Monday, March 19, 2018

Having a Public Tree and a Private Tree

I will have to admit that having a public tree on FamilySearch has sometimes aggravated me.

I've had it set in place with good documentation for quite awhile.  Then, a year or so ago, someone went in and changed it.

I changed it back.

Two weeks later, I checked again.  Sure enough, someone had changed it.  

I changed it back.  Sigh...

So, I wrote a personal note to the person who was changing it, and said, "Please leave this family alone.  Check the page that contains all of the sources and documentation that I and others have added through the years."  

It hasn't been changed again.

Now, was I angry?  No.  Frustrated?  Well, a little bit.  But, I also tend to think in the positive.  Perhaps it was a young person just getting started, or even an older person not real adept at computers yet.  It was an opportunity to teach.  

But now, I have found a reason to love the idea of a public tree.  It's something called "All the Stories".

This blog post came out a couple of years ago, and I just hadn't had the opportunity to check it out.  So, today I did.

I learned that it combs through all of the stories attached to people in your tree -- whether it's been you that has added them or someone else.  You simply give it permission to connect to your tree, and watch the fan chart begin to fill in.

See those dots?  Those represent stories added to various people on my pedigree.  There are actually some that I have added to children of my ancestors, and also to my sisters.  They wouldn't show up on a pedigree fan.

A panel will then appear to the left side showing you titles of stories that have been added by you, or by someone else.  Remember, this is one world tree, so you're going to be seeing stories and memories added by others you may have never met.  

But, they are their ancestors, too.

I didn't know this about Adam Gearheart before finding this on his page.

I am beyond excited about this, and may have finally been convinced that this could be a good thing.  

I still maintain my genealogy on a stand-alone program, using both Legacy Family Tree and RootsMagic.  And, I have just added Heredis to the mix, too.  I keep control of my information and documentation using programs that no one can touch.

Then, when I am sure of the information, I put it up onto trees the public can see.

But, the stories!  These are quite exciting to me, for others may have more information about someone's life than I have.  And, they have put it up there to share.

Not much of my family's history will be written in books and volumes, such as is found in the fantastic New England collections, or the Company Journals of the Mormon Pioneers.  

My people were in the hollers of Appalachia where no one wrote much about them, unless it was unfavorable.  Occasionally I will find something really good about their life in a newspaper.  But, it's a rare occasion when I do.

But, the personal parts of the far-extended family members are things I don't know about.  And, I'm sure they don't know very much about our branch of the tree.

Something like this can connect us.

And, I think I like it.