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FamilySearch - What is a collaborative tree?

Author: Michele Lewis Reference Number: AA-01036 Views: 6071 Created: 2016-03-15 08:31 AM Last Updated: 2016-03-15 08:57 AM 0 Rating/ Voters

Family Search's Family Tree is a single collaborative tree. What does that mean?

HERE is Silas Simmons. In all of history there was only one Silas Simmons that was born about 1794 in South Carolina who married a woman named Janet, who fought in the War of 1812 and whose parents were James Simmons and Ellenor Lee. When you go to Family Tree you will find this Silas Simmons one time. He has a unique FamilySearch Identification Number (FSID) which is KDM1-8B5. Every genealogist who has information about THIS Silas Simmons will add it here.

In contrast, the Member Trees on are collections of uploaded gedcoms. If you run a search in for this Silas Simmons you will see him 189 times (at last count). To see what information everyone has on Silas you will have to access all 189 trees and compare/contrast what you see. In Family Tree you only have to look at one person. Are their duplicates? Of course there are but there are thousands of experienced genealogists trying to get them cleaned up. It it when inexperienced and untrained genealogists make changes on the Family Tree that problems occur. People add someone when that person is already there causing a duplicate. People will merge two persons thinking they are the same person when they are not. People will delete someone instead of merging them. The key is learning how the Family Tree works by getting the proper training before using it.

HERE is the training you need.