Thursday, December 11, 2014

Clean It Up

Family Search Family Tree that is….

As I have said in a previous post, I have been spending more time cleaning up my tree rather than adding to it.[1]  It is amazing that during the cleaning process, you see things you missed the first time; so in essence, I continue to add to it.

One of the ways I have been doing some cleaning is with

I guess I have a soft spot in my heart when it comes to It was because of their site I became hooked on my own ancestry a few years ago.[2] It was via a few clicks and I traveled hundreds of years into the past and learned names, that were instrumental in my being here today, I had never heard before.

It was because of the family trees that were upload on their site I was able to do this easily.  But even on that first night on line, I could tell the tree I looked at was wrought with errors. Duplicate names, skipped generations....

They now have a new product call Family Tree.  It is wide open for anyone to use.  Even though it is supposed to be a one-world tree, their records needed a lot of attention. I started adding my deceased relatives to their community tree. I only had to go back to my grandparent’s generation before I starting finding record of my ancestors already in the tree. 
Family Tree assigns everyone a unique alphanumeric number.  I have found though, as records are added, duplicates are a problem. This is where we come in.  I started slowly (slowly being the key word) adding and merging members of my direct tree.  Merging is a complex process, something I am still getting the hang of, but it is becoming easier. Family Search has many video tutorials on how to use their product.[3]  They are helpful to watch. 

To make the process easier, I put my tree on up on one screen, and Family Search Family Tree up on the other; I have been going person by person down my direct line.  Again, this has given me the chance to clean up my tree as I go along. This time I am not in a race to see how quickly I can go back in time.


Family Tree allows anyone to add or make edits to profiles already in the tree.   This of course can become annoying with anyone insisting on family lore as a fact without backing it up with evidence.  I will put all records I add or edit on my "watch" list. That way, I will be alerted when someone makes a change to their record.  If you are going to get on the Family Search bandwagon, only do so if you are willing to do the extra work and add your sources and reasoning. 

It is time consuming yet rewarding. Facing the fact that there are probably records of your ancestors already on there, you might as well have a hand in sharing what you have learned and making that public tree right.

Besides, one late night, you may help a cousin you are yet to meet, get hooked on genealogy.