Frustration with online family trees

I am obsessed with genealogy...I love exploring my family's history.  And, not being perfect, I make mistakes, and usually I can tell you what documentation led to the mistake.  But I just ran across an online family tree of someone who has my immediate family in it...and EVERYTHING is wrong.  I mean, there is just no place to start telling this person the error of their ways!  I wrote a polite note on my father's record, but then I saw the futility of trying to correct the 2990+ records this person has accumulated in the past 2 months.  And, the tree is public.  sigh

How do you all deal with problems like this?  I guess that is one reason I keep my tree private - I don't want people 'yelling' at me when I make a mistake!  :-)  How many more people will copy all this bad info?  Do you check for your family's info in public trees?


  1. I have used others trees for information, but nothing goes into my genealogy software until I have verified the information with reliable sources. It's too bad there are multiple errors with the above family tree.

  2. I use online family trees for guidance when I hit a brick wall but I try to find sources in census records, cemetery records and newspaper articles to make sure it is correct. And there are quite a few times where I have had to back an entire generation out...which is why I try and be more careful. But then again, I've been doing this for over 20 years, I SHOULD be careful! :-)

  3. Many times I see that someone has copied part of a tree from Ancestry and pasted it on to theirs, thus rendering many generations out of whack. Some of the results are hilarious.

    I love your blog. It has inspired me to do one myself.

    Pat Cannon Willis

  4. If it is a public tree, I would make a comment on it, so at least others can view the comment if they are researching that ancestor.

  5. Mindy - That is what is frustrating. I made a comment on my dad and my grandpa's record and the guy wrote back "we're not related". That's all he said. I suggested he might be confusing like-named people and gave him the research why he is incorrect. Oh well! I tried. Hopefully other researchers will be more careful if they come across his.


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