Due to technical difficulties…

…there are individuals in the tree with “x” after their last name.  But don’t worry—I can explain.

I finally got Family Tree Maker 2 for the Mac.  This seemed to be a great idea: I’d been using Reunion for many years, but this would allow me to carry the same trees on my laptop that I have in Ancestry.  I would be able to work on my laptop at a library without web access and then transport all the information to the Ancestry tree when I get home.

The first part of the task—transporting the Ancestry tree to my lap top—seemed to go okay.  I was rather smugly pleased with my progress!  Yesterday, after about a month had passed, I attempted to update my lap top Family Tree Maker Tree from Ancestry, and ran into a problem.  The application suggested that I download the tree from Ancestry again.  So, I unlinked the two trees, deleted the tree on my laptop, and downloaded the tree again.  Family Tree Maker said it was successful, but the number of individuals in the tree seemed too large.  Had the tree really grown that much in the last two weeks?  So, I decided to try creating a Simple Register Report for the tree: it was 738 pages!!!

I soon discovered why so many pages:  a number of individuals were in the tree as multiples.  Some individuals had as many as five “echoes” of themselves.  Sometimes it was a lone individual, sometimes three or even four generations.  The tree had somehow become bloated with duplicate data.  How had this happened?  A glitch on the Ancestry IT end?  Someone couldn’t find their info so just kept entering it?  The individuals seemed to often be linked to duplicate “facts”: if there were four individuals of a single name, the 1850 census info might four times in the list on the data page of the individual’s spouse, for example.  The individuals affected are mostly in  the Starr branch of the tree.  I have no idea what happened.  If any of our editors is having a problem using the Ancestry tree, please contact me off list: there is a link for my email on the home page of this blog and you can also write to me in Ancestry by clicking on the link with the tiny photo at the top of the tree page.

The question now becomes what to do about this problem, however it was created: the tree will need to be purged of all the bogus duplicates.  😦  The “x” next to some of the surnames indicate individuals who had clones: I put an “x” next to the ones that were tied into the tree properly, then deleted the remaining identically named individuals.  That process is ongoing and while it is, I have removed everyone but me from the “editor” list and made you all “coordinators” instead.  That way, if I have the same problem again, I can go to Ancestry and inform them with certainty that being as I am the only editor and did not enter five of the same individual, the problem is on their end.

If you feel the need to enter something into the tree in the meantime, please just contact me and I will change your status and make note of who you are working on.

So much for the convenience of modern technology.  v.v  Wish me luck!


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