Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sorting Out Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) on FamilySearch Family Tree

I was happy to hear that FamilySearch Family Tree was now allowing changes to parent-child and spousal relationships. DGreen posted Try Family Tree on on the FamilySearch Blog yesterday, with images and directions for how to proceed with these tasks.

Previously,I've discussed my problem with relationships concerning Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825),my 3rd great-grandfather and father of Isaac Seaver (1823-1901), in My First Look at FamilySearch Family Tree - Post 1 and earlier posts about New FamilySearch.

Using DGreen's post as a guide, I signed into FamilySearch Family Tree and navigated to the profile of Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) - three screens shown below:

There are many problems with the relationships shown above - there are five marriages shown for Benjamin - the first one to Martha Whitney(1764-1832), the second to an"unknown spouse," the third to Martha Whitney(1764-1832), the fourth to Abigail Gates (1797-1867)and the fifth to Hannah .

Martha Whitney(1764-1832) was the wife of Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816) and the mother of Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825).  Therefore, there are two marriages of Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) to his mother.  The purported marriages to the "unknown spouse" and Hannah are spurious, with who knows where they came from.

The only marriage of Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) was to Abigail Gates (1797-1867) on 2 March 1817 in Westminster, Massachusetts.  They had four children between 1817 and 1825.  All of the marriages and births of children for Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) and Abigail Gates (1797-1867), and for Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816) and Martha Whitney (1764-1832), are in town record books, and vital record books, for Sudbury, Leominster and Westminster, Massachusetts.

So how can I delete the spurious marriages?  The DGreen blog post told me to click on the "View" link for each Spousal pair (the ones with a yellowish background in the screens above).  When I did that, the "Couple Relationship" screen opened, and I could click the "Delete" link in the upper right-hand corner.  A popup window opened requesting a "Reason for Deleting This Relationship." I typed in my reason:

My reason was: "Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) mother was Martha Whitney (1764-1832), who was not his wife. Benjamin 1791's wife was Abigail Gates (1797-1867)."

I deleted the three other spurious relationships using the same process.  

That left the correct marriage with Abigail Gates in 1817.  So when I checked on the Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) profile, it now listed his parents as Norman Seaver (1734-1787) and Sarah Read.  Those are his paternal grandparents, not his parents!!!

So I need to unlink him as a Child from this set of Parents.  The process is similar --  the user has to roll the mouse over the Child's name, and the"View" link appears.  clicking on the "View" link, the "Parent-Child Relationship" screen opened and I selected the "Delete Relationship" link and entered my reason in the Reason for Deleting This Relationship" box:

In this case, my Reason was: "Norman Seaver died in 1787. Benjamin Seaver was born in 1791 to Benjamin Seaver and Martha Whitney. This is a spurious parent-child relationship and should be deleted."

I'm only partially done by now - there are extra children on the list for the marriage of Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) and Abigail Gates (1797-1867) - they are Benjamin's brothers and sisters, children of Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816) and Martha Whitney(1764-1832).  So I disconnected them from that relationship.  Note that all of these persons are still in the FamilySearch Family Tree.

After trying to clean up the Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) profile, here is what it looks like:

For some reason, it still shows two of the spurious marriage entries, but says "No Couple Relationship."

The parents of Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) are still shown as Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) and Martha Whitney (1764-1832).  He is still his own Father, married to his actual Mother!!  The pedigree chart also shows that relationship:

I've been trying to figure out how to fix that problem - how to get Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816) in as the father of Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825).  I haven't figured out the process yet, even after experimenting a bit.

When a user makes changes to relationships, or to any data, the "Latest Changes" box near the top of the person's Profile page can show all of the changes by clicking on the"Show All" link (two screens shown below - there were more!):

In this process, I made 19 deletions of parent-child relationships, spousal relationships and specific events that were erroneous or duplicates.

The deletion process of relationships is fairly complicated, but once you discover the "View" link leads to "Delete Relationship," then it is fairly standard.  The more difficult process for me will be to  delete Benjamin Seaver (1791-1825) as the father of himself, and get his actual father, Benjamin Seaver (1757-1816) in his place without completely messing up the tree(more than I have already!!!).

I'm sure that I'll have more to demonstrate on this problem in FamilySearch Family Tree.  Surely, other researchers are going to have this problem - and their situation may be even worse than this one is!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright(c) 2012, RandallJ. Seaver

1 comment:

Geolover said...

The couple relationships that you believed you deleted for Benjamin b. 1791 are still there because at least one person is in the system as child of each of the relationships.

Using the small arrow at lower left of each couple box you can see the child(ren) in the system for each couple.

You must research the actual parentage for each child before proceeding to remove the child from the couple. The child may be assigned to correct father or to correct mother. You need the Person ID number (PID) for each correct parent of each child. When you go to the child-parent relationship screen you can remove biological relationship for wrong parent and have the option to change parent to correct parent.

Here is where it gets sticky. There are probably duplicated individuals listed as children of Seaver relatives. The listed child(ren) of wrong parents under Benjamin Seaver b. 1791 may be composites of more than one actual person. There may be multiple wrong vital dates/places assigned to any individual child.

What seems like simple procedures can quickly turn to quicksand.

The child-parent relationship screen can be found by mousing over a child, clicking on "view" link at right.