Family Search Site

Useful places to look up facts

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Family Search Site

Post by hbaird2 » Tue May 19, 2020 1:11 pm

Hi folks,

I'm looking for a bit of advice from those of you who have more experience than I have with genealogy. Although I have been researching for the best part of 20 years now, I have been looking at the trees attached to persons on the Family Search site only recently. My question is - how accurate are these trees? For the last few days I have been comparing these trees to the OPR's in SP and I am finding more anomalies than I would like so I wondered if the information is provided by professionals with a bit of educated guessing or by amateurs who think they have found the correct match. :?:


Bob C
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Location: North Carolina USA

Re: Family Search Site

Post by Bob C » Tue May 19, 2020 3:45 pm

Both with more of the amateurs. I use it for mainly hints and do my own research to confirm what I am seeing.
Searching for Baillie in
Kettle, Collessie, Auchtermuchty and Markinch Fife
South Leith Midlothian
Larbert and Stirling

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Re: Family Search Site

Post by AndrewP » Tue May 19, 2020 7:36 pm

I would say to treat is as a guide.

If you see parts of the tree that are definite facts that you have already seen the primary data (the original certificates, census pages and the like), then that is fine. The people connected to these that you have not already seen the primary data, take their names and dates from the tree and seek the primary data. If you find it, and the person now links to your tree (your primary data), then great. If you find the match is definitely wrong, then don't follow that lead. If you don't find the primary data, but don't find anything to say that it is not one of your people, then take note of that person, and keep them as a 'maybe'. Hopefully at some later date you may find them and either prove them to be one of yours, or prove them not to be one of yours. Those are my thoughts.

All the best,


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Re: Family Search Site

Post by hbaird2 » Tue May 19, 2020 8:34 pm

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for this - I thought as much, just needed confirmation. I'm now back to the late 1600's and it is getting more difficult to verify the entries. Can't wait for NRH to open its doors again!


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Re: Family Search Site

Post by WilmaM » Wed May 20, 2020 11:48 am

My Motto is:
Keep an open mind - and check the facts yourself.

I've recently looked at Ancestry trees [ free from my library to use at home during Lock-down] and actually laughed :D
The glaring errors in just the one chap I picked at random:
They've mashed 2 separate families together [both have the same name, from similar area, but half a generation out]
Then given the poor chap 2 wives [at the same time ] by merging next door neighbours on a census.
And all the records are easily found and verified on Scotlands People
Glad I don't have to sort that one out!

For most of us hitting the late 1700's is a milestone, any further back is an achievement.

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Re: Family Search Site

Post by carolineasb » Wed May 27, 2020 10:00 am

WilmaM, I totally agree!

I look at these trees and for the most part, the worst ones have only "Ancestry Trees" as their sources :( Others have sources but because they see people with the same name and the same area they assume, and you know what assuming does...……..

I have several trees on Ancestry that are branches of my family that are a relatively rare surname so I think that way back possibly only c400-500 years ago we stemmed from one original family but obviously once we get back from 1855 it becomes harder and harder to prove relationships. Thankfully, I have one, what I might term, "gateway" ancestor as he is relatively famous in one of the two most common areas in Scotland for this family and he has had books written about him. On one of these "branch" trees, I have contacted two members who have the parents of the last person with this surname on the tree, but he died in 1845 so no parents' names on his death OPR and no info in his Glasgow Herald obituary. One of these members has thousands and thousands of seemingly well researched people on her tree, yet she has not replied, and the other said he had just copied others and if I thought he was wrong could I tell him what was right :( . In another case, in my own particular branch, people have one James marrying two different women at the same time and having the first wife's children with the second wife. They even mess up the "second wife's" name which is either Ross or Rose (depending on the document) but they have her on many trees as Rolf or Rolfe because of the symbol for double "s" :( they don't even seem to spot that these two men have totally different occupations :( I have now resorted to putting information on my tree in capital letters stating that these people are different families so that members when they look at it will perhaps reconsider what they are typing and entering!

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Re: Family Search Site

Post by jgmills » Wed May 27, 2020 11:04 pm

Recently I came across one tree, that had a guy married twice at the same time, what made it more laughable, one wife in Scotland, one in USA, the guy must have spent all his time travelling back and forward across the Atlantic having children every other year.

Of Course he could have been a sailor!!!! :lol:

Sadly the likes of Ancestry, Find My Past and Family search don't care they just want more records


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