Thursday, February 26, 2015

Fixing Online Family Trees - One Person at a Time on FamilySearch Family Tree

Since I have contributed a number of profiles to many online family trees over the past 15 years, I need to try to correct erroneous relationships and information that have been added by myself and other researchers over time. 

One example of this process is the profile on FamilySearch Family Tree for my immigrant ancestor, Robert Seaver (my 9th great-grandfather, 1608-1683) LZVZ-VBH, who came to Roxbury, Massachusetts in March, 1634 aboard the Mary and John.  He married Elizabeth Ballard and two other spouses, had seven children, and thousands of descendants.  I have been unable to identify parents of Robert Seaver in my 27 years of Seaver research.  He was born in England to unknown parents.

Before yesterday, Robert Seaver's parents on the Family Tree were identified as Thomas Savory (1572-1674) LHPL-W5Z and Mary Woodrorke (1574-1607) LZVZ-KSP.  Thomas Savory was in Plymouth by 1634, and died in Plymouth in 1674.  One of the profiles had a son Robert Savory 1598-1678, but Robert Savory was not conflated with Robert Seaver (1608-1683) in the family - they were lsited as two different sons with different last names.

In addition, the Family Tree profile for Robert Seaver's wife, Elizabeth Ballard (ca 1616-1657) identified her parents as Henry Ballard (1575-1642) MMJX-9JY and Elizabeth Townsend (1577-1637) L8FB-T6F. There is another Elizabeth Ballard (1611-1704) L844-RGL in their list of children married to another person. 

Earlier, I had added Discussion items on the profiles for Thomas Savory and Henry Ballard asking for source information and explanation of how Robert and Elizabeth were added to the profiles of their reputed "parents" as children.

1)  I consider the relationship of Robert Seaver LZVZ-VBH to Thomas Savory LHPL-W5Z and Mary Woodrorke LZVZ-KSP to be non-existent.  So I deleted the relationship between Robert and his Savory "parents."

2)  I also consider the spousal relationship between Elizabeth Ballard L844-RGL and Robert Seaver to be non-existent.  So I deleted their relationship.  Because Elizabeth was in a family with the seven children of Robert Seaver, I had to delete their relationship with their parents.

3)  Next, I had to create a new profile for the Elizabeth Ballard (ca 1616-1657) who married Robert Seaver LZVZ-VBH.  I did that, and she is Elizabeth Ballard LVX7-TMH.  Then I added the seven known children of Robert and Elizabeth to the family, knowing their current FamilySearch ID numbers.  Now the family is as correct as I (and other Seaver researchers) know it.  

4)  After this, I added Discussion items for both Robert Seaver and Elizabeth Ballard explaining why I disconnected them from the reputed "parents."  Hopefully, other Family Tree users will not come along and add "parents" to Robert and Elizabeth as time goes on.

Here is the Family Members area for Robert Seaver LZVZ-VBH:

And the Discussion area for Robert Seaver LZVZ-VBH:

Here is the Family Members area for Elizabeth Ballard LVX7-TMH (note no parents shown):

And Here is the Discussions area for Elizabeth Ballard LVX7-TMH:

5)  This process was fairly straightforward, and I did not need a curator or any help to do it.  It is important that the person taking actions like this understand the logic of the delete relationship process.  I didn't delete any persons, but I had to delete 9 relationships and add one new profile in order to get the family correct.  Note that I had to do all of these operations within FamilySearch Family tree, not using a program like RootsMagic to add or change information or persons.

Of course, some other researcher may reverse it, but I hope they will discuss it with me (and other interested researchers) before they do that.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Linda Stufflebean said...

I will be interested to hear if someone comes along and undoes any of your work. I have never enter info in the Family Tree, but recently looked at one family that I hadn't researched for some time. Just a few days before, someone came along and deleted a son Jacob (no other info added in about him) from this particular tree, but the father left a will in 1806 naming a son Jacob. No explanation was given.