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  1. #1
    A fountain of knowledge
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    Default Trees on Ancestry - I'm not impressed!

    I was hoping that the free weekend on Ancestry might extend to viewing Public Member trees - unfortunately it didn't. I'm looking at Dorothy May Hobbs, who is enumerated in the 1911 census as the 3-year-old adopted daughter of John Henry Beacham Purnell and his wife Grace (nee Bright, previous married name Gifford).

    One of the trees has her as 'Dorothy May Purnell (Bright)', daughter of 'John Henry Beacham aka Harry Purnell' and Grace Bright. It also has her marrying a Richard Lambourne. (People of those names did marry in 1930 in Middlesex, but the Dorothy May Purnell there wasn't her.) It quotes "1 attached record, 2 sources."

    Another tree has her as 'Dorothy May Purnell?' but shows John Henry Beacham Purnell and Grace Bright as her parents rather than adoptive parents. It quotes "1 source."

    The third tree has her named correctly as Dorothy May Hobbs, but again has John Henry Beacham Purnell and Grace Bright as her parents. It quotes "1 source."

    I'm wondering where these tree owners dig their "sources" up from, as the 1911 census clearly states that Dorothy was the adopted daughter of the Purnells. That is definitely correct - I knew her and I remember her saying once, "I was adopted. The name was Purnell."

    Rant over!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change.
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    Default

    If it's any consolation, you're not the first person to have a rant over the names in people's trees, and you'll be far from the last.
    About a fortnight ago a friend was having a problem with a tree which allegedly had one of her aunts in it, but she couldn't reconcile the aunt being married to the man listed. As usual the tree compiler had found a name in a time frame that fitted and said 'bingo'. In fairness I had the 1939 Register to prove my outcome, and the Register might not have been available when the tree was compiled. However, the GRO Index would have been available and the person hadn't bothered to check that the date of birth was compatible with the birth year of the aunt.
    The answer was that the Rose in the tree with the same name as auntie was a Rose Smith, widow, not a Rose Smith, maiden name.

    Then of course you get idiots like my cousin who blindly copy stuff from other trees without even checking the details add up. Such as giving my great-grandfather two children born about twenty years after he'd died.

    Pam
    Vulcan XH558 - “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

  3. #3
    Knowledgeable and helpful
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    In defence of the tree owners, how else do you think this would be displayed? On my tree my son has a biological father and an adoptive father, and it is up to me which of these is the Preferred father. If I put this as his adoptive father, the relationship on Ancestry is still displayed simply as 'Parents'. No distinction is made between blood or adoptive.

    It's therefore entirely possible that in the background she has been attached as an adoptive daughter, but as you are not the tree owner, you won't have access to that.

  4. #4
    Growing old Disgracefully
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    You are not the only one. Its because people take infomation that Ancestry has collected into what they call "Family Tree" Which is infomation anyone puts into their trees which are Public that anyone can see. "It must be right because they say so, so I woun't check out for myself attuided"

    You could contact the person and put them right tell them you know you are right as they are your Family.

  5. #5
    A fountain of knowledge
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jomot1 View Post
    In defence of the tree owners, how else do you think this would be displayed?
    I would expect her to be displayed with her own name, at the very least, and not shown as married to someone she didn't marry - especially as the tree owners claim to have sources.

  6. #6

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    But nobody is employed to do quality (or accuracy) control. This has been a problem since long before Genealogy went on line - the International Genealogical Index of the LDS was famous for the amount of imagination that went into some of its claimed relationships, for example. And if you really want a giggle, take a look at some of the claims in 19th century editions of books like Who’s Who.

    Some people copy blocks of data because they want things to be easy. They also merge people because the names and years are roughly right. Fortunately, more people are serious about their research.

    If I find a tree that looks right but I don’t know the owner or the standard of their work, I make a note of it which goes into my grey data file as a possible clue until I have checked it.

  7. #7
    Brick wall demolition expert!
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    I think that Lesley has hit the nail on the head. How often either through our own personal knowledge or through this forum come across instances of where "official" documents are incorrect or contradictory?

    When we are doing our own research we have to weigh the evidence we find and make our own judgements, and as I have learnt to my own cost, make a note of these things as we go along, because failing to do so leaves you scratching your head and wondering what on earth you did years later!

  8. #8
    Valued member of Brit-Gen
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    Dorothy May Hobbs who was adopted by John Henry Beachem Purnell and hid wife Grace, Dorothy was born Sep qtr 1908 with the mother Maiden name not listed so I would assume Hobbs.

    She is listed as adopted in my PURNELL TREE.

    Robert

  9. #9
    Knowledgeable and helpful stepives's Avatar
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    It's their own tree, regardless of what you think. Why have a rant about something you have no control over, and waste your time looking..

    Your's is the only tree that matters to you, so hopefully itl'll be right.

    My tree is full of errors, and bit by bit it gets corrected.......it's always an ongoing project. What I found 14 years ago, when I started my tree, is that I will make errors.....and over time it will be right.

    Steve.
    Too many bones, too much sorrow, but until I am dead, there's always tomorrow.

  10. #10
    Famous for offering help & advice peter nicholl's Avatar
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    I had a DNA kit for Christmas and that led me to start a tree on their site. Their "hints" are useful, although, like shopping on-line, sometimes the "suggestion" makes you think "where did that come from?". If you just accept them all, the tree becomes a nonsense, however, the use of a bit of nous and they can be quite handy. As far as "rubbish trees" are concerned, do you tell the owner that they are wrong?
    As an aside, if I do a general search for someone on my own tree, will my own tree show up?
    Peter Nicholl
    Researching:Nicholl,Boater, Haselgrove & Vaughan

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