Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Fixing the FamilySearch Family Tree Profile for Elizabeth Ambrose (1698-1782)

One of my ancestors is Elizabeth Ambrose (1698-1782), born in Salisbury, Massachusetts to Nathaniel and Sarah (Eastman) Ambrose.  She married (1) Sampson Underhill (1692-1732) in 1718 in Salisbury, and they had four children between 1720 and 1727 in Salisbury.  After moving to Chester, New Hampshire, Sampson Underhill died in 1732 in Chester, leaving Elizabeth with four small children.  She married (2) Benjamin Batchelder (1708-1782) in 1742 in Chester, New Hampshire, and they both died in about 1782;  I have found no death records for them.

1)  Over a year ago, a FamilySearch Family Tree user merged this Elizabeth Ambrose into another person, "Elizabeth 'Rachel' Ambrose," who married William Lee in about 1731 in Virginia, and died in 1780 in Amelia County, Virginia.   There is a Find A Grave memorial for this merged person.

2)  How do I know that "my" Elizabeth (Ambrose) (Underhill) Batchelder is not the wife of William Lee and the mother of Lee's children?  Well, her father, Nathaniel Ambrose (1678-1745) wrote his will on 3 June 1745, and included this to his daughter:

"Item I give unto my beloved Daughter Elisabeth Batchelder
ten Pounds in Money old tenor to be paid out of my Esteat at
the end of four years after my Deceas."

The entire will is in my blog post Amanuensis Monday -- Probate Records of Nathaniel Ambrose (1678-1745) of Chester, New Hampshire.

If Nathaniel's daughter was married to William Lee in Virginia in 1745, he would have named her as Elisabeth Lee and not Elisabeth Batchelder.

3)  So the challenge is to fix the FamilySearch Family Tree entry for Elizabeth Ambrose.  Here is some of the information in RootsMagic showing the RootsMagic profile and the Family Tree profile for the families:

As you can see, there are two William Lee families with the "other" Elizabeth Ambrose included in the profile.  In order to fix the Elizabeth Ambrose profile, I had to:

*  Change the name of Elizabeth "Rachel" Ambrose back to Elizabeth Ambrose.
*  Remove the marriage to each wrong spouse, leaving the spouse profile without a wife
*  Remove the children, one by one, from the "wrong" mother.
*  Edit the Notes and Sources to reflect the right Elizabeth Ambrose..

4)  Removing persons can only be done in the profile on FamilySearch Family Tree.  I cannot do it in RootsMagic.

Midway through this process, I thought it might be useful to demonstrate the removal process.  Here is some of the Lee family in the Family Tree on the Elizabeth Ambrose LYX4-955 profile:

From the screen above, I want to delete the child Ann Lee from my Elizabeth Ambrose.  I clicked on the check mark on the right-hand side of the Ann Lee entry as a child:

I want to remove them other from the profile for Ann Lee.  I clicked on the "Remove or Replace" for Elizabeth Ambrose:

On the screen above, I have to check on the box for "I have reviewed the relationships, sources, and notes for these individuals.

I clicked on the blue "Remove Person" box and saw:

I had to provide a Reason for changing this relationship.  I put in the box for every child the sentence:

"This Elizabeth Ambrose LYX4-955 (1698-1782) married Sampson Underhill (1692-1732) in MA in 1718. She married (2) Benjamin Batchelder in 1742 in NH. She is not the wife of William Lee (1710-1770) in 1731 in VA, and not the mother of this person born in 1742 in VA"

5)  After removing my Elizabeth Ambrose LYX4-955 from the wrong spouses and children, I was left with a fairly clean profile in both RootsMagic and FamilySearch Family Tree:

Here is the current FamilySearch Family Tree profile for Elizabeth Ambrose (1698-1782) as of today.

6)  If I knew more information about Elizabeth "Rachel" (Ambrose) Lee, who died in 1780 in Virginia, I would have created a new profile for her in the Family Tree, and "Replaced" the wrong mother with the right mother, but I did not know the information.  I did not find a duplicate profile for the "right" Elizabeth when I looked for a Possible Duplicate.  

The Family Tree users who added the wrong information over the past year should add or revise the information about the William and Elizabeth "Rachel" (Ambrose) Lee family, and should not even try to merge the two profiles again based on no reliable source information.  

7)  I seem to have at least one "problem" like this in FamilySearch Family Tree every week.  Usually, they are easier to fix.  I try to deal with each problem by writing a Discussion item and suggesting a solution.  I did that in January 2018, saying:

No one has responded to the Discussion item.  Perhaps they don't know about it, or thought it was wrong.  I finally acted on my solution.  We'll see if someone mucks it up again.  I "Watch" this profile, and about 300 other profiles, on FamilySearch Family Tree, and get a weekly email with the changes made on the watched profiles.   


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Copyright (c) 2018, Randall J. Seaver

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Gary said...

Nicely explained. In these situations usually the best documation wins, however, disputes can arise, with batteling changes. Could you discuss the arbitraration process that Family Search has in place in a future post?

Randy Seaver said...

Hi Gary,

I'm not aware of any FamilySearch arbitration process has in place. They talked about it in years past that it might be necessary in the future to resolve thorny relationship and evidence problems, but I don't recall seeing anything about it recently.

I do think that they have "frozen" some "famous kin" profiles like Euro royalty and perhaps American Presidents after some sort of review. I think that's wise. But I keep seeing other "famous kin" like George Soule of the Mayflower have their profiles messed up at least once a week.

I've noticed that many of the early 17th century New England colonist profiles have been cleaned up with fewer duplicate profiles in the past year, I guess by folks like us that care about them and take the time to fix the profiles. There's a learning curve to do this, you need a good plan, and a lot of patience is required.

I should have done a better job on this one, but I removed the spurious spouses before I realized what I should have done, which was to create the second Elizabeth Ambrose, attach her to William Lee and the children, then detach the Mass. Elizabeth Ambrose. And rename the second one Rachel, which is how she is named in several records, including William Lee'as 1770 probate record. My bad! Don't tell anybody...