Dear Ancestry Insider,
I am very frustrated, and think you might be in a position to help, at least understand the problem.
The Church [of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] has digitized and indexed millions of records which is a wonderful thing.
What is not so wonderful is that these names are being bulk merged by computer to existing family lines and more often than not, fouling them up. I am suddenly finding names attached to my family lines that are in a completely different geographical area than where my family lived, and with dates and other information that is clearly not theirs.
My concern is that information cannot and should not be merged by computer. I have worked hard and carefully, paying attention to sources etc. and now to have my data corrupted by computer merges is very unsettling.
I wonder if those who okayed this merging are aware of the problems it is causing. I would be very interested in your opinion, since I know you understand both technology and genealogy. I enjoy reading your blog, and am a fan.
Thank you. I’m glad you enjoy it.
I have good news and I have bad news.
The good news is the bulk merging ceased when the new FamilySearch Tree rollout began.
FamilySearch seeded the tree with bad data, some from computer merging, some from human error. The ground-breaking, evidence-centric design of the Tree was totally inadequate for dealing with the glutton of pre-loaded bad evidence. FamilySearch had to do something.
They opted to keep the bad data and replace the system.
For many months FamilySearch has gradually been replacing the system with a standard, source-centric design. Once the replacement is complete, users will be able to clean up the data. (Ironically, once clean, the old system would have been able to handle it.)
Now for the bad news.
If machines are not doing the bad merges, it is pretty clear who is. Once again we see evidence that genealogy is deceptively difficult.
-- The Insider