View Full Version : What defines a name collector?
When I first started researching my family history I made a concious decision to only trace my direct ancestors and their siblings. However, Now I am struggling to make progress I am thinking of investigating my ancestors siblings and their families.
My concern is that this will make me a name collector and I really do not want to have this 'tag' attached to my tree as I have tried to fully investigate ( as far as possible, but always trying to find more information)all the people in my tree.
I really am in two minds whether to branch out or to keep it to direct ancestors and their sibling.
Researching your direct ancestors siblings does not make one a name collector in my book. One's family is what makes you who you are. And don't forget that those siblings are the children of the direct ancestor further back - finding out about all their children often opens up a world of knowledge about the parents and their circumstances. And in terms of research, moving sidways sometimes helps you break down seemingly insurmountable brick walls. Name collecting to me is the wholesale copying of trees and branches that have only limited, if any, connection to your main lines, without permission and without any verifying information.
I saw a thread somewhere recently on this topic, but perhaps not on FTF. I find half the enjoyment of researching a family tree is going down all the side-shoots.
Jill on the A272
It's only by exploring my ancestors siblings that I've been able to get further back eg my 3x gt grandfather's sister as a visitor at her maiden aunt's gave me the hitherto unknown 4x gt grandmother's maiden name from which I could find her marriage. Ancestors siblings are related by blood to you too, so I don't see why you have a problem with this.
Lynn The Forest Fan
To me, a name collector is someone who just adds people to there tree wheter they are related or not. For example, someone who is related to me on my father's side, would have no connection at all my mother's family, but a name collector might add both sides to their tree.
Like you I too have only done the direct lines, but I do not have too many contacts either who share my rellies.
Recently I was unfortunate enough to be contacted from someone on genes who shared one of my rellies and asked to view my tree.
I asked for some information from her on what she had before consenting to open my tree, she said it was her husbands family that was linked to my Ancestor many generations back and showed me where the link was.
I opened my tree with all living censored and she stripped lots of it before I had the chance to check her tree out and there they all were added to her tree, but with my own mothers details missing and my fathers first wife married to my father on the day he married my mother.
When I spoke to her about the error and why she had removed all my information from my tree, without any verification of facts she said she trusted that I had thoroughly researched and verified it all before adding it and she did not need to buy certs as all her information had come from other peoples trees on Genes who assured her they had the proof.
I had even introduced her to another person researching the same tree but I warned them too.
She had over 1,000 names in her tree in a very short time, and I am sure she is now following my mothers family but has wrong information and following the wrong line so adding to all the wrong info in peoples trees.
I closed my tree to her immediatly but I get messages from genes giving me hot matches to her and see what names she is following.
THIS IS A NAME COLLECTOR who gets no pleasure from the post man bringing certified proof, or travelling to a research centre to get what info you need. The quantity not the Quality.
It's your tree you can do what you like with it!
Name collectors are people who just add names to their tree without doing any research to find out who they were etc.
Golly, I do everyone - for one thing, quite often you find several marriages with another family, so an aunt and niece will marry a widowed man and his son, or two brothers marry two sisters etc. If you do the research you might find that both men are in the same occupation which might explain how they met etc.
Besides which if you only did direct ancestors you'd miss the fact that granny had three brothers who all died. This is bound to have affected granny and her life so why not find out about it? Our ancestors didn't live in a vacuum. I've even done a small file about a chap who is staying with my gt grandfather when they were both schoolboys, as this lad was also a witness at gt grandfather's wedding, so clearly they were close friends.
Val and George
I collect all the side branches - but I don't add them to my tree on the sites for other people to see.
I have found it invaluable as often relatives are witnesses at marriages - or are visiting on census day
I agree with the others that a 'name collector' is a person who 'takes' the information from another person's tree without checking out it's accuracy.
I make a sort of time line for each family I find on the census, and then add births deaths and marriages as I find them, and I keep them in a separate folder stating which line they belong to. That way I have been able to connect most of OH's line back to the family that came out from Belgium as Huguenot's at the end of the 1600's....................this has definitely become a hobby for me and not just a fact finding mission.
I wonder if I am a "Name Collector" ?
I have a combined tree of my husband and I (ie of my childrens ancestors etc) of over 12,000 people. That's about 6000 on each side, but its my private database, and there is some bits of speculation about a couple of families. My public trees on GR and Ancestry (private) only have about 1200 each. I am not publicising my thoughts and assumptions. I searched up and down the family, sideways through siblings, as far as I could go in many cases, and have made contact with seventh, eighth and ninth cousins.
My great-great-grandfather and his THIRD cousin came from the same town in Somerset to NSW - I have researched both lots of descendents, because of their unusual surname. I went back another four generations in Somerset. In Sussex I once searched sideways through a step family, because they were interesting people, but they are only in my private database. They are not just names to me, and I used to be able to say how each person in my tree fitted in, but its got a bit hard now, although I generally know which part of the family they belong to.
There are two definitions of "Name collector".
The first is the derogatory term archivists call all family historians who dare to use their archives.
The second is the derogatory term used by family historians about those family historians who have more names in their trees than the first group have.
Thank you for all your responses. There were some interesting ones! I particularly liked Guys response - in his own particular style he managed to answer my question in a very understandable way!!
The LDS are name collectors :-)
Anne in Carlisle
I'm happy to have anyone in my tree who is related by blood to me or my OH. That is NOT limiting!!! Once you start down all the siblings and their descendants there are thousands of them. Plenty to keep a serious researcher going for years ... and as has been said it can help with your main branch of the family by lateral thinking.
During my research I found several of my ggg grandfather's siblings moved from Yorkshire to London. No one living knew about them but on obtaining two wills it became very clear that the family was constantly in touch during the lifetime of them and their children and grandchildren. They didn't just disappear!
I'm all for lateral thinking! Guy's definition gave me a good laugh, just what we need at the moment!
On one or two lines I have come up against a brick wall and have identified one or two families that are good candidates for going further back. In these cases I have gathered together any info about each family but kept them on separate sub-trees, in my FTM progamme, hoping that one day I will find the link. That is if there is one! So although there is no proof that they are blood relatives they are in my records because I don't want to lose sight of them.
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