Sunday, September 11, 2016

Another sad case of more poor Ancestry family trees!

This weekend I have been slowly and carefully filling in the various Van Horn lines of descendent from my DNA proven immigrant ancestor Christian Barentsen Van Horn and his son Barent Christiansen Van Horn in an Ancestry tree I am building from my personal genealogy database. I have been doing this to grab any new original records or information I may have missed the first time around when researching these lines thanks to Ancestry's shaky leaf hints. This is part of a project I am working on in conjunction with my AncestryDNA and FTDNA Y-DNA testing to close the generational hole between where I am now in my VH lineage and the two known ancestors named above.

That is when I opened up a set of matching Ancestry trees for a cousin Johannes Van Horn and was greeted on the very first one with the . . . well I will let you the reader see if you can pick out the problem. I have blocked out the name of the tree owner so as to not publicly embarrass him/her.

To compound the issue there were 22 trees that had this family group above in it with 14 of those trees that contained the child with the problem. Of those 14 trees - four or 28.5% of them had duplicated the problem from the tree above. In other words they just clicked on the tree, checked the blocks next to each child's name and never gave it another look. If only genealogy was that easy to do. To add insult to this issue the problem starts with the first tree in the list. Since that is the case the problem will probably continue to multiply over time.

I have preached and preached, over and over again to as many that will listen about being careful with what you post at Ancestry in your online trees. In fact, I just spoke on this very topic last Tuesday night in my Searching For Your Ancestors class at the college. But I guess I really should not be surprised at the level of inexperience and incompetence by some users of the online tree service at (it isn't unique to just their trees either). All in all this sort of thing continues to amaze and dismay me as a genealogy instructor.

The sad part about problems like this is in the past I have 'gently' and 'politely' pointed out to tree owners issues like this in their Ancestry trees and usually nothing happens. I guess maybe they do not care or want to get it right.

Truly a sad situation. So enough said - for now!