In yesterday’s blog post, Let’s make FamilySearch’s Family Tree better for everyone, I briefly touched on the cons of a collaborative tree but I didn’t talk about the pros. Why would you want to be part of this project?
I will start out by saying that I do not have my entire file sync’d to the Family Tree. If I did, I would spend all of my time doing maintenance because Legacy immediately alerts me to any changes that have been made on anyone I have sync’d. With a little over 10,000 people in my file the probability is very high that a number of my people will be changed every day. So who do I have sync’d? I have my entire One-Name Study (ONS) sync’d. My surname for my ONS is very rare (Glaentzer and variations) so it is less likely there will be activity on these people. The other group of people I have sync’d are my brick walls.
Both arrows set to green means we are in sync. This does not mean that the information I have in Legacy is identical to what is on FamilySearch. I could choose to upload/download to make both sides have the identical information but I don’t have to.
If anyone changes any data on the FamilySearch. side I will be notified immediately because the bottom arrow will turn red (if the top arrow is red that means I have made changes in Legacy without resyncing).
If I see that arrow change to red, the first thing I am going to do is connect to FamilySearch to see what was changed and by whom. Legacy allows me to filter my names by what color arrows they have. The other two programs that can directly sync to the Family Tree have similar systems built in to alert you of changes.
This helps me in two ways. If someone uploads something I don’t have I can analyze it. Does it have a source? If so, I can investigate it further to find the source and evaluate it myself. I can also contact the submitter so that we can talk about this person. If this is a descendant from a different branch they may know something that I don’t and they might have photographs and documents (like Bible records) that I had no idea existed.
FamilySearch’s Family Tree is a research tool. Like any other tool you must use it judiciously. As long as you know what you are doing and you use the Family Tree the right way, the data on your computer will not be changed and you might just learn some things about your ancestors that you did not know.
Copyright © 2016 Michèle Simmons Lewis