My paternal uncle made a family tree and then invited the members to it. He got mad when I put my maternal family on it. Is it me or is that just unreasonable? Wouldn't a family tree be more practical with the expansion of more branches? Or as someone else on this site put it, a forest?

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    – Jan Murphy
    Mar 15, 2020 at 20:05
  • Is your tree on Ancestry or somewhere else? Any answer I give will depend on knowing that.
    – PolyGeo
    Mar 15, 2020 at 23:29
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    I think the answers to your question will all be opinions so would not be surprised to see this question closed.
    – user6485
    Mar 16, 2020 at 6:56
  • This tree was on MyHeritage. Thank you all for your input. Mar 16, 2020 at 7:40

1 Answer 1


Sounds like a case of miscommunication between you and your uncle. Although it sounds as if he gave you permission to edit his tree, and therefore implied that he wanted you to make edits, it would have been courteous to contact him directly and find out his goals for that particular tree before you make any changes.

Was the tree intended to focus on your your uncle's ancestry or his entire network of relations?

For example, I have multiple published trees. In order to keep my trees manageable, and to help with tracing DNA matches, I have separate ancestry trees for my mother and father, including bare bones ones that show only my direct ancestors and direct descendants.

If one of my nieces or nephews added someone who wasn't a biological relation to one of my DNA research trees, it would not be helpful.

I don't know if I would be mad though. I would be happy to see that they are interested in genealogy and help them build their own tree.

  • I agree with your answer. Although it doesn't apply to the original poster's situation, other possible tree foci (2nd paragraph) are one-name or one-place studies, which may include a lot of persons unrelated to the tree owner (or related in convoluted ways).
    – bgwiehle
    Mar 17, 2020 at 13:31

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