Use of Family Search for one's family tree #general


I am looking for a family tree program that will replace my Family Tree Maker and run on the android platform (I will no longer have a computer that runs on Windows or IOS).  I have been a member of Family Search for years, but have never posted my tree there because of the issue with the Mormons baptizing one's dead ancestors.  I believe that this was resolved a few years ago, but am not sure that the resolution was successful and will be lasting.  I am also a member of Ancestry and of My Heritage, but have hesitated to use them for the complete family tree for privacy reasons.  I tried Familygtg, but the version is too old to be fully compatible with my version of android.  I would like some guidance.  I am not necessarily looking for a free program.

Geri Mund


Family search is a collaborative tree meaning anyone can see anything except living people.  AND it also means that anyone can add, change, attach and delete any document person or relationship.  You basically won't have any control of your research.  Myheritage will allow you to keep your own research.  My preference is Ancestry though I have used all the platforms.   I don't recommend researching on a phone.  

Katherine Block
Canton, GA

Sally Bruckheimer <sallybruc@...>

Anybody can change anything on the profiles that FamilySearch has on their web site. Some people enter things in Spanish or another language, and I have to keep my fingers off the keyboard, as I want them in English, but they have as much right as I do to have things in whatever language. People also get things mixed up, and if I know that somebody is wrong about a person's birth or whatever, I will fix it. But births for immigrants can be different on different documents, so I would only fix an approximate date with a Social Security of JRI-PP (even better) birth date if I have it. FamilySearch does not take 'circa' or 'about' dates.

Everybody doing research needs to have records at home, on their own devices, where they can keep things safe (and backed up). A genealogy program can keep a lot of information that the web apps don't keep, and also the research notes along with them. I make 'Events' for documents I find, so I know what a document says and where I found it; I could identify a document's source in a Source, but the events are very handy and versatile. 

Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ

"Family search is a collaborative tree meaning anyone can see anything except living people.  AND it also means that anyone can add, change, attach and delete any document person or relationship"


I recently downloaded My Family Tree, which seems to be fairly decent, but it is only for Windows, if I understand correctly.  Personally, I would not want to work on an Android system for complex data like this.  I like that this program stays on my computer, not in public. 
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC

Gerald and Margaret

I have found "Family Historian" very intuitive to use. They have recently launched a major update, now V. 7.
I speak as a computer "dinosaur," as I often become v frustrated when using a . computer based program.   You can even speak to a person if you can't find the answer elsewhere.  

Margaret Levin 
London UK

Carola Murray-Seegert

Geri, you were right to be concerned. The issue of Mormons baptizing one's dead ancestors has not been completely resolved! A few years ago, I was contacted by an Ancestry member who asked for permission to see my tree after he told me he was related to the wife of a great-uncle. I naively gave him access, but later discovered that - although he was Jewish - he had joined the LDS church and was retroactively baptizing people from my tree!!!  He explained it this way :
"We do baptisms and other ordinances in (sic) behalf of our ancestors, including ordinances that unite families for eternity, in temples we build throughout the world. This does not make our ancestors members of the LDS church; they have the opportunity to accept or reject those ordinances in the next life."

When I strongly expressed my objection and demanded he desist, he explained the LDS procedure this way: 

"Carola, I am very sensitive to the issue that these LDS beliefs are sometimes met with apprehension; however, they are also a fundamental part of LDS doctrine. The church has actually established strict guidelines as to what names can or should be submitted for temple ordinances. They include that ancestors must be dead at least one year, and born at least 110 years ago unless permission is given by the closest living relative. It also includes the requirements, particularly with Jewish ancestry (because they have been the most vocal against these particular LDS beliefs), that we only do temple ordinances only for our own ancestors or relatives. "

The catch-phrase is 'permission given by the closest living relative.' In my case, this individual had sought out the 90-year-old granddaughter of the woman he was distantly related to, and had flattered her into thinking that Mormon baptism would be a great idea for her ancestors.  I am still furious about this. Bottom line, although Family Search provides us with useful records, I would not trust them with my genealogical information. 
Ever since this invasion, I keep my Ancestry tree setting as 'Private'; whenever someone requests access, I first ask whether they are members of the LDS church and if they are hoping to baptize any ancestors.
Carola Murray-Seegert
Oberursel, Germany
Researching: FELDBIN, RABINOWITZ, KATZ - Byerazino & Pahost, Belarus; LIFSHITZ, SHEFTEL - Shklov, Belarus