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Archiver > APG > 2009-03 > 1237733090

From: "Richard A. Pence" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Mormon News
Date: Sun, 22 Mar 2009 10:44:50 -0400
References: <05FC3A32-1608-411F-B742-65A032C7F161@keyconn.net> <49C3B044.7040209@reevesweb.com><003501c9aa99$8716daf0$954490d0$@net><49C5CB9A.8040100@reevesweb.com>

My goodness. Now we are not only blaming the message but also the messenger.

Unless there has been a sharp change in LDS policy, a couple of important
points are being overlooked in this "discussion."

The International Genealogical Index is actually an internal church
document. It is the official index to the name of those for whom church
ordinances have been performed. Even if the information in the index is
factually incorrect the item is a record of church activity - not a vital
record. As such, the only "corrections" that can be made are if a name got
into the file before the ordinances were performed (some of you may remember
back in the early 1990s there was a massive purge of the IGI, removing names
for which the ordinances hadn't been completed. Thus the final fiche of the
IGI had a few million more names than the first electronic version.

Another point I haven't seen mentioned - but I probably missed it - is that
there are two types of information in the IGI: Names that church volunteers
extracted from microfilmed official records and names submitted by
individual church (and, again, if there hasn't been a change in policy,
nonmembers cannot and have not submitted data to the IGI. (I thought the LDS
church no longer submits extracted date en mass for ordinance rites - the
only way extracted data can now get into the IGI is if it is submitted by a
member who is a descendant of the individual.

To take a page from Will Rogers, I never met a source I didn't like.
Admittedly, some of them I like a lot less than others (and at the bottom of
the pole is the Ancestral File, which I liken to the proverbial Vietnamese
village - the only way to save it is to destroy it).

Consequently, I look at the IGI not as the earth's most corrupted research
database, but another source that I can ponder. I take note of the fact that
the church could have easily maintained the IGI as an internal document.
Instead, it chose to share it with all of us and for that I am grateful.
While some of what is there is quite accurate and a good pointer to the
actual record upon which it is based and some of it is entirely fictitious.
It is up to me to figure out which is which.

Richard A. Pence
3211 Adams Ct, Fairfax, VA 22030-1900
Voice 703-591-4243 / Fax 703-352-3560
Pence Family History <www.pipeline.com/~richardpence/>

----- Original Message -----
From: "Peggy K. Reeves" <>
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, March 22, 2009 1:24 AM
Subject: Re: [APG] Mormon News

> >
>> Elizabeth wrote:
>> Peggy's frustration is understandable. The reality, however, is that the
>> fault lies not with that one website and not with our chosen field.
> We are all aware of database errors, and I'm sure none of us believe
> what we find online without first tracking down some legitimate
> documentation. It's certainly not news to me that no database is perfect!
> I disagree in that I believe the fault certainly does lie with the
> person or entity who publishes. Just as we are all responsible for work
> that we do and claims that we make in our research, familysearch.org
> certainly IS to blame for gathering amateur research for years, selling
> it on CDs, and ignoring all genealogists' best efforts to correct
> anything. We are not talking about simple typos or transposition errors
> or a misreading of a word or date, things common to all databases and
> publications. No, this is a lot larger than that!
> The igi is a collection of arbitrary lists of any and all mention of all
> people, real or imaginary, Jew or Gentile or cartoon character, for
> various "temple ordinances" with total disregard for accuracy,
> documentation, and the religious wishes declared by the deceased while
> they were still alive. Familysearch has continued for years without
> providing any means of correcting "facts" and "events" that are
> blatantly untrue and should be removed immediately (like the Celia Rae
> Elbert myth).
> Yes, familysearch is responsible for the mess that we see! Genealogists
> who have obtained addresses or email addresses where they can supposedly
> submit corrections have not been successful in getting anything
> changed. Corrections are ignored. This practice is unethical,
> irresponsible, and as we have seen, offensive to many. In fact, they
> don't even remove things from their database when they sign a written
> agreement to do so! (refer to the article that Judith posted a link to
> earlier in this thread).
> Maybe I am behind the times, and my BCG standards manual is outdated,
> but the first item in the Genealogist's Code says: "I will not publish
> or publicize as fact anything I know to be false, doubtful, or unproved;
> nor will I be a party, directly or indirectly, to such action by
> others." Has this been changed in recent years or fuzzed-up and made
> more vague in order to accommodate familysearch?
> This begs the question: Is familysearch a professional company, a bunch
> of amateurs, or a church? If they are professionals, they need to have
> higher standards than what we continue to see. If we are to forgive
> them and look the other way because they are rank amateurs, then we need
> to be concerned that these are the same folks who are creating indexes
> to databases and records that we will no longer be able to request in
> their original form once the amateurs get finished indexing, filming,
> scanning (and in many cases bungling and omitting). These are the same
> people who apparently can't cite an appropriate source or accurately
> explain records that they are helping to put online through contracts
> with NARA and the subscription services. If familysearch.org is a
> church, then why are they ignoring written agreements, and putting every
> person of every religion in line to somehow be initiated into a religion
> that they did not wish to be associated with while they were alive?
> After all, churches are places where people go of their own free will,
> not where they are captured!
> As for the Mormon-Jewish controversy, I don't belong to either religion,
> so I am only looking at this as a third party.
> Just some food for thought.
> Peggy Reeves
>> Peggy's frustration is understandable. The reality, however, is that the
>> fault lies not with that one website and not with our chosen field.
> .
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