clear that the Lord understands our limitations and our imperfections - and doesnt want us to wait to do our temple work - until our records are 100% perfect.
I think church leadership also understands that not every member who wants to do their family temple work will get things 100% accurate
there are plenty of people who strive to do to family /temple work - who because of limitations out of their control - may only be able to create a very imperfect family record.
It is clear that the church and its leaders - have developed a system that still allows imperfect people and imperfect records - and a system that allows for for recording a family record - and accomplishing the temple work - even when the family record and the submitters are not perfect.
The church and FS - could very easily change FamilySearch - to require solid documented proof for every single piece of data - they could also implement some very thorough audit process before the work is allowed to be done - - they clearly have that option and the resources to implement it
BUT they CHOOSE not to do that. Apparently - because it is a BALANCE between 100% accurate records and getting as many people involved in doing the work for their ancestors.
I agree that all of us should be doing what we can to ensure the accuracy of our records
but I dont think the Lord expects that we actually will be perfect - before we carry the names of our ancestors to the temple
Perfection of our records - and the perfection of ourselves and what we do - is a process that will take an entire millennium and people becoming resurrected and exalted being before we are all perfect.
BUT none the less - the Lord commanded us to be perfect and each day we should be working to improve.
but it is a journey and a process - we should do what is within our reach - which in our mortal world - is a very imperfect action.
We respect your shared thoughts and feelings - and we are thankful for your respect of others who may have slightly different opinions.
Please lets not turn this into some debate on the subject - that takes away the spirit.
Lets keep the spirit that the Lord would want us to have - and to make all feel that their imperfect but honest good faith efforts - are accepted by the Lord.
On the other hand - surely the Lord does not want us to be lazy or complacent in our our work and our pursuit of accuracy and perfection
God Bless us all to catch the vision of the importance of our work - but even for those who dont - I dont think Lord wants or us to tell them to stop doing the work because their vision of the needed accuracy and perfection is not where it yet should be.
No one is more patient than the Lord as we progress on the path forward.
Thanks, Dennis - As I look back at my post, I had deleted a couple of sentences and it came off a little different than intended.
Yes, I don’t wish to discourage anyone. I failed to make that clear. In fact, my fear is that unless changes are made, we will eventually discourage all the people who do good, thorough research out there because wrong changes are made too easily. If people who do good research are discouraged and leave FS, who is left? If all the work I spent years doing is undone and then unrecoverable, I will have learned my lesson and will likely succumb to letting others do with the family tree whatever they want.
FS is inspired, though not perfect. Revelation comes line upon line, here a little and there a little. This is an issue and there is a solution out there. I know the Lord doesn’t expect perfection, but I believe he expects us to try to get as close as we possibly can. The whole concept of FS was for collaboration so that we could decrease duplication and errors in doing temple ordinances. I want others to catch the vision and join in in a productive, helpful way. But if we can’t do it while improving the accuracy, we’re doing something wrong.
FS indeed is not perfect either - agreed
but across many decades the church has made it clear that getting as many people involved in the work and the work of their ancestors
is just as important as trying to get data accuracy levels as high as possible
in my mind its a balance.
Thanks for your dedictaion to the work. :-)
Owen--I struggled for years moving my data into FamilySearch from my old PAF database but finally concluded that the power of multiple people discovering relationships was a great multiplier in identifying ancestors. Simultaneously, I struggled with my own OCD about having everything correct and verifiable, and not wanting to see changes in data I had entered. Ultimately, I concluded that there was a method that would satisfy my personal compulsions and still make data accessible for others--and that would allow me to access the data they made available. My solution: I keep a back-up file on my computer on Roots Magic; it's "locked down" and only changeable by me, thus meeting my personal requirements and gives me the sources if/when someone enters information into FamilySearch that is different from mine or seems inaccurate to me. As I work with folks in our Family History Center, I caution them regarding the "wiki"-nature of FS and offer my solution to them as a suggestion in preserving their individual research. Just my thoughts. (PS..RootsMagic has the ability to download FS files, eliminating the considerable effort required to re-enter data; there is also a free version available. I'm certain other software versions can do the same; this is the one I have chosen.)
You make good points. Sorry about that. I was trying to be diplomatic and I didn't do so well there. You're absolutely right, accurate temple work is a serious matter and I hate that that part of FamilySearch can get messed with so badly. I've been looking at other people's comments and mulling the matter over, and I do think this is a sticky conundrum.
Hypothetically, on paper, a crowdsourced family tree sounds like a great idea. A good deal of the time, in practice, errors and miscommunications between users can be relatively easily smoothed out. But as you pointed out, real problems arise when people either deliberately abuse the system or, as you said, are so inexperienced that they inadvertently cause major damage and chaos and then leave it to someone else to fix. My heart aches for all of the hardworking researchers who have seen hours, days, sometimes even months and years of meticulous work get wiped out by someone malicious or inexperienced.
I guess I was also thinking about the people I've helped in the past - mostly non-tech-savvy older folks - who want badly to put more of an effort into family history and temple work, but find FamilySearch intimidating because they're terrified they're going to "mess something up", to the point where it's a struggle just to convince them to do simple things like add their parents. I've reassured them that everything they mess up can be fixed, but I can understand why they're concerned about doing what someone did in your instance and accidentally causing severe headaches for researchers. It's great that they don't want to accidentally cause that kind of damage, but I hate the idea of that fear preventing them from enjoying the blessings of family history work. Perhaps the best thing to do there is to make sure these individuals have ample access to the sorts of proper training that they need and want, building their confidence that they can indeed use FS correctly.
I agree that this sort of thing is a serious problem that FamilySearch needs to address, and I think they're probably not finding it an easy fix either. They need all the prayers they can get, and I'm sure that hearing the concerns of researchers like you will help FS to understand the problem better and make inroads to a solution. I'm not going to pretend like I've come up with a solution for them, but I at least know my prayers are helping. I'm sure if you have any suggestions on how to improve the system, FS would love to hear them.
Well said, Dennis. Thank you. I appreciate your wise insights. I remember the days before FamilySearch--how much duplicate temple work there was, and how much of the information must have been inaccurate because of the limited research opportunities back then. In those days it was a struggle just to figure out who your ancestors were, never mind trying to develop a comprehensive and documented tree of relatives. I love seeing the joy on people's faces when they take family names to the temple. I love that the Lord just expects all of us to put in our best effort, even if it's not perfect. He always makes up the difference and blesses us for trying in our own flawed mortal way.
This is very interesting. I was thinking about some of the transcriptions I did as a Citizen Archivist for the National Archives and recalled reading about these men who were given titles of chief, albeit they were not Native Americans. So, I searched Charles Fallin on the History Hub. You might find this of interest @M G Thomsen perhaps you have already seen this, perhaps not. You might even want to join that conversation!
From the History Hub of the National Archives:
On the website "familytreemaker.com" in the "Descendants of John Downing, Major," section, it states that Maj Downing had four children: George, John, William, and Nannie (Fawling). "Nannie" was a very common name (and was also used as a nickname for "grandmother") so the records can get confused as to which Nannie is which. I believe that the "Nannie (Fawling)" on this site is actually the sister to George, John, William as I have found evidence (as listed above) to this Nannie having been married 3 times, none to a Fawling.
Things get curious-er in that according to poncy-mclean.net, contribution by Christine Walters, Hannah Fawling may have been ONE of Major John Downing, III's, wives. According to Christine, John's "other" wife was Annie Beehunter who was the full-blooded Cherokee of the Wolf Clan who probably started the Cherokee lineage. Hannah Fawling (Fallin) is supposed to have only roots going back to a very old Virginia family, starting with Charles Fallin from Northumbridge, Virginia, around 1650, and no Cherokee roots whatsoever. [Note: according to other sources, Annie Beehunter is Hannah Fawling's mother.]
Hope you can access the full link: https://historyhub.history.gov/thread/5719
Please don’t think any of my comments were aimed at you specifically! My comments are really aimed at the system. It is a great and wonderful system, but there is room for improvement. The system needs to improve so that novices and experts can lead the way and beginners can get on and learn and grow without messing anything up too badly. This is the challenge and is says a lot about how far we’ve been blessed to come, but it is also a challenge that can be overcome.
@Shannon Potter Wilcox @WilbergClarkN WilbergClarkN
After explaining to FamilySearch the problem of having my Charles Fallin, including his notes, his DNA Irish roots study removed. And the problem of people ignore warnings about the Chief Redman's family being a fantasy novel, links to sites that explain the novel is a proven hoax yet people substituting this imaginary Indian family. I stating that I have contacted the contributors, but this has continues over 5 years. Now this the first responses:
>> Thank you for contacting FamilySearch Support and bringing your concern
>> to our attention. We understand your frustration when others change data
>> you have added to Family Tree. Records are only made Read-Only for special
>> projects as directed by leadership.
>> This website is a multi-user database, which means many people are
>> working on the same pedigree lines. You can imagine how many people could
>> descend from a couple who lived even 100 years ago. The further back in
>> time a couple lived, the number of their descendants rises exponentially.
>> Thousands of people can descend from some of your ancestors, which is why
>> you need to collaborate and give sources for the changes you make in Family
>> As you add or edit information, follow a general process in which you
>> review the information that has been entered, including the sources and
>> reason statements. If you have more accurate information, you can enter it,
>> explain how you arrived at this conclusion, and most importantly, attach
>> the sources you used.
>> The most valuable thing is to provide enough information that others can
>> understand why you added the source or made the change.
>> When 2 sources contain conflicting information, the Discussion feature
>> allows you to explain why you believe one source is more reliable. Please
>> be respectful of people who may not have the same opinion.
>> If you want to be sure that incorrect changes are caught quickly, you can
>> place a watch on the record for your ancestor.
>> Also, a user-to-user messaging system called FamilySearch Messaging has
>> launched, fulfilling one of our most common feature requests. The new
>> messaging system connects every FamilySearch user in a private network that
>> uses the FamilySearch.org Contact Name (already public) instead of a user’s
>> email address or other contact information. Click the following link for
>> more information about internal messaging:
I responded saying that I have done all the above and there needs to be a solution to this problem of a fantasy Indian (No such tribe exists) being substituted for my DNA proven family.
> As you mentioned, this situation is about a written history and as it is a
> documented story, others will continue to use it as a source. Our engineers
> are looking at ways to handle disputes such as this.
> This is a public, multi-user tree. We encourage patrons to contact and
> communicate with each other to correct these kinds of errors that you are
> reporting. Posting notes in Discussions, Life Sketch, and reason statements
> can help others to understand your viewpoints, as you mentioned that there
> are not very many sources for this individual. FamilySearch Messaging was
> introduced to allow patrons' to directly contact other relatives. We
> encourage you to use this tool to contact the other patrons that are adding
> incorrect information, so that you may politely inform them of their
> FamilySearch Data Administration
My first reaction is "doesn't anyone read the case request?" My second reaction is "another form letter." My third reaction is a doesn't a fantasy novel about Indians replacing a DNA studied family that are Irish different than a "viewpoint."
The note came from FamilySearch Data Administration. I guess my efforts my notes etc are just a piece of data to them.
If I hadn't studied this family for 20 years and know they are real people, I would have given up a long time ago.
Thanks, I appreciate that. 🙂 I agree, the system is amazing but there is always room for improvement, and I do believe solutions are out there. I think it's important that people like you raise your concerns so FS can be pointed out to areas of the system that need reexamining. I really hope something gets figured out that will help you have a less frustrating time using the site. Thank you so much for all of your years of hard work on family history research!
Here is wiki article about the Indians of Virginia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_tribes_in_Virginia. It doesn't support or resemble the article you brought up. It says there are few early Native American documents. ALSO Cherokees were not among Native American Tribes in Virginia. Prior to the 18th century, Cherokee were concentrated in their homelands, in towns along river valleys of what is now southwestern North Carolina, southeastern Tennessee, edges of western South Carolina, northeastern Georgia and northeastern Alabama.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherokee
The "oral history" source mentioned for Redman Fawling (sometimes cited as a Chief), and Annie Beehunter is fake. If you click on the source it is a private pedigree webpage.
See https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Shawnee_Heritage_Fraud. The author wrote 25 books about a fantasy Indian family and then he changes legitimate source to make it see real. If you take time to check the Northumberland document copied from mine cited for Chief Redman it only lists Charles Fallin's children birth records. No Chief Redmans, no Beehunters-just regular English names in a church parish records.
Making statements like "this is the beginning of the Cherokees" is part of the fraud. This period 1600-1700s does not have Indians with names like Fawling or Annie Beehunter. These are all part of the fraud.
There are few documents that still exist for Native Americans. However, Charles Fallin has documents. His YDNA takes his lineage to a specific county in Ireland. And I have grown weary of this fraud removing notes, document, sources.
I hope you will join in the History Hub conversation! I'm sure the curators at NARA would love this information. It certainly is unfortunate that the fraud has perpetuated into people believing it.
This is a very interesting conundrum. Genealogy misinformation can and does spread just as readily as information, especially when people don't check sources or facts. Just because something is published doesn't make it true. I've read several genealogy books, and while some are very well-researched and trying to get as close to the truth as possible, I take many of the others with a grain of salt, because much of the information was either hearsay, far removed from a primary source (copies of copies of copies of information and such), or obviously written with an agenda. (I remember reading one collection of biographies, published in 1890 when anti-Church sentiment was running high in the United States, that contained some laughably ridiculous "anecdotes" about someone's travels through Utah in the 1850's. I got the strong suspicion that the individual in question, who was a prominent politician still alive in 1890 and had likely provided the biography himself, was trying to make himself look good by getting in a jab at the Latter-day Saints when he had the opportunity.)
This is especially true for older, pre-Internet books, published back when communication and resources were much harder to come by than now. But it's especially disturbing when someone in the modern era puts out volumes full of historical fiction that fall apart after two minutes of research, and grievous when people decide not to do that research and take the books at face value.
I think the best thing to do in this situation would be to pray for the people who keep adding this incorrect information to FS. The next best thing to do would be to document your disproof of the fraud, as you did here, and make it a FamilySearch Memory in PDF or story format, and then tag it with every ancestor/family member being afflicted by this issue. People can edit vital information, attached sources, and even delete notes, but they can't mess with the contents of memories. This guy is spreading misinformation, but you can counter him by putting the truth out there. And like Wilberg said, you can lead people to the truth.
Unfortunately, that doesn't mean everyone will accept the truth. I feel terrible for your friend who had such a frustrating experience with one very stubborn user. But I think what it comes down to is that nobody can force someone to believe something. That woman may have very well believed that the pedigree on her wall was correct, despite all evidence to the contrary. Inexperienced researchers can easily fall into the trap of being impressed by a lengthy purported history and whimsical names and take it as fact, when those of us with a more critical eye see a self-published piece of fantasy written by someone with zero research credentials.
Lulu.com is a print-on-demand self-publishing company that makes few quality checks on what its users publish. (That's not to bash Lulu, it's a wonderful service for stuff like personal projects, just to say it is not a traditional publisher with quality control.) I view anything published through Lulu with a highly skeptical eye, especially a work of "nonfiction" "research". You can also view Greene's self-provided biography here: https://www.lulu.com/en/ca/shop/don-greene/shawnee-heritage-xiv/paperback/product-14q642r5.html?page=1&pageSize=4 in which you can see that while he claims he did "pursue higher education", he makes no mention of any college degrees, or even what he studied in college. He is or was not a professional or even amateur historian or researcher, but a former combat sports professional, activist, politician, and construction worker. He also labels himself a reverend, although he does not say of what church or where he got his training or qualifications. All in all, highly sketchy and not someone I trust to put together a well-researched history based on this information alone. He does, however, sound like a highly intelligent and creative person with a personal agenda, which makes me trust his nonfiction even less.
I also found this blog post: http://ancestorstealing.blogspot.com/2017/03/shawnee-heritage-by-don-greene-aka.html which gives some illuminating information into the way Greene works. From his interactions with this blogger, it's clear that Greene has some problems, although I disagree with the blogger's ultimate conclusion and assert he really needs an especial amount of prayers, especially from all those who he has disturbed, misinformed, and bothered. His story is a sad one and he's in sore need of God's help.
I think all of this information about Greene needs to be made known to those who keep taking his books as fact. The choice is theirs as to what to do with the information, but I think a good number of people would probably change their tune if they were just made aware of the reality of misinformation - especially on the Internet - and how important it is to critically evaluate sources. I believe this is a war you can ultimately win; you just need the firepower to change the tide in your favor.