Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Comments, Anyone?

If you've wandered over to the Family Tree section of, you will see a variety of categories. One, of course, is Ancestry World Tree; another is One World Tree, then there is Public Family Trees and Private Family Trees. Yeah, I can't tell you how frustrated I get with these trees. Last weekend, while doing yet another search for Clifton Bowman, the disappearing son of John Parker Bowman and Mary Elizabeth Chinn, I saw a tree with an obvious connection to mine and commented on some errors.

I have researched the heck out of the Bowman family, since my paternal grandmother was a Bowman, so was pretty excited to get a reply to my comment. The person in question is the great-great granddaughter of my great granduncle, Joseph Bowman, onetime sheriff of Lafayette county Missouri. I've scraped up some information on this line through the Missouri Death certificates and the census, but there is nothing like getting information from a direct line descendant.

Do I always comment and try to correct errors? No. Usually, I try to find the person who probably submitted the original information because I don't care if the ones who click and claim get the right information or not. Sometimes I get a nice comment back, like in this instance, where I can actually share information with someone who has information to share back. That makes most of the other instances worth while.

Copyright 2011, ACK for Gene Notes


  1. I found a tree posting with the name of my great grandfather Patrick O'Rourke. It has listed to correct names of his father and mother (Denis and Mary) but according to the dates Denis would have been six when he fathered Patrick.

    Most of the times when I leave a question or comment, I get no answer. I thik a lot of people jst fill in a tree to take up space.

  2. I usually use the "trees" when I am trying to pick up another miscellaneous strand to work on --- but when I hit "pay dirt" or find an unexpected new friend, I find it all worth while. I have very low expectations to the variety of "trees" out there, but sometimes, a diamond in the rough.

  3. I've found it the most difficult to get answers to inquiries from people with private trees on Ancestry.