Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Monday, June 20, 2022

Let's Just Think About What We Are Doing on the FamilySearch Family Tree


I am continually amazed at the entries I find in Family Tree. I recently found a series of examples of the type of entries that cause this amazement. I am not making this stuff up. Here is the first example. 

If you have to look more than a few seconds at this entry, you are likely part of the problem. This reminds me of a movie called Corpse Bride. But in this case, it was a corpse husband. 

Moving along, I guess I need to say that all these examples are still in the Family Tree. I did not feel compelled to correct the information. Here we go with the next screenshot. 

Talk about adding insult to injury in this Marshall family, look carefully at the birth dates of nearly all the children. Oh, by the way, most of them do not have any sources listed. What more can I say?

Here we go with the next example.

I thought you might want to see the details of the first child listed. I am certainly relieved that he was sealed to his two-year-old mother. 


This list shows how the other families in this part of the tree are faring as well. The purple icons show the individuals with no sources. 

On we go.

This is only the beginning of this particular line. Here is the next step. 

You might notice that Ann Atkins is named as the last child in the descendancy pedigree above as the last child of Ann Atkins and Samuel Marshall. You might also notice that her parents were supposedly married in Boston. Just wondering how there was a record from England?


Here is the summary of the English record just in case you were wondering if it was logical considering that Ann Atkins died in 1786. 

This could go on and on with additional examples. I have recently been writing about the extensive changes being made to people who are fully documented. This is the other side of the coin. There is no real documentation at all for these individuals so far.


  1. Sigh. Unfortunately, this is not the only example of rational decay. OTOH life has never been better. Thanks for all that you do.

  2. Great post! Thank you for this and all your recent posts about the lack of quality control at FamilySearch. I wonder if they have considered devoting a few of their staff to cleaning up the most egregious problems, and perhaps considering some kind of "profile protection" for the best-documented ancestors for whom there really is no new information.

  3. This is a very sad situation. The reason I don't use the Family Search tree. With a little moderation it could be a real treasure!

  4. yep - I see this all the time... like an ancestor of mine who had the same name as her cousin. They were born a year apart in the same village and married within three months of each other. Alas, the parish register doesn't tell us which Hannah Izzard married which man (no father's name appears), so we don't know. However, on the tree, some helpful person has just conflated the two Hannah Izzards into one and has her married to two different men and giving birth to children with each of them in the same village...I've left notes about this in the tree. Trying to disentangle this situation is beyond me right now... Here's her ID if you want to witness this mess... LCTK-QYL

  5. Just today I was 'cleaning up' another researcher's "errors" on a branch of my tree. They had actually entered the same children into 3 different trees (with NO sources) and never bothered to delete them from the incorrect family! Yes, it is maddening, but I continue to add to that tree as well as my personal tree on my home computer because of all the great links to sources, which are SO important! I also want the information to be available for new researchers so they don't have to reinvent the wheel :)

  6. Yep, math is hard. I see these types of examples all the time, and I seldom feel compelled to make corrections because someone else will just come along and change it back.

  7. Minimally, one thing they should add to FS Family Tree are background logic checks which result in preventing the addition of death before birth and too-young child situations. They should be done whenever someone attempts to save a profile or connect or merge two people and then not allow it. That would at least keep this problem from getting worse.