I’m not a huge fan of the “We’re Related” app that Ancestry.com has developed for various phones.
This screen shot is another reason why.
Using my database to generate potential relatives for me from other trees is one thing. After all, that’s what I expect the app to do.
We’ve already seen how the app will “extend” my ancestry if it finds others who have earlier ancestors of my forebears in their tree than I do.
In reviewing another “match” I discovered that the app modified the information for others in my tree as displayed in the app. My great-grandmother in my tree is “Frances Iona Rampley.” That’s the name on her birth certificate. A distant relative transposed the letters in her middle name and made it “Ioan.” That’s been copied and copied and copied. It’s that way in numerous online trees and I’ve given up on getting it corrected in all of them.
And that’s how it got displayed in the app for me “Ioan.” Most likely because the app displays what appears most often.
That’s the same reason it lists her grandfather as William Slain Newman. I don’t have him that way in my tree for a variety of reasons, but most others do.
The app is not, repeat not, modifying what is on my actual tree on Ancestry.com. It is modifying what appears in my line of descent before displaying it in the app. I don’t like that.
Not one bit.
13 thoughts on “Last Complaint About the We’re Related App”
Did Ancestry.com get permission for use of copyrighted images, such as those posted on findagrave?
That I don’t have an answer to. There may be something in the fine print of the submitter and user agreements to FindAGrave and Ancestry.com that covers this. I’m not certain, but it’s a good question.
The sad thing about this feature is that the genealogy beginner may accept the information as “gospel.”
I know I certainly did in the early days. When I first got started on Ancestry, I got so excited about the user trees, that I STARTED with those and then based the accuracy of records I found on whether they matched the trees! I know, it was horrible. Ancestry (and other similar services) could really do a better job of boldly advertising that others’ trees are NOT a good source of verifiable information. And I’m wondering how hard it would be to add some basic verification algorithms to their site? Shouldn’t a warning pop up if someone tries to add a marriage to someone who’s been dead for 20 years prior to the supposed date of marriage? Same thing for adding parents who are more than 100 years old when the child is supposedly born.
Kitty Carleton says:
Actually, it does. When the date is entered, a red disclaimer comes up, with “are you sure you want to use this date?” And may give a reason for the observation.
As someone with zero experience in genealogy (I really wish I knew where to start) I thought the app was a lot of fun, but there is a new “possible relative” everyday and they are all through my mother’s father’s line. This seems somewhat inaccurate, though I guess not entirely impossible. Perhaps other family members have filled out more of that history than any other line? It just seems odd to me. Does the app and results have any validity at all?
The app will take what is in your tree, compare it to the trees of others and “suggest” lineages that may not be correct. It will “add” ancestors to your pedigree based upon these other lineages so the connections may not be right. It does the same thing to create a line of descent to the “famous person” as well.
Thank you! I figured that was probably the case but I haven’t been able to find much information on the app. I appreciate your response!
Tara, Ancestry is a good place to start…put in what you KNOW, and attach the records to document it as you go. Talk to relatives and look at Bibles and pictures now – and take a digital camera along to take pictures of everthing you see. Put your direct ancestors in ALL CAPS and all the cousins & aunts & uncles in normal format. That makes it soooo much easier to tell at a glance who’s who! Get started and you’ll soon be hooked like the rest of us!
And if you aren’t certain about something–ask! You can post questions in response to posts here–if it’s about the post. Other questions can be asked in one of a variety of online groups–on Facebook or elsewhere. There are people on those sites who are willing to give pointers and suggestions.
Roy Adams says:
I can’t get started in the app because my name doesn’t appear in my tree in the app from Ancestry. So, I can’t choose myself. How do I go back into Ancestry or We’re Related to fix this?
I’m not sure what this app does, but if your name isn’t in your Ancestry tree, try making living names show on public tree.
My experience with We’re Related is that over 50% of the suggested links to notable people contain errors that prevent the lineage from working. I have sometimes worked through errors in the down line by creating a tree for the famous person and working up. The app should be able to screen for obvious errors….. such as children born when their mother was 7 years old, children born years after their mother’s child-bearing years, sons who have different surnames from their father, etc.