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BIG Trees - really BIG!

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  • #16
    Originally posted by PDHOTLEN View Post
    I really don't care if you moralizers approve of my big tree or not. What's the matter, you don't like my Charlemagne or emperor of Byzantium? ha ha!
    Even before I got into genetic genealogy, I had developed my "theory of the bad seed". I think the odds are that some bad seed got into those lines somewhere along the way.

    Jack
    Last edited by georgian1950; 9th March 2018, 10:13 PM. Reason: syntax

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    • #17
      I have about 4100 people in my tree, all but about 70 of them direct ancestors. The rest are close relatives or infamous cousins (e.g. Jesse James) whom I am always on the lookout for ... they are more interesting than the "merely famous".

      Once you manage to get past reliable "gateway ancestors" to Europe the rest is mostly easy ... the work is already done by people much more competent and knowledgeable than you, e.g. Douglas Richardson. I've discovered a very few medieval lines that are as reliable ... but it is very very hard going through the true primary documents! The good news is that they are mostly in Latin and not Scots Gaelic, the bad news is that the microfilms are very very bad before 1600, and transcriptions unreliable (as people in this thread have mentioned before.) For example, for years I thought a critical ancestor was a "coctorem corobesiae". Coctorem is medieval Latin for "cook", but corobesiae is the genitive singular of a non-word. One day I looked at it and realized that the handwriting said "cerevesiae". A "coctorem cerevesiae" must surely have been a brewer. That sort of thing is all too common.
      Last edited by dtvmcdonald; 10th March 2018, 09:40 AM.

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      • #18
        My solution for the problem of medieval Latin and it's amazingly inaccurate transcriptions: I found a very distant cousin who lives near Paris, she enjoys traveling to the archives in the parts of Switzerland and France where our shared ancestors lived, armed with her little digital camera. (Imagine that! -- in France, you can take the TGV to the archives!) She sends me hundreds of images of documents. With experience and dedicated colleagues, it's possible to work from the primary sources, and to untangle the crazy abbreviations and script of the medieval Latin.

        It doesn't take long to understand how the bad transcriptions came about! It takes somewhat longer to arrive at a correct reading, but the experience is fascinating and very rewarding.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by John McCoy View Post
          I don't buy the idea that you shouldn't publish a tree that contains links that aren't proven on the theory that it might sully your reputation. Rather, I think it's useful to publish what you think the genealogy is, and state your reasoning. You may have found the evidence that somebody else needs! Your research, although inconclusive, may include exactly the clue that will help someone else to uncover the proof! In other words, it may be useful to publish a hypothesis suggested by something you have found that you think others have overlooked. However, in order to do this, it is essential to include RESEARCH NOTES, and to publish in a place or in a form that supports the inclusion of extensive notes for each individual in the tree. I don't think FTDNA includes "notes" of any kind when they import and publish a GEDCOM file, unfortunately.
          exactly
          it's always helpful
          plus when you see people with no trees you figure maybe they know nothing and with so many potential matches to deal with you end up ignoring all of those matches

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          • #20
            In some places it helps to go nuts adding thousands into your tree since due to partially incomplete records, no surnames until 1826 or 1835 and other factors, often you have to map out tons and tons in all directions to find ways to figure out some part of some key line and it also gives the only remotest remote hope to manage to connect up your tree to a DNA match (something extremely hard to do for people from certain areas). I wouldn't just laugh off large trees.

            Also you need to know a lot about what went on in different areas. Some surely look at my tree and see like 5 different surname lines all tracing to one guy and think man what a junk tree, but in this country that is not so rare and can be totally legit. Ethnic peasants were not given surnames until 19th century! and if neither the father nor grandfather were around at the time of naming each brother could potentially be assigned or chose a different surname! In one case we even have it that my mom's maiden name actually comes from someone's mother's brother's surname so her strictly paternal line kinda stole it's surname from a totally different strictly paternal line, but things like that happened in some countries.

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            • #21
              And it seems a bit odd for someone to mock people who make giant trees and question the trees when they are free and open and share them when they themselves are hide everything away.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by wombat View Post
                And it seems a bit odd for someone to mock people who make giant trees and question the trees when they are free and open and share them when they themselves are hide everything away.
                Mockery? No. Questioning? YES. Questioning is the foundation of academic inquiry. Good scholarship and protection of one's reputation requires integrity and responsibility that what you publish is proven. The act of questioning seems to bother you.

                Whether one chooses to publish their trees in a public site or not is a personal decision. Don't mock those who prefer not to "share" their research with the world at large. I now see more 'locked' trees on Ancestry than ever. That is probably being done increasingly to prevent others from taking trees and publishing them as their own.

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                • #23
                  My 2 cents

                  I believe much more rigor is needed with publishing trees with the current fad of dna testing.

                  A FTDNA a match contacted me and we were able to establish that we're 4th cousins. Our trees and CM shared back each other up. He invited me to see his tree. It has over 1600+ people in it and he has names coded based on the level of documentation established. Regarding me, I was a ? mark on his tree that he now knows is correct. So far, so good.

                  On the other hand, on Family Search my mother's and father's families pop up and are littered with errors made by various persons. Some erroneous relationships (even concerning relatives that I have met) are noted as having been ADDED by Family Search and I look at it and think WTF?

                  Another really BIG TREE tree on Ancestry has my GGF married to two women, having kids, at the same time in different states; BIG TREE's "documents" don't establish that my GFF was the groom (completely different name) that married woman #2. Other documents cited only establish that it was a man with almost the same name, with a different birthdate and occupation than my GGF. Did they not think it was strange that a man was somehow bouncing back and forth between states fathering children and holding down completely different jobs? I have not been able to contact and discuss with the tree owner.

                  Finally, my lines get to Eastern Europe in a hurry. There are persons from there that I'm almost 100% confident have my ancestors in their trees. But I won't add them to my tree. What I've gained is clues of records to obtain for my own research. I did add some of their surnames to my surname list solely to facilitate discussion with any dna matches. So far, no bites from that list.

                  Bottom line: I don't think it's good to tempt lazy/or intellectually weak persons with trees that have nothing to back them up.
                  Last edited by SuzeSoCal; 4th April 2018, 05:40 PM.

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                  • #24
                    A good tree creating program should warn the tree's author, as well as viewers, of inconsistencies: dates that don't make sense, geographical issues, DNA problems (eg, two brothers who belong to different y-DNA haplogroups). Such links should be red-flagged, with an open blog for comments from the author & users. Ancestry fails this miserably.

                    A good tree should have a place where documentation supporting a link can be attached, with a blog for comments from the author & users. Ancestry gets a far better mark here.

                    At Family Tree DNA, I would like to see the development of such enhanced trees outside of kits, but perhaps maintained within a project's portal. Kits could be attached to relatives on the tree (preferably, the name on the tree wouldn't modify the name on the kit), and a logic, similar to that used in Genome Mate Pro could estimate precisely the side of family for shared matches.

                    Timothy Peterman

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Carpathian View Post
                      This was mentioned recently in another thread.

                      When someone literally has many thousands of surnames in their profile or their "tree" what can we discern about their research?

                      Are they really genealogists, or what might they be called?

                      (I don't know which extreme is worse - those who cite thousands of surnames, or those who reveal absolutely nothing about their ancestry.)
                      Maybe an Arborist??? j/s

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by TPace713 View Post
                        Maybe an Arborist??? j/s
                        Your quip made me laugh.

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                        • #27
                          I've got about 4000 people in my main tree. About 190 are my recent ancestors. I've documented about 140 of those using primary documents or published, highly reputable books with lots of primary references (for example, Adventurers of Purse and Person.) The other 40 are copied from trees of researchers whom I impeccably trust to use primary sources. No one has every disproven any of these. About 10 people are "one additional generation back" folks whose name is 100% certain but nothing else.

                          The rest are connections back to medieval royalty. All connections back to the first royal person are documented, each and every generation, either by myself or published by the very reputable genealogist Paul Reed. The ones I did are now documented with protected profiles on Wikitree.

                          Beyond that I have put into my tree accepted lines that are well documented (e.g. Richardson's books or long threads that resulted in complete agreement on soc.genealogy.medieval). In a few cases there were disagreements that I was forced to settle through primary documents myself. I was very conservative about where I cut off lines. I think you can trust me. Therefore I have put this tree on Ancestry.

                          But there's a problem ... you can't find it by searching!
                          I have to give you a pointer. They can't tell me why. They do say that if you searched for medieval results it would be well down in the listings ... now get this ... because its too small (because its too conservative). You get listed at the top by installing vast numbers of bogus people in your tree!

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by dtvmcdonald View Post
                            I've got about 4000 people in my main tree. About 190 are my recent ancestors. I've documented about 140 of those using primary documents or published, highly reputable books with lots of primary references (for example, Adventurers of Purse and Person.) The other 40 are copied from trees of researchers whom I impeccably trust to use primary sources. No one has ever disproved any of these. About 10 people are "one additional generation back" folks whose name is 100% certain but nothing else. [----]
                            As of today, the database report shows 4300 people in my tree. Exactly 252 of them are my ancestors, 8 of them were born in the 17th century. Essentially every line ends with a family where the last name was either not recorded (often it is clear from the context that it was deemed to be unimportant) or considerable spelling variations exist, and of course there is no trace of the maiden name.

                            I have 40+ 5th cousins there. But I have ever met only 5 of them.

                            I have 200+ 4th cousins in my tree, and met only dozens of them.

                            I will not post on Internet any tree with information about living or presumably living people. Thus I am only posting surnames with associated geographical regions. The tree is reserved for those in the family who perform genealogical research, and is used for making the wall poster for reunions. (This is not an arbitrary decision, that is the outcome of various experiences over past 10+ years.)


                            Mr. W.


                            P.S.
                            You know that you have a large tree when the available wall length becomes a factor when choosing a hall for your family reunion.
                            Last edited by dna; 5th April 2018, 02:28 PM.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by dtvmcdonald View Post

                              But there's a problem ... you can't find it by searching!
                              I have to give you a pointer. They can't tell me why. They do say that if you searched for medieval results it would be well down in the listings ... now get this ... because its too small (because its too conservative). You get listed at the top by installing vast numbers of bogus people in your tree!
                              I think that in order to be found on a search at Ancestry it needs to have Ancestry records attached. Ancestry has some Scottish marriages and baptisms, but if you find your records that prove the link elsewhere (wills, sasines etc), I don't think these individuals are searchable.

                              I've found Gordon MacGregor's books and website http://redbookofscotland.co.uk helpful for some of our Scottish lines. I've also sent information to Gordon when I've found details about people in the tree that he didn't appear to have.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by dtvmcdonald View Post
                                But there's a problem ... you can't find it by searching!
                                I have to give you a pointer. They can't tell me why. They do say that if you searched for medieval results it would be well down in the listings ... now get this ... because its too small (because its too conservative). You get listed at the top by installing vast numbers of bogus people in your tree!
                                Mmm. Who is (or was) it that you felt a need to have to give a "pointer" to?

                                In your response, why is there the constant use of "..." ?

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