Family Trees

I can tell that both Wolsey and I are getting old. Last week Wolsey and I decided we wanted to work on our family trees. Both of us only know scattered things about our families, since both of our fathers are the black sheep of their respective families.

funny-old-man-meme-you-know-you-are-growing-old-when-happy-is-a-nap-image We ended up looking around at the different options noticing that they are all similar. We have settled on Ancestry.com for now. We noticed as we started our accounts that there is nowhere in the program set up for name changes. Wolsey has changed his name multiple times, and not just in transition related events.

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I plan on adding Lucky to my actual name since almost no employer would ever know who my real name is. You can definitely use a “life event” but it doesn’t look like you can display multiple names. Now, if a family tree program/system doesn’t have a way to track and display multiple names, you know what they can’t track as well?

Yes, gender designation changes are not supported in ANY program that we have seen. You can add it as a life event, but it’s just text, no searchable parameters and no display capabilities.

That was so frustrating it hurts. Thinking about it now I should have realized they wouldn’t support being able to change your gender designation. It seems like such a little thing. I could change any database program to allow someone to do that, it really shouldn’t be very hard for them to do.

i-canfix-it I realize transition and transgender people for the media and popular culture are a relatively new thing to accept. However, I would have really thought a family tree program would be able to support such a thing. It isn’t unknown in history, even if the person themselves aren’t transgender there have been women who served in the military designated as male (many women volunteered to fight in the American Civil War as one example).

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You would have thought you could track a person’s gender designation just so you can tie official documentation to that person, such as the military paperwork of a person designated as male, to the woman that their other documentation would show.

I am definitely not saying it’s the same thing for someone who presented as something to join the military is the same thing as being transgender. I had just assumed since it was already popularly accepted that those incidents occurred that they would already have something for identifying different gender designations for the same person over time.

I have already submitted an “old man” email/message to Ancestry.com explaining what their system is lacking and a suggestion they update it. I know I won’t hear anything back, but I just have to keep tilting at all the windmills.

grumpy-old-man-serial-complainer I just felt I had to share my frustration with all of you.

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4 Responses to Family Trees

  1. I can tie some things to myself, but with 4 legal names over the years, it looks like I just randomly grabbed a bunch of records to tie to me.

    If I wanted to be invisible, it would be very easy, but I want others in my extended family to be able to follow it all. I don’t want to be invisible.

  2. Lesboi says:

    I did my family tree on Ancestry.com a few years ago. It’s a very useful site in many ways but definitely has its limitations. It would be nice if they would open it up more to people changing their names (other than for women who marry men) and their genders. Maybe I’ll put a message out to them as well. The more people who say something the more important they might think it is to fix. As you said, I’m sure it’s pretty easy to do. I leave my tree alone at the moment because, since my tree is public, my extended family can see it and I don’t feel like coming out to them and raising questions that I have no interest in answering. I might make it private later on and try to fix my gender and name on it if they make that a thing you can do.

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