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Revolving Door Ancestors on the FamilySearch Family Tree


What is a revolving door ancestor? If you have one, you know exactly what I going to write about. If you don't have one, just be thankful. As we all should now know, the FamilySearch.org Family Tree is a unified, collaborative program. This means that every person who is registered to use the Family Tree can make changes, edit or add information to any of the entries (i.e. people in the Family Tree). Because the Family Tree is unified, if I wished to do so, I can see any and every dead person in the Family Tree. However, because my view of the Family Tree is somewhat limited by the visual interface, most people focus on their own direct line ancestors and their descendants. As you go back in time, the number of your ancestors theoretically increases exponentially. I write theoretically because there is a principle called "pedigree collapse" that accounts for the times when your relatives married their own cousins and the number of ancestors varies because of these related spouses share some of the same ancestors. Every generation back in your family lines also generates a proportionately larger number of potential descendants.

Here are 5 basic strategies to consider: