Utilizing Family Associations in Research
Associations in Research
I would like to have FamilySearch leaders consider the value of family associations in identifying kindred and most importantly, keeping down duplications of temple work. These associations normally have several members who are highly experience, spending much of their life, in many cases, in the research on their respective families.
Let me use my own Association as an example. One English adventurer left England and came to the providence of Virginia in 1638. Both research and DNA testing, show conclusively, except for adoptions, Edward Brantly, is progenitor to 95% of all Brantley persons in America, at least as of 1900, and some 30 thousand, today. I have been studying his progeny for nearly 60 years. In 1988, I founded the Brantley Association of America. In doing so, I recruited other experienced genealogist on this family, many specializing on different lines from Edward. We had, even within a few years, a vast collection of research findings. Today, we have published, in addition to 2000 pages of abstracts in various collections, an 800-page book, tying him to nearly ALL Brantleys living in America in 1900. As a member of the Church, I have submitted over the years, thousands of names to FamilySearch. In many cases, these files are now corrupt. In merging, many records of temple work have been lost. Because of these lost and corrupted files, the duplicated ordinances have been a substantial number. Unfortunately, these faulty entries and family arrangements, are circulated over the internet, often, not by researchers, but by internet suffers.
There are many associations throughout America, who have members with access to countless records and proven collections. Anyone can join these associations, often at no charge. I have received remarkable lineage information and exhibits just by inquiring with the respective association on other lines. I, as many others, would be glad to show the correct lines and family ties for the asking, but I have no way to reach these patrons, unless I address each separately in a program note. Of course, there is no way FS can monitor all these records, but they can utilize the tremendous findings of the associations. If FamilySearch would simply, have a tab or icon by or near the surname, which would notify a patron of an association connected with that surname, it would save countless duplications. In addition, it would seriously reduce the overwhelming task of knowledgeable researchers from having to repeatedly undo faulty merges, reassign children to parents, constantly correct files and most of all see ordinances repeated. There is so much work to do for those who have not yet benefited, but we are still, unnecessarily, duplicating temple work daily. Why are these associations not tapped, especially when the association has stepped forward and volunteered to help resolve linage information? None of the patrons I have finally reached, have ever questioned our lineage arranged because we have provided enough history of facts. Please do not think that because a clear exhibit is included as a source file, it will eliminate the problem. *(See Example below). Please review this request. FS does not have to take responsibility of what exchanges occur between the patron and the association, they just need to merely notify the patron that there is an association on this surnamed family, providing the link or name of the association.
J. Kenneth Brantley [email protected] brantleyassociation.com
*John Brantley Jr., file LZ8F-L8S shows all his children were by Elizabeth Marsh and does not mention his 1st wife Katherine Kirk who bore him girls, Sally and Pheobe, as clearly spelled out in the detailed contestant of John’s will attached as an exhibit.
This file is just one of several I have seen today. It has been corrected numerous times, because patrons are not researching, but filling in blanks, or in this case removing things they do not know about, in this case contrary to clear proven documents of facts attached.
Have you considered creating a Surname Based Community Group for your surname?
Here is one for surname Yancey:
This suggestion has merit. To provide a link on the person page of an individual that would allow access to interest groups and communities who are following that particular family name in certain regions might be very beneficial to all patrons who have this common ancestor. As the patron indicates in his feedback suggestion, FamilySearch could create the links to the associated groups who wish to be recognized and invite others to discuss that family/person, but would not monitor nor take responsibility for the content in those linked groups. If incidences of abuse or violation of standards were to occur, FamilySearch would reserve the right to remove offensive links from the listings.
Typical patrons may not know how to locate communities or interest groups associated with their families on their own. A link on the person page would allow them to quickly see and locate these extended resources and groups interested in their family line.0
A related issue is that many of the profiles of early leaders in the church and their families are frozen. It would be wonderful, for example, if the Pratt Family Association were tasked by the Family History Department to "clean up" the frozen profiles of the members of the families of Orson and Parley P Pratt. Those profiles cannot attach newly indexed records and there are other types of updates/changes that should be made. It may be that after the Association has "cleaned up" the profiles they would need to be frozen because original problem that lead to them being frozen still exists.0