Mormon Family Tree
How the Mormon Church Can Help You Find Your Family Tree
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) has collected a number of sources to help you find your family tree. The Mormon Church has not normally compiled family trees nor claimed to make any associations but they do offer the research results that others submit. Currently they are undertaking a massive project to connect people but that result may be fraught with errors. Their web site is www.familysearch.org.
Since people have submitted family tree information to the Mormon Church from a lot of different sources, names may have been spelled any number of different ways, different place names may have been used, different dates such as birth v. christening, and various degrees of information on parents or children may have been submitted. All this makes it very difficult to ascertain with any degree of certainty whether "Wm Smith, born about 1804 in Essex, England to Wm and Eliz Smith" is the same person as "William Edward Smythe christened 1 Nov 1805 in Chelmsford, Essex, England, son of William and Elizabeth Jane Smythe". Nevertheless, they are attempting to make all possible connections available for researchers to consider.
Some family history web sites, other than that of the Mormon Church, offer family trees. These are usually subscription sites, however, and again the information is only as accurate and complete as the submitter made it. OneGreatFamily is one of these, and they are currently making efforts to determine that the information makes sense. They keep all versions of varying information and let you choose the version that best matches what you already know. Any information you submit will be made available to others.
Since Mormons belong to a church that emphasizes genealogy, Mormons are the largest body of people that submit family trees. This usually comes about as the result of a lot of research - either from historical sources or from personal interviews of family members.
Family trees can be presented in the form of books or as pedigree charts. The advantage of books is that they almost always give a lot more information about ancestors and their siblings (and sometimes the siblings' spouses) than a simple pedigree chart that allows only for basic names, dates and places of birth or christening, marriage, and death or burial of direct-line ancestors. The Family History Library of the Mormon Church makes both presentations of family trees available on microfilm and microfiche.
So, when you are researching your family tree, don't forget to check the resources of both the Mormon Church and other online web sites. Family trees can provide a "road map" to assist you in your research, but do make sure you verify all the data.