MyHeritage Products New: Online Family Tree Consistency Checker By Esther February 11, 2017 Share Share Copy Link We’re excited to introduce the new Consistency Checker for online family trees at MyHeritage. This new tool scans your family tree and identifies mistakes and inconsistencies in your data so that you could make the necessary changes in your tree, improving its overall quality and accuracy. The Consistency Checker employs 36 different checks on the family tree data, ranging from the obvious (e.g., a person was born before their parent, or when the parent was too young to be a parent) to the subtle and hard to find (e.g., a person was tagged in a photo and the photo is dated before the person’s birth; or two full siblings were born 5 months apart, which is impossible). Some of the issues it finds are factual mistakes (e.g. wrong birth date entered), some are bad practices (e.g. birth year entered as 22 instead of 1922, or prefix entered as part of the first name instead of in the prefix field), some are warnings about possible data entry errors (e.g. a woman’s married surname was apparently entered as her maiden surname, or a place was entered that looks suspiciously like a date) and some are inconsistencies you may want to fix, such as references to the same place name with two different spellings. Any issue you feel is fine and should intentionally not be addressed can easily be marked to be ignored and will not be reported again. A similar Consistency Checker tool has long been available in our Family Tree Builder software and has been very much appreciated by the many users who have taken advantage of it. We are now providing it for the 37.1 million family trees managed by our users on the MyHeritage website. Genealogists who care about the accuracy of their information, as all genealogists should be, will be delighted with the opportunity to catch mistakes in their data and fix them. Take the challenge and run the Consistency Checker on your tree! Will your tree come out clean, with flying colors, or is it in need of serious cleanup? Most of the issues are easy to fix and we are sure that you will enjoy the process. Accessing the Consistency Checker Access the new Consistency Checker via the Family tree drop-down menu in the main navigation of your family site. Running the Consistency Checker When you visit the Consistency Checker, it scans the family tree on your family site, displaying a progress bar as it goes along. It will tell you how much additional time is required to complete scanning. The first time around, it may take a while, depending on the size of your tree so it would be a good idea to let it run in a separate window, while you keep using the website in parallel in another browser window. Most users won’t need to wait more than 10 minutes, and the results will be worth waiting for. The results are stored for quick retrieval, so subsequent visits to the page will be much faster and will load the previous report unless you decide to re-run the checks. Once you get the list of issues, go through all the inconsistencies found one by one, and fix them so that your data will become clean and error-free. Then run the Consistency Checker again and rejoice if no additional issues are found. Repeat this from time to time after making many edits and additions in the tree; and of course, don’t forget to do this if you have received a family tree from another relative and imported it to your family site as a GEDCOM file. Reviewing the issues The Consistency Checker displays a list of all the issues it found, organized by category. At the top of the list, you’ll see how many issues have been found in total, and the number of issues found in each category is also displayed. Online Tree Consistency Checker (Click to zoom) Issues are grouped into three different categories. First Errors are shown, then Warnings, and lastly Notices. Errors indicate an issue that is obviously incorrect. They are shown with a red exclamation mark icon. These are the most important issues that should be dealt with first. Below are examples: Examples of Errors (Click to zoom) Warnings indicate a case where the data seems unusual and may be incorrect. They are shown with a circular orange exclamation mark icon. See examples below: Examples of Warnings (Click to zoom) In the example above, you can see that a large age difference between spouses is unusual, but not necessarily incorrect. So, you can examine each of these cases and determine if they are erroneous or not (an age difference of 100 years between spouses is certainly incorrect, but a difference of 38 years can certainly happen, though if the wife is 38 years older than the husband, then historically it is more likely to indicate some error). The threshold of warnings like these is configurable, and you can change it through the Settings, as explained further below. For example, if there are many cases in your tree where the age gap between husband and wife was 49 years or less, you can set the threshold to 50 years and only be alerted about cases you are certain are errors. Notices indicate a potential problem but the likelihood of a mistake is smaller. They are shown with a gray square icon. The following is a group of notices for siblings in the same family who have the same first name. This is only a Notice, since, depending on the culture, it can be very common for siblings to have the same given name. Or one sibling may have been given the same first name after the other had died at a young age. However, there is still a risk that you have entered the same person twice into the family tree, and it’s useful to have this Notice flag this for you to verify. Example of Notices (Click to zoom) The following information is displayed for every issue reported: • Personal photo (portrait) of the person involved. If the issue concerns 2 siblings or 2 spouses, then 2 portraits are displayed. Move the mouse over a portrait to see the person’s name, relationship to you, and years of birth and death. • Description of the issue: in the description, names of people are links that go to the relevant editing page that allow fixing the issue. • Tip: a recommendation about how to correct the issue, with useful links that are underlined. • Comment: Sometimes there is a comment with additional information. • Photo: When a photo is involved. Fixing the issues Every name in the list (as in the example marked below in red) is also a link that opens a page for editing that individual in a separate browser window, allowing you to fix data quickly. You can also use the convenient links in the Tip to go straight to the right place to fix the data. Some issues listed can be fixed directly from the Consistency Checker, with the click of a green quick-fix button. For example, if you received a warning that your great-grandmother is not marked as deceased in the family and is rather old (149 years old), you are given the option to quickly correct it. Move the mouse over the issue, and a green quick-fix button will appear offering you to mark her as deceased in a single click. An example of an issue that can be fixed directly from the Consistency Checker (Click to Zoom) Below is another example of an issue that you can fix directly using quick-fix without leaving the list. Here, the prefix Dr. was entered incorrectly as part of Dr. George Warren Eastman’s first name. Clicking the green button below the issue will automatically move Dr. from the first name field to the prefix field, correcting the problem. A similar fix is offered in case you’ve incorrectly entered a suffix (such as Jr. or III) inside the first name or last name, instead of using the suffix field. Fixing a name prefix (Click to Zoom) For many issues, there may be more than one way to correct an issue, and your judgement or input is required. This is often the case for issues affecting more than one person in the tree. For example, an error may indicate that a child’s birth date is incorrect, or that the parent’s birth date is incorrect, or both. These issues cannot be corrected with a simple click of a button. In such cases, click on the names of the people involved, that are conveniently provided in the description of the issue, and you’ll be taken to their family tree profiles where you can manually correct the issue. In every case, the most appropriate page for editing will open allowing you to fix the issue in the shortest number of steps. Managing multiple family trees The Consistency Checker runs on one family tree at a time. If you have more than one tree in your family site, use the family tree selector at the top of the page to select which family tree to scan, as shown below. Indication of consistency issues on a profile For any individual in your tree for whom consistency issues were found, you can conveniently access those issues from the profile page as shown above. Additional features If an issue isn’t clear to you, click on the information icon next to its title, as shown below, for a more detailed description of the issue. You can ignore a specific issue if you think there is no error in your data, by moving the mouse over the issue. A small ‘X’ will appear in the top right corner. Click the ‘X’ to ignore the issue. Ignored issues will not be reported again. Ignoring a specific issue (Click to zoom) If an entire category of issues is not useful for you, you can disable that check entirely. Do so by clicking the ‘X’ on the same row as the title of the issue, as shown below. You can re-enable it later from the Settings. Disabling an entire check (Click to zoom) At the top right corner of the page, you will see three additional options. Additional options (Click to zoom) The leftmost button is Recalculate. Click this to run the Consistency Checker again. This is useful after you’ve made fixes in your data, to force the checker to run again and prepare a new list of issues. The Consistency Checker will also give you the option to run it again at the top of the page if it notices that you’ve made changes in the tree after the last time you scanned it in the Consistency Checker. Click the Printer icon to print out your entire list of issues. Click the Settings icon to edit the Consistency Checker Settings. Here you can disable any checks you wish to exclude from the report, or re-enable them. You can also configure the threshold for some of the warnings. For example, you can set the age above which you will be alerted that someone in your tree is probably no longer alive and needs to be marked as deceased, instead of the current default which is 110. Consistency Checker Settings (Click to zoom) Click “Restore defaults” if you want to reset everything to the default settings. The settings are stored separately for each family site that you manage. Is there a cost? The Consistency Checker for online family trees is a paid feature, available without limit to users with a PremiumPlus or Complete subscription. If you do not have a PremiumPlus or Complete subscription, you will still get one issue for free from each one of the 36 checks and get a lot of value from this feature for free, and the rest will be displayed once you have a subscription. Future improvements The next phase of the Consistency Checker we plan to add is to apply many of the checks in real-time as the information is added or edited in your family tree. Once we implement this, whenever you’ll enter something potentially incorrect or inconsistent into your tree, that the Consistency Checker recognizes, it will catch that automatically and give you a warning message so that you could fix the issue immediately if you wish. There are several additional improvements we plan to add to the Consistency Checker in the future, such as the ability to search the list of issues by a person’s name, and the dispatch of a periodical notification email with a summary of pending consistency issues in the family tree. Conclusion Ask many genealogists, and you will often hear that other than their own family tree, which is close to perfection, family trees of other users, especially those posted online, are full of mistakes… Whether or not this is true, we should not put up with mistakes as an inevitable part of life. We must strive to correct them whenever we can, and create the most accurate genealogy data possible. Many mistakes can be avoided by careful attention to detail and by following best genealogical practices — not taking anything for granted and verifying every assumption and piece of information encountered during research, and citing its source so that others may inspect it in the future. At MyHeritage, we hold accuracy in high regard. Admittedly overdue, we are now doing our part to improve family tree accuracy by providing our users with the Consistency Checker for online family trees. We have invested significant thought in the creation of this tool, improving it to detect many common mistakes that we have encountered in family trees. A Consistency Checker like this is surprisingly missing in many other online family tree services similar to ours. While it will not catch every possible mistake that you may have in your data, and it may not detect it if you have added the wrong relative into your family tree, there are many types of errors and problems that it will catch and bring to your attention, so that you could fix them. With this tool, you can improve the accuracy of your family tree and of your entire research, making your family tree also a better source of information for others. We encourage all our users to use the Consistency Checker and use it often. The Consistency Checker is an important tool for family historians of any skill level. It is another step forward in our goal to innovate and make available exciting technologies for better family history research. We hope it will improve the quality of collaborative genealogy. We welcome your feedback and will be happy to enhance the Consistency Checker further based on your suggestions. Enjoy! The MyHeritage team
February 11, 2017
What is the url of the consistency checker (e.g. like https://myheritage.com/consistency-checker.php …) ?
February 12, 2017
You can access the Consistency Checker for each family site under Family Tree > Tree Checker.
February 11, 2017
Great news! Now if we only had a tool to check for duplicate people! Or maybe you do but I haven’t found it yet.
February 12, 2017
One of the notices offered with the Consistency Checker is for multiple siblings with same first name. This can be a good indication for duplicates found in your family tree.
Carl H. Bloss
February 13, 2017
Can this be used as a free stand alone app? able to apply a different software program to it? or use my own GEDCOM? I realize this will probably show how bad my software program actually is? chb
February 15, 2017
You can easily upload your Gedcom to MyHeritage in order to take advantage of the Tree Consistency Checker tool. Here are directions: http://helpcenter.myheritage.com/634030922501487903
February 13, 2017
Is this being rolled out now or at a later date? I don’t show it on my family tree page. The drop down menu ends at Charts.
February 15, 2017
We’ve been rolling it out gradually, but all users should see this feature on their family sites within the next few days.
February 15, 2017
EXCELLENT!!! This is a much needed tool. Thank you so much.
February 17, 2017
It looks like a very much needed and appreciated program.
February 19, 2017
Thanks for this new functionality.
1. I have 553 errors in a tree of 2015 people. But many of those errors are for a branch of the tree that I have no current interest in. There should be some way to tell the consistency checker (and ALSO other MyH functionality) that I don’t want to include anyone in X tree branch. The easiest way I see to do this would be to allow me to see my tree and right-click to temporarily/permanently exclude everyone below a person.
2. When I choose an error to deal with, I click on the person, which opens a new tab/window with the person in the Essentials segment. This is a problem because there is no way to do research from this segment, such as seeing the tree portion this person is in or invoking the actual research function.
February 23, 2017
Currently, the checker shows all issues in your tree. We understand that if your tree is very large, it may be overwhelming to see a lot of issues about people that you may not be researching at the moment. You can use the ignore icon (a small X that appears on the top right of an issue when you hover over it). Clicking the ignore icon would remove this specific issue. It may be helpful to add the option to concentrate on a specific branch of your tree. Thank you for the suggestion, we’ll take it into consideration.
Clicking the name of the person, or the link in the tip brings you to the edit page. Most of the times it’s to the essentials tab, if the issue has to do with the person’s name, birth or death (which are editable in this tab), but sometimes to another tab if that particular piece of information is editable in another tab (e.g., marriage date, or some other fact). If you click the photo of the person (or the silhouette if the person doesn’t have a photo), it will bring you to that person’s profile page and from there you can click the “View in tree” link to go to the tree.
Esther / MyHeritage Team
March 13, 2017
Wonderful! Now, how do I access the paternal Surname of grandfather, Joseph F. Seaman born in Hungary?
March 13, 2017
Which if these new facilities is available in the mibile phone app?
March 14, 2017
The Online Family Tree Consistency Checker is not yet available in the mobile app, but may be in the future.
Best, Esther / MyHeritage Team
March 13, 2017
I think this is an excellent improvement to My Heritage. One additional device that is needed is an easy way to delete duplicate entries in the tree. If these duplicates become deeply embedded, it is almost impossible to remove them without losing a lot of data. Good luck with that effort.
March 13, 2017
I really like this new feature – found lots of people that had no death date so made some over 200 years old (that only happens in my fantasy and SciFi books). So since I couldn’t find death records I made up the a year and marked it as unsure. A lot of my consistency issues were just typos but I haven’t figured out how to fix the ones where some one was born before their mothers or born after their mothers death – all these came from Smart Matches of Instant Discoveries. I would like to see this checker also look for duplicate people (same name, dates, etc). I have one person that is in my tree but is under two different parents. Again this came from Smart Matches or an Instant Discovery. Some of these duplicate people come from Family Search matches – so I have learned to be very careful confirming those. In general, this is a great feature and I have already fixed lots and lots of errors.
April 24, 2017
I’m so excited about this feature as it is such a challenge to repair online trees. Thank you so much.
Unfortunately, in Firefox and Chrome (updated all), it locks up at this point: 123 consistency issues found (700 of 2,368 people) – Estimated time left: 3:28m 28% complete. Hours later remains the same. I’ve refreshed the browsers and cleared the cache and it continues to lock at this point.
April 25, 2017
I suggest starting and leaving it running overnight. Your tree may have a long list of issues that is being calculated.
April 26, 2017
Thanks, Esther. I left the web page open for two days. It hasn’t left the 28% mark. I’ll try it on a different computer. Thank you.
Neta Dor Lemelshtrich
July 28, 2017
sounds great . But I am still struggling with techniques
May 31, 2018
This is a very good development. Many people quickly click or “get in” as many people as possible. The dates of birth date, wedding date are poorly checked. Because of this, a lot of data is not entirely correct. I hope that everyone will use this
August 16, 2018
Dear MyHeritage team,
Thank you for highlighting the consistency issues that can appear in family trees. As an enthusiastic but naive novice of not many months, I quickly became aware of ‘errors’ in possible Smart Matches, but not before many have crept into my own tree via this route. Obviously, the principle of compound multiplication is the biggest problem here. My original tree line (Knipe-Duus-Swenson, etc), I obtained from respected near relatives, cross-checking as much as possible. Date discrepancies are probably the easiest to ‘home in’ on, but evolution of personal names, both family & individual, is a ‘minefield’. We should all be familiar with native spellings of various countries, and be able to assimilate them. I have recently noticed some ‘person’ duplications, which have arrived
somehow. I will attempt to correct as much as possible as time permits – my computer is not online, so use an iPhone.
Thank you. Regards to all,
October 16, 2018
I think that a bit more work is required on the Consistency Checker. Today I received this message:
Fact occurring after death
Date of Probate Date of Eliza Tate (June 3 1942) occurred after her death date (June 10 1941).
It’s rather difficult to get Probate before death!
October 16, 2018
Thanks for the feedback, Paul!
April 22, 2019
Love this!!! I have been with My Heritage for some time, but now retired and more able to work on my research. I love the Tree Consistency Checker! Just found that tool yesterday!
May 30, 2019
I’ve been notified of an “inconsistency” that is nothing more than a minor spelling difference between (1) my great-grandfather’s surname at birth and the spelling used consistently by three earlier generations (Linn) and (2) my grandfather’s surname as he chose to make it (Lynn), which was then used for my father at his birth and me at mine. I hope that ignoring the notice of “inconsistency” does not mean that sometime the spelling will be “corrected” for me.
June 4, 2019
Ignoring the “incosistency” will not correct the spelling for you.
Esther / MyHeritage Team
Jane Van Zandt
June 19, 2019
I have no idea who these people are except for Thomas Boulden, Rachel Boulden and Eva Boulden. I do not have an account with My Heritage as yet but hope to soon.
July 4, 2019
I don’t match anyone on my Father’s side. I was adopted in 1959 and given my stepfather’s last name. Unf
August 2, 2019
My tree is OK. The mistakes are in other trees
J. A. Tenney
September 5, 2019
That DNA would help, greatly. Because many so-called matches have errors in them,& are only partial matches. For example Thomas is her brother not her father. The auto fill makes too many mistakes. & Blinking out to another person before I have finished typing. It often typed the wrong date & confused people. Especially people with in 3 generations.
September 23, 2019
My great great grandmother (Elizabeth (Brock) Winship is listed as being born 11-13-1839 and married 02-04-1854. I am not surprised. women (girls) married quite young back in those days (some still marry at the age of 14 – my girlfriend did and so did my mother-in-law and this is in the 20th Century). So I do not consider this a mistake as it is totally possible. They did not live long those days and also economics of that time along with the amount of children in a family, it would be beneficial for the oldest girl child to marry.
April 5, 2020
Jude born April 17th 1967 and Arlene DaSilva are brother and sister parents Alaric and Rosalind
Carol Harrington TURNER
April 18, 2020
I was born not knowing my father. I am trying to find some family that is related
CYNTHIA A GAULIN
April 20, 2020
I have been working with my family tree for a few years, but mainly playing by ear. I am glad to read about the Consistency Checker. Maybe it can help me with the issue of a single person needing to show up in more than one line of ancestors.
I also want to compliment you on the fan charts. I love this as a way to visualize the relationships between my ancestors.
April 23, 2020
These names being sent to me belong to the Meacham/Mecham Family Tree. Jewkes is my husband’s family. Thanks for checking on these names.
May 19, 2020
It is NOT inconsistent, if a maried Czech lady may have a surname with the ending -ová.
it is NOT inconsistent, if the address of small villages has different building number.
Is there a posssibility to change the testing procedure?
May 26, 2020
Excellent tool! Thankyou!
Once my trees are rationalised, I will be using it!
The cultural naming patterns ( eg naming first son after father’s father and so on) can add some confusion with widowed cousins marrying their cousin’s widowed relict, and several of those children having the same names and years of birth.
I plan to identify these using this consistency checker.
June 15, 2020
Our family name Moor was from older days. Thru the years the name was changed to Moore. I don’t want to change the Moor name on the older relatives.
June 21, 2020
Sometimes it is not inconsistent, as in my case, my Grandparents used McDonald yet my Uncle uses (and still uses) MacDonald. The reason for this is my Grandparents were registered and grew up using Mc. My uncle was registered Mac and therefore prefered to use it.
I refuse to change anything in my tree out of respect for my family.
July 25, 2020
Thank you for all this work that you do. I’m very impressed – but actually – terrible as it sounds I really don’t care about all these inconsistencies. – am too old to look everything up and am rather computer illiterate too at my age. I’m no longer interested in continuing with My Heritage and I thank you for all you’ve contributed to my tree up to now
August 1, 2020
Our father is not the one who gave birth our mother did. She was 30 years younger than our father.
August 29, 2020
Мне периодически приходит сообщение, что у меня ошибка в данных. Но у бабушки была сестра Ольга, которая умерла в детстве. Бабушку тоже назвали Ольгой – она самая младшая из девяти детей.
August 31, 2020
My sister, Betty Baugus Tollison, did in fact marry at 14 yrs. of age. This was not a mistake. She eloped without the knowledge of our parents. But the marriage lasted 45 years. She died at age 59. and had 4 children with James Bruce Tollison, her husband.
October 18, 2020
consistency occur at time due to misspelling or poor hand writing when say a Census is/was filled out There is no way to change the past(on could make a note of this oddity. example I have ancestors whos last name and first name are the same (ie. Lawrence or Laurence) this difference if not transcribed as is could cause problems. What about family changing their name as in mine. You need to have an option to select do not mention any more for that person.
October 23, 2020
Is it not possible for my grandparents to have the same last name as mine did and for another Grandpa’s last name be changed by the folks at Castle Garden??? So that there are two different spellings in our name!!!
Jeremiah o brien
December 4, 2020
I don’t know a lot in my family tree a lot is guess work and my wife’s side of the family was put together by one of her relatives
December 9, 2020
Awesome technology. Thank you
Helen Stephanie Cooper
December 15, 2020
I have written to you, telling that my Great-grandfather was indeed 66 when he fathered my Grandfather, as he was the youngest of 15 kids, born to his mother at age 50, but I continue to receive notices.
January 23, 2021
thank you for all information but is very sad when you use the concept that the GAP of age is big between my grandfather and my grandmother you dont understand she was rape she was a child when my father born please dont use this type of suggestion but agree some date are wrong but this is the way the show me and is the way keep but any way thank you for you nice web cheers be more open about dark thinks happen long time ago please
Maria A Jesien-Orlik
January 27, 2021
In my family case: Lakomy = male version, Lakoma = female version
January 31, 2021
Correct spelling Bergeson to Bergeson in my family tree, please!
(Dr.) Clive Gold
February 13, 2021
It does indeed look like an inconsistency. However, Matys is the spelling (and presumably the pronunciation too) used in Lithuania and appears in the extract from the records of the Lithuanian State Historical Archives which I have.
In South Africa, my grandfather Chone Leib (Lev) registered as Leib Matus and received citizenship of the Cape colony with that name. When he returned to South Africa with his family 15 years later, he registered as Charles Hillel Matus. And almost half a century later I discovered that he was buried as Elchanan (hence Chone).
It would seem that a lot of apparent inconsistencies are a result of language differences, indifference of immigration officials in south Africa. There are also inconsistencies in dates, on which I can enlarge if necessary.
Hopefully this clarifies the question.
March 17, 2021
Re: family names that differ. Many German families Americanized their names. Therefore older generations will have the German spelling, later ones the Americanized spelling, and some branches of the family may retain the original spelling into later generations. This is not a mistake.
June 25, 2021
I have no wish to continue further with the genealogy side of my enquiry to your company but I would like to express my gratitude for finding the reference to my patent endeavours in the 1980s. I had completely forgotten about these but for the sake of your interest I would mention that I only got a vague amount of interest in my invention from the Swedish company SAAB/Scania.. As to my mother’s maiden name, I don’t think there is a “correct” way to spell it.
July 3, 2021
In Polish and Russian family names, a females name could be BENTKOWSKA (ending in A) while her father’s name ends in I or Y as in BENTKOWSKI. That is not an error or inconsistency. Please inform your website masters. Also Slight spelling differences are also common within a family. Mine has BENTKOWSKY, BENTKOWSKI, BENDKOFSKY, all are the same name. The language they spoke commonly used a different alphabet like Yiddish (Hebrew alphabet) or Russian (Cyrillic alphabet)
So it’s an approximation of the sound anyway.
Keep that in mind when checking Jewish names from Eastern Europe
March 6, 2022
Our son Robert is adopted. A few weeks after we brought Robert home we found our I was pregnant with Michael. Thus the reason for being only 8 months apart.