Is every family tree on Ancestry or anywhere else incorrect?

+1 vote
There is a public member tree on Ancestry that is associated with Abimilech Pate. It is M.M. Carter-Moulton Family. It apparently had seven attached records and sixteen sources. If anyone can find this family tree, we all might learn something.
WikiTree profile: Abimelec Pate
asked in Genealogy Help by Howard Rankin G2G6 Mach 3 (31.6k points)
I have a family line published in a book from the late 1800's , so I was pleased to be able to borrow it from the library.

I kept reading it and reading it and the ancestry just wasn't right in my opinion - ( I just couldn't get it to work no matter how I tried) other people agreed with their particular branch of the same family, - It's three branches of the same family (a bit like your Pate's probably all related if you go back far enough)

I could get other branches to work BUT not my particular line, anyway I called in at a Local Historical Meeting and mentioned I felt it was either wrong or I was missing something, I was surprised when they agreed it was wrong!

So its not just sites like Ancestry.

But then legal documents can be wrong too, Its not unheard of for the 'wrong' father to be on the Birth Certificate , women (especially) lieing about their age.

One of my friends Great Uncles tried to enlist (underage) by using a dead older brother's birth certificate - It didn't work the enlisting officer knew him, he did enroll later with is real birth certificate.

See we are still on Abimelec Pate, How many possible Father's are there? How many have you eliminated?

Anyway I got bored with my own family so looking at a couple of Pate's at the moment
Two recording errors in my own family:  My father and brother share a first name, different social security numbers.  They died about five years apart and both are given the same birthday on the death record.

My grandmother's maiden name is very wrong on my mother's marriage record--I was the one 50 years later who first noticed it.

You are right about needing validation even of government records.
I searched with member connect and there is no tree with that name.  There is also no tree with more than 5 sources.  I have that many in my tree.  There is 53 trees.  Most trees have errors.  I have many ancestors born in this time.   I have some that I can document into the 1600s so I know it's possible.  But if you saw how bad these trees are you would understand.  There are at least 20 with a nickname of John.  Most of the trees just copy from another bad one.  I know the one they copy from because there are the same syntax being copied.  I have contacted this person to correct but they will not.  So it just keeps passed around.  There is no tree with a better source than I have in my tree.
The only thing I can say with some certainty is that the name Bimley, Brimley, Bemlick IS connected to this family Sarah the daughter has it and so do quite a few of the Grandchildren.

Whether is comes from the wife Susannah (Has some tree's suggest) OR further up the line I cannot say.

5 Answers

+12 votes
To answer the question, "Is every family tree on Ancestry or anywhere else incorrect?" - the answer will obviously be 'No'.

There are many trees on Ancestry that are heavily sourced, and have tons of information to share; however, the most common problem you will find on other sites is that they do not require sources like WikiTree does. Your tree on Ancestry is yours, and you can do with it as you please. Wish you were Elvis' child? Make the connection - there is no one there to stop you.

This is the main reason you will see members here shunning other sites like Ancestry - because they have a very 'anything goes' view of genealogy when it comes to member trees. Ancestry can be great for finding sources, but all trees should be taken with a grain of salt until you can personally verify the sources are correct.
answered by Steven Harris G2G6 Pilot (183k points)
+2 votes
Can't read it properly but it says Abimelec 'John' Pate - you just need to prove that

My Great Auntie Pat was actually Alice Ellen - It confused me for a while!
answered by Heather Jenkinson G2G6 Mach 2 (22.6k points)
John is not correct.  This keeps getting circulated due to the bad trees yet again.  There is no source for John.  There would be no reason someone named Abimilec would be nicknamed John.  There are records I have attached showing his name is just Abimilec, Abimileck Abimelec all spelled differently.  This John Pate was married to a Susan Allen.  People don't accept we don't know our Susannah Pate's maiden name.  So they find a record for a random Pate and a Susan and say hey this goes great I can add more to my tree.  But the marriage is a Quaker marriage.  The family has documented children that are not this same family.  But it's on ancestry tree for a person born in the 1790s so it doesn't seem to matter if it's corrrect to these people.
Sometimes nicknames just don’t fit, but it doesn’t mean someone couldn’t be called a particular nickname having nothing to do with their sourced name. My grandfather was always and only (officially) known as T A Sheppard. His nickname as a young child was Jerry. Somewhere along the line, he came to be nicknamed Bill, the name he always went by. Neither Jerry not Bill had anything to do with T A.
Kelly, Howard's question was asking what the tree said I am not a member of Ancestry but the Abimlech 'John' Pate came up attached to the record on google search

IF (And yes IF) then there will be proof out there.

I've just spent time sourcing a Blake Forga then found that he was also known as Hue (Hugh) Blake Forga

After the sourcing, I checked for duplicates, and someone had already spotted it - It didn't help that his wife also used more than one forename!

I haven't sourced his wife (But what I saw researching Blake it's the same one)
I don't think I have any ancestors with nicknames in the 1700s so I am not sure what you are saying applies in this situation anyway.
+5 votes

There were literally dozens of trees on FamilySearch and dozens more on Ancestry who had my great-grandfather married to two women at the same time and I spent years trying to explain that he wasn't. Someone, somewhere in time, had attached the mother-in-law of one of my grand-uncles to his father as a spouse instead of to the father of his wife. This probably happened in personal genealogy software and then was uploaded via GEDCOM and BAM! it is reproduced as gospel ALL OVER the internet. IT IS WRONG!! Does anyone besides myself care that it is wrong? It seems most people don't care enough to correct it. I have given up trying at this point.

So, to answer your question, they may not all be wrong, but a great many of them are, and if you are going to rely on what someone else has posted online as your only "source", your tree will likely be wrong as well.

If all one cares about is extending the branches without regard to accuracy, then they can probably get back to Adam and Eve. If they care about making sure the branches are verified, they will eventually come to the end of the road because there simply will not be any documents available to support taking them further.

I have looked at the trees on Ancestry, including the one you mention, there are no sources on any of them that indicate where Abimelec was born, when he was born, who he married, or who his parents were. I'm sorry, but the proof just isn't there.
answered by Deb Durham G2G6 Pilot (777k points)
+2 votes
Howard, here are some lines among our own Shared Tree on WikiTree that are constantly be corrected. We work hard at it, but errors and many unsourced profile came in early. Years later, we’re still trying to fix those early errors.
answered by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
+1 vote
It would have to consist of a small amount of individual profiles to be proven error free. Humans are human and we all make mistakes.
answered by George Churchill G2G6 Mach 6 (63.4k points)

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