09 Jun

Should You Trust Family Trees at Ancestry.com?

Can you trust family trees at ancestry.com? In my opinion no and yes. In this post I will  talk about both, why I think that you should not trust it and as to why you should trust them.

Confused?

Let me Explain.

Why You Should Not trust Family trees at Ancestry.com

There are many reasons that I do not trust the information on family trees posted at Ancestry.com but my main reason is that they are full of errors and almost all if not all do not contain real sources or citations. Many reference “Ancestry Family Trees”, you click on it and it only provides information about ancestry. Not even referencing the original family tree it came from.

Most common reference you get:

This by no way means that they all are trash, some are, since many do contain valuable clues. For example if I find a date for a birth, baptism or marriage I try to use that to find the original. document.

You will not find me citing anything that the owner of the tree has going back past their 2nd great grandparents. Unless they have citations other than the usual “Ancestry Family Trees”.

I know that people sharing their information are well intended but unfortunate ancestry.com makes it so easy for anyone just to add information from other family trees without even verifying if that information is true. I have found ancestors from the 1600’s with a 1950’s border crossing. I have also found many references of ancestors where instead of Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico they are being listed as being born in Camargo, Coahuila, Mexico. As you can see be very mistrusting and always second guess the information. Do use them as clues to try and find the original document.

Why You Should Trust Family Trees at Ancestry.com

I usually tend to trust trees that others invite me to if I know that they are experienced researchers and have great citations.

Their citations usually look like this:

If you click on most of those citations you will be provided with links to photos of original documents. These trees are very trust worthy as you can see.

Here is the shocker, I also trust trees of people that may not have any experience with genealogy. But I only grab information from their 2nd great grandparents and forward.

Why?

Because these people know their families better than I ever will. This is information that can be obtained from relatives, parents, and grandparents. Some cases even their great grandparents. One example is a recent second cousin that I found. Her tree has not a single citation but all her information comes from her own personal knowledge of her family and or was obtained by asking other family members. Her knowledge of her particular branch of the family is exceptional.

Word of Advise

I do hope that you take your time and evaluate the information that you find on ancestry.com family trees. As a matter of fact these trees are the reason that I use ancestry. They let you host your family tree for free and access it from any devise.

If you happen to have a family tree and want to trade invitations let me know. My email is moisesgarza@gmail.com once I get your invitation I will send you mine. Before you do make sure we have a common ancestor.

4 thoughts on “Should You Trust Family Trees at Ancestry.com?

  1. i concur.. unfortunately when i first stated using ancestry.com i really got overzealous and started adding other peoples information from their family trees.. later as i started to investigate i realized that same thing that many of the bio information was incorrect…. i have since attempted to review and correct as many as possible.. unfortunately in my eagerness i did add a lot. and to attempt to review all will take some time.. i am working on them as i can.. live and learn.. balde..

    • I think it is harder to correct. I tried it but could not handle it so I just scraped it and restarted entering everything with citations. I used to have over 18000 people now after two years I am barely at 5000 with citations.

  2. Thank you for all the information that “We Are Cousins” has provided. There I found my 4th great-grand
    parents on the Salinas side.

    But the main information that has me stumped are my maternal great-grand father, Florentino Heredia,
    names sometimes spelled Erevia and Erebia. His father’s name was Theo Heredia and mother was
    Francisca Gullerrez. It is as if they came from outer space. If anyone can help me with this dilemma, I
    would be most grateful. Again, thank you for all the wonderful and interesting information that you
    have provided.

    Sincerely,

    Roxana Blanton

    • I am glad that We Are Cousins has been of help to you. Try and post your inquiry at the We Are Cosuins facebook group there are over 900 members and someone might be able to help you out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *