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Unanswered tree queries.

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


SylviaInCanada Report 12 Nov 2012 20:50

This question is asked regularly on various Boards .... at least a couple of times a month!

From my perspective .............

1. PLEASE, no more auto-response replies! There are too many on this site.

2. NO rating ................... that is an insulting suggestion.

3. Ratings ............ same thing.

Your suggestions will just alienate many people

Have you considered WHY you get no response to your requests???

I assume that you are providing information as to why you are posing the request, and why you think there might be a connection between you.

GR has over 12 million members .....................

............. the majority of those are probably still Free members. That is how GR began back in 2002, and they still advertise "build your tree for free".

1. Many people join, start their tree, then lose interest, or life's events overtake them and they no longer have time.

2. Many people change their email address, but forget to notify GR of the change. So any emails sent by GR to tell them there re pms waiting just go into the ether and are lost.

3. People are usually older when they get the time to work on their tree .................. and so are subject to becoming seriously ill, demented, or die.

4. Relations and close friends are often not at all interested in family history, probably do not know what person A is doing on this or any other genealogical site, and do not know what to do when A becomes incapacitated or dead.

5. No-one can remove a tree from this site other than the owner of the tree ........... or in a very few cases GR if someone is banned from the site for "misbehaviour",

This means that trees remain on the site when the owner is dead or incapacitated, and no other family member or friend has access.

I've posted this help advice several times ..............................

Keep a list in a little notebook of ALL sites that you have joined, the name under which you are registered for each one, the email address you are using for each one, the password to use for each one, and any other pertinent information for each one.

Keep that notebook by the side of your computer, and let members of your family or a close friend know where it is, and what it is for.

Tell them to go to every site and remove you from that site. For GR, ancestry and possibly other genealogical sites, that means they also have to remove your tree.

Remember, every person on this site is an individual, and NO-ONE can be forced to respond to any pms or emails that they receive.

A lot of people are simply not interested in contact. This is just a site where they can build their tree for free.

The trees are not really on here solely for YOUR access.

I myself NEVER open my tree to anyone .................. and never will.

I exchange emails with anyone who contacts me, and establish that there is indeed a connection. When I am satisfied, I extract the relevant information and send it to that contact.

No-one will ever see my whole tree, and no-one will ever be able to take anything from my tree that I have not approved.



jax Report 12 Nov 2012 20:35

This is something that comes up on a regular basis.

There is nothing that can be done...if the message has been unopened the member may have changed their email address or died.

I the message has been read then...well... its up to them whether they reply or not.

Dont know what you mean by rating people on queries they answer?

If you need help then post a request on the Find ancestors board, there are many willing people ready to help if they can


Matthew Report 12 Nov 2012 18:27

I'm saddened by how few people actually reply to the - clear and courteous - questions that I send them, about someone in their tree. The situation used to be much better, but in the last few years I've been lucky to get replies to half my questions. What can be done about this?

1. Give people an autoreply option that can be set, to say that they don't currently have time for genealogy. Allow them to chose whether this is accompanied by granting tree access, or not.
2. Rate people on how many queries they reply to, and how quickly. Show this as a score, so that at least others can judge how likely they are to be helpful.
3. Give benefits to those with the highest scores - "Congratulations, you have answered so many queries so quickly, we're giving you 50 credits to view our records!"

Those ideas should go some way towards improving the situation, and I'm sure that others could come up with further suggestions. After all, there's not much point in having all these trees online, if we can't get the information we need from them!

Matthew Wilde.