Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Pruning and Grafting the FamilySearch Family Tree

I received my weekly email from FamilySearch today with the "Recent changes in Family Tree" for those persons I am "watching" in FamilySearch Family Tree.  These are pretty much ancestors that I monitor to see if anything useful has been added (like a source or another relationship) or if something detrimental has been added.  The email informed me that only 38 changes had been made last week - no doubt reduced due to the holidays.

Here is the top of my "Recent changes" list for today:

 1)  So I clicked on the link for Mary Ann Underhill LH55-WJJ to see if there was anything new.  There was - a source citation for the marriage of her daughter Mary Almeda "Vause" to James G. "Woodard":

Cool.  I didn't have their marriage record.  I clicked through to the marriage record (an index, no image available on FamilySearch) and saw the date, 3 November 1861 in Burnett, Dodge County, Wisconsin:

I added the marriage record to my RootsMagic database for Mary Almeda Vaux and James G. Woodward.  This is the second marriage record for this Vaux family where the surname is spelled "wrong" - note that the item is for "Mary Ann Vause" (the mother) with her husband "Samuel Vause" and the daughter "Mary Almeda Vause."

Mary Ann (Underhill) Vaux (1815-1883) is my 3rd great-grandmother.

2)  Also on my "Recent changes" list was John Kemp (1768-1861) LCPF-7S2.  Someone had added a son John James Kemp (1824-????) to the family, and had added three christening sources for the son from 1824 in Brighton, Sussex, England, born to John Kemp and Mary.

However, John Kemp LCPF-7S2 married Mary Dafoe (1776-1832) in 1795, and resided his whole life in Ontario, Canada, with their family of at least nine children born between 1795 and 1812.  John Kemp LCPF-7S2 is my third great-grandfather.

I removed the purported son John James Kemp (1824-????) from the family, and deleted the three sources added recently for his christening from the profile for the father, John Kemp LCPF-7S2.

3)  Then I noticed that my John Kemp (1768-1861) LCPF-7S2 had a second marriage with Eleanor Marton and a number of children by her while married to Mary Dafoe.  

I checked my RootsMagic database, and saw that it was another John Kemp (1788-1861), son of Joseph Kemp and Catherine Bovee, who was the husband of Eleanor Marton.

I fixed it, but it wasn't easy.  I removed the marriage of John Kemp LCPF-7S2 from Eleanor Marton and her children (I had to do this on Eleanor's profile.  Then I added the correct John Kemp (1788-1861) LRC3-W5Z to the marriage.  Somehow, the children were lost in the process.  Oh well - I'm sure someone will fix it.  As long as they don't put the wrong John Kemp back as the father.

4)  Such is life in the FamilySearch Family Tree.  Sometimes you get a nugget of information, like the Vaux marriage record;  other times, someone has messed up a family - in this case, two different messes that needed to be wiped up.

Now I have another 9 set of changes to make sure nobody has messed up my ancestors.  A FamilySearch Family Tree watcher has to stay vigilant!


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Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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Bishop Joan said...

Randy, this annoys me so much. If people post things to a tree such as the FamilySearch family tree at least they should be pretty sure the information they post and upload is accurate. The tree that I follow in FamilySearch is so messed up that I don't know if it is possible to fix. I started to correct things a while back but gave up when I realized that those who posted the wrong information believe they are right (Even without sources to prove it) and will just change it back deleting all my hard work. I would rather spend the time researching and adding correct information to my own private tree.

Fax said...

I most heartily agree. It is a disaster. I too went through a bunch of changes and again found numerous problems. One couple now has children ranging over 150 years! If FamilySearch can't include a "logic test" before changes are accepted, it should consider trashing its system. This happens so frequently that I'm tempted to remove my "Watches." I simply cannot keep fixing the same families over and over. It's futile.

Anonymous said...

I watch over 2500 people in FamilySearch Family Tree (the Shackfords who descended from William Shackford, 1640ish). I review the weekly list of changes (8-15 people -- 30-100 changes) and have to say that generally I spend more time adding helpful new information (new sources, correctly added new descendents, or pictures!!!) to my RootsMagic file than I spend fixing newly introduced errors. This was not true at first when I had to merge the masses of duplicates. When I do find an error or an addition that is unsourced, I write to the person who created the error and they usually fix the issue they created in a week and thank me for the comment (one big exception but FamilySearch intervened to help out). If the person doesn't fix the error I go in and either fix it or add a discussion comment that the person added has no sourced relationship and is probably an error.

Randy - I had a 1/2 written blog for a future Tuesday's Tip on how helpful this WATCH feature is so when it shows up I'm not copying your blog!

Anonymous said...

FamilySearch just updated their Weekly FamilySearch changes of people you are watching e-mail. Do like the summary that lists how many people were changed but wish they didn't list each change in a manner that seems to take up so much space in the e-mail. Also, unsure what the green checkmarks and red x's are -- searched their Website for an explanation but couldn't find anything that helped clarify this change -- maybe information will show up in a future What's New letter from FamilySearch.