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  #1  
Old 18th February 2018, 01:35 PM
PennyToo PennyToo is offline
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Should I tell them their tree is so wrong?

A match (who I had hoped would help break down a brick wall) gave me access to their tree on Ancestry. I've lost all hope that it will provide any accurate information based on the massive inaccuracies in their tree. My question is: should I say something, and if so, how do I say it nicely? For example: they have birth and death dates on one couple that are earlier than the parents! The man and wife are born in the 1600s and her parents are born in the 1700s! They have another person as female (with a husband!) and all documented sources state he was a male, married to a woman. It just goes on and on. I hate seeing this kind of junk. How to say something that doesn't sound rude and hopefully helps them to see that accuracy and documentation is important?
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  #2  
Old 18th February 2018, 01:49 PM
sspeters41 sspeters41 is online now
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Inacurate trees

I don't think there is anything wrong in letting someone know that they have errors in their tree. Any good researcher would want errors pointed out to them. The worst thing you can do is perpetuate errors. Most researcher if they really care will take notice. Do not be surprised if many do not though. Some people just copy trees and do not verify the information. I have been researching my family history since 1971 and I have made errors in my research and I always correct any errors that are pointed out the me. When you do offer a correction to a tree, always give supporting evidence. Try not to be over critical, some people do not like to have errors pointed out to them. If you really feel strongly about an error in a tree, then as I said in the beginning - point it out.
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  #3  
Old 18th February 2018, 05:15 PM
Carpathian Carpathian is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PennyToo View Post
A match (who I had hoped would help break down a brick wall) gave me access to their tree on Ancestry. I've lost all hope that it will provide any accurate information based on the massive inaccuracies in their tree. My question is: should I say something, and if so, how do I say it nicely? For example: they have birth and death dates on one couple that are earlier than the parents! The man and wife are born in the 1600s and her parents are born in the 1700s! They have another person as female (with a husband!) and all documented sources state he was a male, married to a woman. It just goes on and on. I hate seeing this kind of junk. How to say something that doesn't sound rude and hopefully helps them to see that accuracy and documentation is important?
You asked for advice, so I'll state it in an old saw:
"Never try to teach a pig to sing. You will only end up irritating the pig."

OK, I know humans are not pigs, but some people act like they are pigs. It gives actual pigs a bad name.

You can't teach anyone who has a closed mind, refusing to consider any other viewpoint. That is the definition of a bigot. OTOH, if someone IS right, and he knows he is right (and can prove it), he/she is also a bigot. So we are are all bigots. But some are factually correct, and some are not.

The point is that not everyone has the same agenda. Some people want to exploit others for information, some want to engage in self-aggrandizement, etc. etc.

Every time I see that which you describe, I need to remind myself that no good will come of trying to reform anyone who is resistant to education or improvement. IMO, don't even try it. Remember:

"Never try to teach a pig to sing. You will only end up irritating the pig."
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  #4  
Old 18th February 2018, 05:28 PM
clintonslayton76 clintonslayton76 is offline
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Another saying

To second Carpathian with another saying: bad money drives out good.

Fundamental errors appear on hundreds of trees for my surname because of non-research published years ago by a former collaborator of mine, who said did not have the patience to wait the 3-5 years I suggested would be necessary to do paper-trail (still a good term, even if much of it is now digital) and DNA, which was just on the horizon when I made this estimation.

As a result, two made-up marriages at a very fundamental level, and a single-source male origin were published by impatient name-collector in 1997 in the Family History Library so that the combination of slogging old-school research by me and my remaining network and a DNA Project proving the virtual impossibility of what was published, could only be posted after the damage was done, and hundreds of trees still reflect the damage.

The last attempt I made to correct something showing my own ancestor's fantasy marriage in an Ancestry Tree got this response: records get lost all the time, so I tend to post what I see that looks helpful and then research it later.

Does that sound like genealogy to you? It sounds more like fourth-grade, although I may be doing a disservice to fourth-graders: It is impossible to prove a negative, so let's just make things up! Can you prove me wrong? Nyaa nyaa!

My sense of disgust overpowers my common-sense occasionally: most of us will never live long enough to come behind and suggest other possiblities to the public, and the real shame is that some are sincere researchers who appreciate a new path, and some are just the easily satisfied new style "genealogists" found on another DNA service site in droves.

I have been working for four years on the counter-argument in published form and was at it today when I checked the forum.

Last edited by clintonslayton76; 18th February 2018 at 05:53 PM. Reason: spell check
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  #5  
Old 18th February 2018, 07:58 PM
ltd-jean-pull ltd-jean-pull is offline
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I think you should try to point out the error/s. At the very least you should start with ones that are more recent.

Sometimes I've had a good response (and even received some useful information back in return) but usually there is no response at all. One time I sent documents that which I have spent a considerable amount of time looking for and then paid for, and had no response, and wouldn't ya know it....they had time to upload them to Ancestry but were too busy to say thanks. I sent the least interesting record first to see what sort of response I would receive, but due to their lack of manners I won't send any more.

There's one appallingly bad tree at Ancestry that drives me bonkers. It belongs to an incompetent person who doesn't have her gt-grandparents' marriage certificate. She's convinced that my gtgtgt-grandfather is the father of her gt-grandfather.

It is not possible that my gtgtgt-grandfather was the father of her gt-grandfather. He was nowhere near where her gt-grandfather and his reputed siblings were conceived and raised. I know where mine was at the time because he was serving with his regiment, and fathering children with my gtgtgt-grandmother.

My ancestor died in 1860 and yet on her tree he fathered children for another 15 years with her gtgt-grandmother, which is a remarkable posthumous feat.

She's added my gtgt-grandmother and her siblings and made a complete mess of them as well.
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  #6  
Old 18th February 2018, 09:50 PM
The_Contemplator The_Contemplator is offline
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Always point out errors if you have the time to do so. If they ignore you or disagree, at least you tried. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. The important part is that you tried it out.

Recently a new hint showed up in my tree. Turned out someone, who has my grandfather in their tree, added a new source record with birth and death details. They were completely wrong. They simply found a source for someone with the same first and last name (which are common) and assumed it was him. If this person bothered to read further into the obituary details they would have spotted that the relatives mentioned of this individual did not match the ones she had already copied from whomever copied it from my tree.

I've seen mistakes before, but this one really bothered me. Bothered me more than I thought it would. Maybe because it was of a more recent relative and not some ancestor I never knew. Or perhaps because she based it solely on a common name and didn't bother to compare what person she copied it from had before deciding to just add it. I emailed this person. No reply, but I did see she removed those birth and death places/dates. Did not removed the erroneous burial place/date nor the source she had added. So she listened but obviously didn't do it completely right. Better than no change. I could email her again but would rather not have to bother with that more than once.

As for how to do it without being rude. Simply state that they are dumb! Okay, I'm kidding. Just be plain about it and maybe offer a source if you feel like bothering with it. However if the error you saw is something like the dates prove their tree wrong, then no source is needed. Just tell them that they may have other errors since they have that kind of error. If they get offended, at least you tried to correct them.
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  #7  
Old 19th February 2018, 08:00 AM
Jim Barrett Jim Barrett is offline
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The last time I suggested a change to a tree, and provided links to the correct information, I got the following reply. "Here is a suggestion, why don't you keep your nose out of my tree." He then locked his tree and blocked messages.

Some people just don't care if their information is correct or not. Some just want BIG trees.
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  #8  
Old 19th February 2018, 09:40 AM
Carpathian Carpathian is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Barrett View Post
The last time I suggested a change to a tree, and provided links to the correct information, I got the following reply. "Here is a suggestion, why don't you keep your nose out of my tree." He then locked his tree and blocked messages.
"No good deed goes unpunished."

Quote:
Some people just don't care if their information is correct or not. Some just want BIG trees.
As I and others mentioned previously, some people have a different agenda. Some are on a big ego trip that results in displays of arrogance and defensiveness. The GG sites are as much a blessing as a curse due to the large numbers of inexperienced subscribers they attract. Also most of the amateurs who think of themselves as genealogists are often lacking in research skills, intellectual integrity or ethics - and some are lacking in all those things.
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  #9  
Old 19th February 2018, 10:03 AM
georgian1950 georgian1950 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpathian View Post
As I and others mentioned previously, some people have a different agenda. Some are on a big ego trip that results in displays of arrogance and defensiveness. The GG sites are as much a blessing as a curse due to the large numbers of inexperienced subscribers they attract. Also most of the amateurs who think of themselves as genealogists are often lacking in research skills, intellectual integrity or ethics - and some are lacking in all those things.
Genetic genealogy is a strange field. Unfortunately a lot of what you say about amateurs also applies to the experts and professionals. I find that everyone pretty much believes what they want to believe when it comes to genealogy, and the methodology is loose enough that certain experts act like high priests in judging whether a particular segment is valid or not.

A few years back, my stepdaughter came up with a match to the father of a professional genetic genealogist who has a groupee following. It was enough to indicate a different turn in the GG's family tree. I had been corresponding with that person on another matter, so I mentioned the match. I received a rather haughty reply he/she knows his/her family tree.

I've looked at the situation further because the relationship has implications for a group that I am interested in. All I can say is that person has a far more complex ancestry for that line than that person can even imagine.

Jack Wyatt
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  #10  
Old 19th February 2018, 10:19 PM
Carpathian Carpathian is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgian1950 View Post
Genetic genealogy is a strange field. Unfortunately a lot of what you say about amateurs also applies to the experts and professionals. I find that everyone pretty much believes what they want to believe when it comes to genealogy, and the methodology is loose enough that certain experts act like high priests in judging whether a particular segment is valid or not.

A few years back, my stepdaughter came up with a match to the father of a professional genetic genealogist who has a groupee following. It was enough to indicate a different turn in the GG's family tree. I had been corresponding with that person on another matter, so I mentioned the match. I received a rather haughty reply he/she knows his/her family tree.

Jack Wyatt
Strange indeed. I'm published as a traditional genealogist, and I've been at this pastime for about four decades, long before GG existed, but I try to be humble in that I don't call myself a professional. The word "professional" refers to an avocation as being one's primary source of income.

As for someone being a "genetic genealogist who has a groupee following" - that speaks for itself.
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