Wrong people on family trees on genealogy sites #general


jbonline1111@...
 

I don't have a public tree at any of the mentioned sites, though I have considered it.  The comments here have convinced me to keep my tree private other than on JewishGen.  Luckily for me, my cousin's husband works on our shared tree and even parts of the tree not shared from time to time and shares info with me.
--
Barbara Sloan
Conway, SC


Martyn Woolf
 

Alan Ehrlich is absolutely right about GENI. It is wrong to describe it as a genealogical site because its information is so often wrong. It is a very good site to discover “Mishpochah”.  If I want to know my second cousin’s ex-wife’s grand-ma, I would use GENI. For anything serious, I would not.

 

Martyn Woolf

 

 

 

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

 


E. Randol Schoenberg
 

With regard to fixing mistakes on Geni, if the profile managers do not respond, go to the Discussions page at https://www.geni.com/discussions and the first one listed should be "ATTENTION Curators, please assist.” Try asking for help there. You can also write directly to me or one of the other volunteer Jewish genealogy curators. See https://www.geni.com/projects/Jewish-Genealogy-Curators/13122

The goal of Geni is to have one, single tree for everyone, as accurate as possible. So everyone wants to get those mistakes fixed. If you cannot do it yourself, just ask for help.

Randy Schoenberg
Los Angeles, CA


Deb Katz
 

I share the frustrations expressed but here is my perspective.  My tree at GENI allows me to get notices about new possible connections and comments upon existing ones...I don't "use" it as my main reference tree and thus I am not horrified if someone alters it. (In a few instances, I just altered it back!)  The tree I rely on personally for myself is Ancestry (where I periodically download it to my hard-drive as a back-up) and that one can't be messed with by anyone else.  As for folks who erroneously copy from it and attach sections to their trees, I write them a short note at ancestry (click on their name when you come across their tree) explaining why the connection is impossible.  If they ignore me...it's really their loss---I don't worry about serious genealogists (people with significant trees) glossing over my tree because it differs with another. In the end, I get more benefit from trees on Geni and Ancestry etc. than the "privacy/security" of not having them is worth.

Finally, when viewing the trees of others and deciding about "absorbing" later generations they have that I don't, in addition to records etc.---including looking people up in the Jewish Encyclopedia or in Jewishgen databases etc.--- I use common sense.  If the names and flow seem logical but dates are off, I will adjust dates (ca)...if dates are ok but names/flow seem off, I just don't add them to my tree or I include (SPECULATIVE) as part of the surname....this is particularly true when a somewhat famous person (rabbi for instance) has a zillion children...obviously folks are just adding an ancestor as a child so they can be descended from that rabbi! Oy veh.  Usually an internet search on the rabbi's name and dates gives enough clues as to which children and locations are believable and which are not.  And what I'm usually interested in just the one or two children that clearly connect to my lines so there's no need to add the siblings until and unless they become relevant.
--
Deb
aka Debra Katz
Pacific Beach CA USA
dnadeb@...


E. Randol Schoenberg
 

There is so much misinformation about Geni from people who don’t really use it.  The critic Alan Ehrlich, for example, has added just 34 profiles on Geni.  Geni is as good as we all make it.  For those of us who build our trees there, it has been a tremendously valuable experience.  Collaboration is the key to making real advances in genealogy, and at the moment, Geni is the best tool we have.
 
My blog from 2016 describes many of the advantages of Geni.
 
And this blog from 2014 answers pretty much all of the unwarranted criticism. 
 
I’ll make one request.  If you don’t use Geni, that’s fine.  But just please stop talking about it and telling people not to use it. 
 
Randy Schoenberg
Los Angeles, CA


Naomi Finkelstein
 

I have had someone do the same thing. He has my great-great grandfather from the paternal Finkelstein side of my family in his tree as well as my great-grandparents, all of their children and the documentation I had attached to all. Clearly those two generations are all deceased. He stopped there although my father's generation is also all deceased, thankfully, he did not add them nor, the succeeding generations.

I have messaged him three times requesting proof of the relationships and he has not responded though I know he has read my message. I even sent emails to some people in his tree but they have not responded. 

Not as many as some but I have spent over 10 years working on my trees and I really resent someone doing this. This also  happened with someone else's tree and when I contacted him he said it was too bad I hadn't made my tree private. He also didn't have any paper trail. Needless to say, both of these people have over 10,000 people in their trees. Somehow, for people who take their trees seriously, this is not an appropriate method of building trees.
Naomi Finkelstein
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada


Sarah L Meyer
 

Jessica,
  First this is a common problem with Ancestry or MyHeritage, if you have a public tree.  Secondly, unless your family was ultra-wealthy or famous, any genealogical information that is out there is NOT the cause of identity theft.  Someone would have had to target your family and researched them to get this data to use for identity theft.  Identity theft is based on big breaches of information from hacking online records.  Those records contain Current Addresses, phone numbers, names, credit card numbers and social security numbers.  It is much easier to buy this information from the dark web at pennies per person than to spend hours chasing down the descendants and ancestors of your family or mine.
--
Sarah L Meyer
Georgetown TX
ANK(I)ER, BIGOS, KARMELEK, PERLSTADT, STOKFISZ, SZPIL(T)BAUM, Poland
BIRGARDOVSKY, EDELBERG, HITE (CHAIT), PERCHIK Russia (southern Ukraine) and some Latvia or Lithuania
https://www.sarahsgenies.com


Stephen Katz
 

Yes, this is a problem. Early in my genealogy journey, I posted my family tree on geni.com. That turned out to be a big mistake. It was latched onto (hijacked) by other people who added individuals to whom I am very clearly not related. The numbers of wrong additions to my tree has grown and grown. When I contacted to Geni I was informed that, since other people had latched onto my tree, I could not remove the wrong entries. There was also no way I could delete my tree. My only option would have been to cancel my Geni account, which, however, would not have removed my tree.

Stephen Katz 


Alan Ehrlich
 

Peter wrote: "Geni  has the big advantage over Ancestry or MyHeritage  for Jewish families, in being accessible  to anyone, and potentially being corrected and added to by any other user, and certainly by a Curator."

Sadly, it's absolutely not my experience (not at all) that errors or misinformation on Geni are 'accessible to anyone for corrections'. And, as for the curators, I'm happy to accept that Peter stands as the exception amongst them; however, years-long (yes, "years-long") reiterated messages to many Geni curators concerning the same errors when they replied at all were limited to apologies for not having gotten around yet to making the appropriate corrections, plus each time a new cry of 'personal circumstances' as to why not. In fact, never, ever have I seen a correction made (not one!) following a notification which I submitted to the curators.

This problem is compounded by the fact that - at least as concerns Geni's overlap with my own family research - 70% of what's to be found enshrined on Geni at best is outdated and at worst represents pure fantasy, which then proliferates endlessly across the internet.... Notably being gobbled up into trees on MyHeritage and Ancestry when those users don't carry out their own due diligence regarding sources (or the lack there of).

Kind regards,
Alan Ehrlich
Geneva, Switzerland


mandy.molava@...
 

I have one who has taken part of my tree and made their own version of events afterwards. I also of my relatives are my HALF relative on throughlines on Ancestry, because somebody has popped the wrong Father on their tree. I wrote to Ancestry, they said there is nothing they can do, but I 'should reach out to them and let them know' when it falls on deaf ears there is nothing you can do. I think personally I feel more frustrated, because others may skip OUR trees thinking ours our wrong and then important links or people may then be added to the wrong trees. 

Love Marcel's answer!
Mandy Molava 
Researching Brest Belarus Russia Galcia


mpipik
 

Thanks to everyone who replied to my question. 
It seems that ultimately there is little that can be done to make corrections if the tree creator doesn't want to.

Jessica Schein


mpipik
 

USA.  Ancestry basically says it won't show living people, but I didn't see anything about people who died recently let alone 30 years ago.

Jessica Schein 


Shlomo Katz
 

At one point, I received a "Smart Match" suggestion from Geni suggesting that my great-great-aunt, who was born in 1897, was married to someone who had died in 1571. The name was correct, but obviously the wrong person. Some people may be accepting those suggestions without understanding what they are.

Shlomo Katz
Silver Spring, MD


Peter Lowe
 

Geni  has the big advantage over Ancestry or MyHeritage  for Jewish families, in being accessible  to anyone, and potentially being corrected and added to by any other user, and certainly by a Curator (which I am). 

It also retains history of changes, which is invaluable for sorting out errors, and ensuring a high level of accuracy.  A great benefit is that corrections can be made without being the owner/creator of a particular profile, so that even if the original creator is no longer living, or a member of Geni, profiles can be corrected or added to. 

Marcel, if you can give me the link to the profile of "a woman died at the age of 20 and had a son 30 years later.", I can see if I can correct it.

Peter Lowe


Joyaa Antares
 

On Wed, Apr 21, 2021 at 04:31 PM, mpipik wrote:
that people who have been dead for under 30 years are still listed and that information could be used for identify theft of the descendants

Hi Jessica,
Please could you identify your country as it impacts on responses - well, mine at least! 
Thanks.
Joyaa ANTARES
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia


Dorann Cafaro
 

Jessica - One very easy thing to do is use the “comments” feature on ancestry.com. When in the tree with the incorrect person, go to the incorrect individual's profile click on “tools” top right then click on “view comments” and write your comment in the box. You can make it as long as you like or simply say "not the correct person" but it is helpful if you put the correct information in the comments.
Dorann Cafaro


Marcel Apsel
 

I can tell you even a better story.  During a search on geni I found a woman died at the age of 20 and had a son 30 years later.  I didn’t know that IVF treatment existed already in the 18th century.  You try to reach the owner or an administrator, but it will be easier to get somebody on a phone when you want to have to get hold of somebody of any official administration, bank or complaint office.

 

 

 

Marcel Apsel

Antwerpen, Belgium


Virus-free. www.avast.com


mpipik
 

I don't know if this discussion is allowed here, but I'll try anyway.

I have been checking for updates and new searches on Ancestry & MyHeritage.  I have found some trees that have members of my family on them.  But given the other information on the trees, they don't seem to actually be connected to my family or the information on the tree is most incorrect.  In one instance, I think my whole family was pulled into that tree although the "connecting" person was the wrong person (similar name).  

I have tried to contact the owners of the trees to get more information, but have not gotten responses to every query.  In one case I did get a response and the "owner" did not acknowledge that her information was incorrect nor provide any proof that it was correct.  Other people have asked for corrections and more information.

Do I understand that this information is impossible to have removed unless the owner of the tree does it?  I find it very upsetting that

a) incorrect information is out there and b) that people who have been dead for under 30 years are still listed and that information could be used for identify theft of the descendants. 

Jessica