How can I prevent other people from making inaccurate changes to Family Tree?

As you discover and connect your ancestors, you may notice other users adding to or even modifying some of the information you’ve contributed.

That’s okay. We believe that the more people there are working on Family Tree, the faster it will grow—and the more accurate it will be. In fact, we’ve created several tools to enable our users to work together.

We find that using sources and reason statements, in particular, helps prevent other users from changing good information to less accurate information.

Collaboration tools in Family Tree

  • You can follow up to 4,000 records that interest you, and FamilySearch will send you a system notification whenever someone updates one of them. The follow option is located on your ancestor’s Person page, in the top banner containing his or her name.
  • In the Latest Changes column you see a summary of the most recent changes to a deceased person's record. The Latest Changes column is located on the Person page, on the far-right side of the screen.
  • Sources enable users to trust the information they see. To access Sources, go to an ancestor’s Person page. Near the top of the screen, you’ll see a button labeled Sources.
  • A reason statement quickly explains a change or contribution to an ancestor’s record. You’ll see fields for entering reason statements wherever you add information—and on the Person page in the Latest Changes box.
  • The life sketch provides a quick synopsis of an ancestor's life. This helps users quickly identify whether or not the ancestor mentioned on screen is the same as the one they are searching for. The life sketch is located on the person page, directly below the ancestor’s name.
  • The discussion tool allows you to start a conversation about a shared ancestor. The conversation will be visible to everyone who visits your ancestor's Person page and clicks on Collaboration.
  • Use Notes to record insights, conclusions, or questions that don't seem to fit anywhere else. Notes are located on the Collaboration tab.

Working together on the bigger tree

Other users sometimes allow us to publish their email address or other contact information. This allows you to contact them directly. If not, you can send a FamilySearch message to any FamilySearch user.

As you collaborate with other users in Family Tree, please be courteous and respectful. We need everyone’s help to succeed!

Related articles

How do I follow or unfollow a person in Family Tree?
How do I view all the records in Family Tree I am following?
How do I use the discussions feature in Family Tree?
How do I send a message to a recent contact in FamilySearch Messaging?
How do I send a message to someone who contributed to Family Tree or Memories?

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