Sunday, May 5, 2013

Access to Family Trees on Family Search

For everyone who has longed to be able to access the LDS family trees on Family Search in order to make additions or corrections - it is now possible.  If you haven't already discovered the changes at Family Search, you will be pleased to know that these seriously flawed trees, full of duplications and undocumented connections, can now be accessed.  Many of these family trees were created long before the internet with the records that are now available or DNA testing.

Family Information for William Reaves
of Wayne County, North Carolina
Family Search has entered these family pedigrees into a wiki type database which could eventually be a wonderful source of family information but it is currently a mass of conflicting family connections and duplications.  See the image inserted at left for information retrieved on a search for William Reaves of Wayne County, North Carolina.

William Reaves, born circa 1737, is shown as the child of John Reeves, born circa 1745 who obviously could not be William's father.  This lists John Reeves as marrying in North Carolina but there are countless records from Augusta and Rockingham Counties of Virginia for John Reeves and Margaret Duncanson.   A descendant of this John Reeves has tested and been placed in DNA Group 9.

Recent DNA testing by descendants of William Reaves of Wayne County have placed this family in DNA Group 3 which connects them to William Reeves who died in Granville County in 1751.  Also included among the proposed siblings in this listing are members of the family of Isaac Reeves of Wilkes County, North Carolina (DNA Group 6), William Rives of Prince George County, Virginia (DNA Group 8) and even one individual with the surname Rapp who was born in Germany.

This image is included simply to call attention to the errors in the information at present. In spite of all the errors, this is a tremendous step forward for online genealogy and if those of us who love genealogy all perservere in helping to correct the incorrect data and merge the duplications, it could eventually be a wonderful resource.

One of the exciting features the Family Search software provides is the ability to link a scanned copy of original documents, i.e. wills and probate documents, marriage certificates, etc., to the individual's page.  This excellent feature allows a scanned document from Family Search's collections to be added to the person's page and provide documentation with sources for the data.  Their software will also allow the addition of pictures.

There are countless "legacy issues" recorded in these records where individuals have noted errors and requested corrections in the past.  If you've always wanted to correct the information in the LDS files for your ancestors, now's your chance.

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