03:26 PM

Mistakes and Inaccuracy: How Accurate is the FamilySearch Family Tree?


The FamilySearch.org Family Tree is a recent innovation in the longstanding process of bringing family history out of the mists of myth and legend into a semblance of believability. Only recently... has there been a concerted movement towards documenting family history and traditions in any meaningful way.

My own inherited genealogical information is a prime example of a total disregard for accuracy in many respects with whole books published with only a modicum of acknowledgment of contemporary historical sources. Some of our most treasured family traditions have proved to have only a very tenuous connection to the actual historical records that are available and almost every one of my ancestral lines ultimately moves from believability to fantasy. 

It is overly simplistic to blame this lack of accuracy on the "availability of records."

Some of the information in my own family line appears to be intentionally inaccurate. This occurs when the "researcher" decided to choose a prominent or wealthy family line over one that was more obscure and decidedly impoverished. This phenomenon is also prominent among those claiming royal or noble European ancestors.

Is there really any hope that the information in the Family Tree can become accurate? The answer to this question is a qualified yes.