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I know it's been said before

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Maryanna Report 23 Oct 2012 14:22

Hi, I know this has been said before but I am getting thoroughly fed up with finding my ancestors on wrong trees. Does nobody check anything for themselves ?

When I was new to all this and had a rather wonky tree I was innocent enough to let a few people look at it. Two of them scrumped it word for word and plastered it all over every site they could. They also added all my husband's side. Why ? So now my Mother's father's side and my Father's mother's side are everywhere, but WRONG.

Since I have been to look at church records and bought certificates I have realised my errors. Obviously no one else has done that and they just get copied more and more.

Another chap copied my Mother's mother's side and apart from some rather odd names that appear on a couple of census forms, which I realised were wrong once I got the birth certs, and he hasn't changed, is largely correct. There again these bizarre names have been copied by others with no thought as to whether they would be right or not..

I have messaged a few people to tell them my original tree was wrong and so far nobody had bothered to reply. They probably just think I am some mad old bat sticking my nose in. It just really annoys me as on the whole they are MY family and miles away from anything to do with them. Why do they need my parents or even me or my children on their tree ?

Actually having read this, I do sound like a mad old bat and for that I apologise, just needed to let off steam !!!! Sorry. M


Malcolm Report 23 Oct 2012 14:38

I know how you feel. LIke you, I innocently opened my tree to someone who trawled the lot and posted it all over other sites. Her own tree was full of mistakes. It seems some people just want to have a massive tree. Hers had 24,000 people!

I have spent hundreds of pounds on documents and thousands of hours studying. I dont grudge sharing it with "serious" researchers but It annoys me to see my good research mixed in with speculative trash. :-|


Maryanna Report 23 Oct 2012 14:53

Maddening, isn't it. I have just found someone on another site, using my mothers very unusual name as part of their user name ??? !!! Where on earth did they come up with that one, they are about three million miles away from me but have all the family on their tree. It must have come from her name as I have found no other records anywhere for anyone else with it . just liked the sound of it, I suppose. Most odd. M


GlasgowLass Report 23 Oct 2012 15:31

I couldn't agree more.
I have a very large tree and I researched it for myself, correcting my own errors as I went along.
I would hate to withhold this info from anyone who has a genuine connection but l get really miffed at where it eventually ends up.
I am only interested in direct (and deceased) descendants of common ancestors and have no wish to delve further into families of spouses ect unless they are directly connected elsewhere. For this reason my full tree will contain names of parents and siblings of a spouse but my interest ends there.
There are researchers who have a bit of shared ancestry to whom I have opened my tree. I later discovered that my complete family tree ( OH side included) had been collected and added to their own.
I will never understand name collectors or their reasoning.
I have posted this before, but I will put it here again.

One rather arrogant individual actually told me that I need to accept the difference between family history research and genealogy and EVERY person in my tree is related to him, if only by marriage!
His shared ancestry are MY gggg grandparents.

He is extremely proud of the absurd tree of 30,000 names, and even provided me with the EXACT connection between himself and my HUSBAND's great uncle....
Wait for it.....

1st cousin 1x removed of wife of brother-in-law of sister-in-law of 3rd cousin of husband of sister-in-law of paternal grandfather of wife of brother-in-law of 1st cousin 3x removed of wife of 2nd cousin 3x removed of husband of 1st cousin 2x removed of husband of aunt of wife of 2nd cousin 2x removed.

Yes absurd!

Karen in the desert

Karen in the desert Report 23 Oct 2012 15:32

Oooh don't get me started on this.
But now that you have............

.....really very annoying isn't it.
I used to wonder at these people who copy the info straight to their tree , blatantly copying, mistakes and all,they obviously never check with any certs or parish records, census or anything. So how interested in genealogy are they really? Not very much.

I have also found that they don't want to know when you point out a few errors to them. One chap even had his grannies birth date wrong, as I had the wrong year originally but once I got the birth cert I corrected it and then told him., giving him the full info but he wasn't interested . How strange.

Stranger than that is that there are now several trees on the Ancestry Members Trees all with identical mistakes, because they have copied HIS tree which contains some of my original mistakes. I don't have my tree on there. I wouldn't make it so easy for name collectors, not any more.
It's a lesson to be learned.
Now I give details only to those I feel are genuinely related and genuinely interested, but I don't open my tree, I just give them the basic info they need and helpful suggestions of ways they can look for more if they want. :-S


P.S. Anne - well that's a very close connection isn't it!!!!! NOT. As you say, absurd!! :-D :-D


Reggie Report 23 Oct 2012 16:45

I don't honestly see the point of getting in a tizz because someone else's tree has inaccurate info.

The only one that matters is your own

If you don't want people to help themselves to your research, don't open your tree.

And NEVER allow anyone access to a tree which includes living people.............


Maryanna Report 23 Oct 2012 18:54

Exactly K and Anne, and Reggie as K says lesson learned, nobody, apart from my brother in law ( who hasn't touched his 19 name tree in over five years ) and a friend who wanted to see if we had a link ( we didn't ) have my tree and I haven't opened it for anyone for five or six years.

I just find it galling to find that if someone who does'n't know any better looks at these trees and copies them - I know it is up to them and all their own fault if it is wrong - then the wrong tree just gets spread even wider. It just feels wrong to me, personally , if I find that they think my great grand parents are not who they actually are, silly I know but I just like to have things right and proper.

I know that I know who my ancestors were, I would just like anyone else who is that interested, or interested enough to actually go to all the trouble of putting all my family on their far far away tree, to get it correct. M

Carol 430181

Carol 430181 Report 23 Oct 2012 23:28

I learnt this lesson a long time ago when innocent. I never open my tree now, have a tree on Ancestry which is only open to two people. Most of the trees on Ancestry are incorrect with terrible errors.



Tudor Report 24 Oct 2012 00:09

If information is copied from anothers tree, and is not checked, all you get is a fantasy tree, which bears little, if any to a family tree. Rather pointless, I think.

Chris in Sussex

Chris in Sussex Report 24 Oct 2012 21:32

A couple of weeks ago I clicked on a possible match for a tree on Ancestry....

Immediately suspicious as the tree had 120,000 plus names.

First page of alphabetical names included
Adam, Garden of Eden
Adam, Garden of Eden, Israel.

Other half was looking over my shoulder and said....

"Well the Garden of Eden was actually in Syria at that time"

I don't think I will contacting them if they can't get that right ;-)

Shame though to loose a possible 120000 plus 'relatives' :-D



Maryanna Report 24 Oct 2012 21:59

Well Chris, I think that one must take first prize. How funny. Someone must be living in Cloud Cuckoo Land !! Christmas could get a bit pricey ! Love it.

Looking on Ancestry one of my gt gt grandfathers seems to have been married to three different women at the same time. Different wives on different trees. I must be the only one to have actually bought the certs. M

Chris in Sussex

Chris in Sussex Report 24 Oct 2012 22:45

To be fair...

Matthew Pinsent's ancestry on WDYTYA had him connected back to God ....

'one of the documents that Matthew views takes things a little too far: a beautiful medieval roll, created at a time when kings claimed to have the divine right to govern, purports to shows the relationship of British monarchy to Jesus, King David, Adam and Eve and even the Supreme Being himself. “At the top of your pedigree,” Matthew is told, “there is God.”

So if the person on Ancestry believes they have a similar connection then they too could claim to be descended from God......I did try tracing the tree forward from Adam but :-S

Call me a cynic but I still don't think I will bother following the connection suggestion up :-D



Maryanna Report 24 Oct 2012 23:00

Ahhhhhh ................. Right .......... Well that should keep us all busy for a while. ;-)


SylviaInCanada Report 25 Oct 2012 07:02

My great aunt and great uncle married in Lancashire in 1902. 3 days later, they sailed from Liverpool for the US

I had a very small tree on ancestry with their names ............ somewhere to park them as I tried to find some more information on the husband.

I forgot to change it from Public to Private when I changed my larger tree over.

About 2 years ago, I got a tip that they were on someone's tree

Sure enough, they were there ............................ parents of children born between about 1804 and 1820 :-0

I poked around a little bit in his tree ............

............ the parents of those children had the same names as my relations, were born in the same place, had married in Lancashire, and then went to New Jersey, just as my relatives had done. BUT they had done it in 1802, not 1902

So ........... he'd picked the right names, probably from a leaf tip from ancestry, but had not noticed the date differences.

I emailed him about it, and also left a comment on his tree to warn others.

Fortunately, he paid attention .................. and had removed my relations within about 4 days.



Kense Report 25 Oct 2012 08:34

You don't have to go to Ancestry to find silly trees. Just do a tree search here for the surname God and click on the "born in" column to find some.


Maryanna Report 25 Oct 2012 15:01

I can't believe how many "Gods" and "God Knows" there are. Who would have thought it ? We must be moving in very esteemed circles ! M


JustDinosaurJill Report 25 Oct 2012 18:09

I just took a look. Beats me but I'm thinking of taking a free sub out to build another tree. I've always wanted to learn about Norse, or Ancient Greek or Egyptians. I could build trees for all of them. It would be different wouldn't it? :-P

Lots of us have had this sort of discussion before Maryanna. I think that we have pretty much concluded that it's an ego sort of thing where someone wants to impress friends of family of the size of their tree. It's just pathetic and nothing you can do about it in reality. Worst is when you've gone to great expense to build a tree. There are half a dozen GR members who have access to my tree and I have access to theirs and it's been that way for a couple of years. I was asked for mine a few months ago but became immediately suspicious.

I just will not allow access beyond those who already have it. If someone wants it, they have to satisfy me that they are genuine first and that isn't easy any more.

The tree they have in their name has no value because it is a work of fiction with all the crap they have added. If others are stupid enough to copy it, it just becomes even more crap. Have you thought of building a totally fictitious tree and passing that on. I've sure that many of us would be glad to help with something good enough to look real but obviously garbage. :-D :-D


Maryanna Report 25 Oct 2012 18:50

I am sure we can all find a link somewhere or another to the great and the good of history. Due to a few " good marriages" an Uncle of mine can be traced right back to Alfred the Great. Now that sounds all well and good and there is plenty of documentation to back it up, with many Royal Marriages along the way, BUT and it's a big BUT. He isn't "blood". He isn't really mine, he married into "US". and then to put the tin lid on things, had no children.

My lot were just the usual, ag labs and printers and builders and tailors and soldiers and sailors, like most of us have.

I have now decided that my extremely tenuous and far fetched link to Alfred isn't good enough, anyway he wasn't much of a cook. and I do like a good biscuit. I need to do better, not sure if I can manage God though.

I need to think very carefully about this ,Jill, I quite fancy the idea of Atlantis, if I can find the record books or Alexander the Great or maybe Ancient Egypt. Nefertiti, perhaps ? King Tut ? I am sure one of those long ago sailors must have made it as far as Egypt. Come to think of it they would have been long ago .......... but then I went to see King Tut in Cairo Museum in 1968, maybe I was looking at my ancestor, come to think of it I did feel some sort of a "connection". That must be it !!! All that gold could be mine !! That also explains my attachment to black eyeliner, of course, it's in the blood.

I am now sure this is the way to go and will make up , sorry, investigate my new tree. Watch this space, I may be some time.

I might need to find myself a new name. Any suggestions ? M



GlasgowLass Report 27 Oct 2012 13:55

last year, after providing a relative with some info ( we share the same gg grandparents).
He emailed me to let me in on a secret and that we were all part of a " well known, highly respected family" and asked me how I felt about our extremely humble gg grandparents being so " Well Connected"
I guess I was supposed to be overwhelmed or something, and I am not really sure why I needed to know this.

Anyway, rather than burst his bubble,I had to be quite diplomatic in my response because neither he nor I have any genetic link to the family in question.
It is HIS wife who bears the most tangible of connections.
Sometimes, I despair!


larzus Report 9 Nov 2012 06:27

I've seen versions of this conversation on several different sites over the past 15 years. I would like to know whether I am doing this in an acceptable way.

I have some very difficult branches in my tree. The easy ones are, well, easy and other people have already done them. I take their information, verify it using my data subscriptions and leave it as is. I like to focus on the challenges, the lines everyone gave up on.

Sometimes that means following siblings and their spouses, seeking for times when they were in company with my direct family. Sometimes it means following the trees of those who were witness at their wedding or informant of the birth of a child. Sometimes I spot a likely name living in the same district and follow it just to see if that person hailed from the same little village three or four generations back. This tenuous tracking has paid off often enough that I keep doing it. When I follow siblings and friends if there is any way to link the data accurately I will do it and hold them in my tree. I also never discard information. I did that a few times at the start then had to go re-research when it became useful.

As a result my tree is becoming quite big too. Over 3,000 individuals in fact. I know every one of them and something about their lives. But at a casual glance it probably looks like the random data collection talked about here. Might this cause helpers to disregard me as a valid family researcher?

On the original topic, I have a publically available tree and sometimes I place speculative names on there, only to delete them when I learn they don't belong. I generally put a clue such as "John (unconfirmed son) born 1818" so people will know. If people take this data and post it wrongly it's just their own silly fault. Even if I genuinely thought a person belongs and was incorrect, I don't feel responsible for others who simply accept it. It's up to all of us to check the validity of the data we find. As we all know, even properly researched, published books can have it wrong. Eventually someone will pop up in that family who realises Aunt Fran did the tree after dementia set in and it will all be made right.

I wonder if this name collecting on trees is a kind of cyber-hoarding? Hoarding is a very real phenomena and I'm sure the cyber version will be 'discovered' at some point in the medical future.

It's a bit disappointing that Maryanna hasn't had anyone contacting her with corrections to her long-ago newbie errors though. I would very much hope someone will contact me when I am wrong. I'm counting on it, in fact. That's exactly why my tree is public.