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Archiver > APG > 2009-03 > 1237746043

From: "Stewart Millar" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Mormon News
Date: Sun, 22 Mar 2009 18:20:43 -0000
References: <cc4.4acfe178.36f7d23b@aol.com>
In-Reply-To: <cc4.4acfe178.36f7d23b@aol.com>

Dear All,

I have no particular wish to upset anyone - but I have to say that for a
bunch of educated researchers the breadth of knowledge about LDS records on
familysearch on this list is pretty low. I have rarely seen so many myths
and mis-information given and seemingly accepted by others without a stitch
of research other that the anecdotal error - and I know there are quite a
few amongst the combined one billion or so entries in the IGI/AF & PRF.

I have seemingly tried in vain to provide some backgrounds and education -
and no doubt will again when the tide of un-researched mis-information
breeches my patience.

Babies and bathwater come to mind - let me know if you don't understand that
on the other side of the pond.

Have a nice day everyone,
Stewart Millar
Berkshire, England

-----Original Message-----
From: [mailto:] On Behalf
Sent: 22 March 2009 17:41
Subject: Re: [APG] Mormon News

I have to laugh at discussions of the IGI. The problem I see is not so much

its existence, or the doctrinal reason for its existence, but the net effect

as being applied today - both by the unwary seeker and by the LDS in its
to create a new unified "Tree".

In this light I appreciate Richard Pence's comments as to history of the

Richard said >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.<

Before the 'purge,' IGI included indexes of genealogical publications of all

sorts, plus extracts from family group sheets submitted by all comers. In
fiche version, one could use the batch numbers to decipher what the source

The purge removed the elements directly from books, publications and
non-LDS-member group sheets from IGI, but in the meantime huge numbers of
had been made by LDS members from these books, publications and perhaps from

the non-LDS group sheets as well.

The net effect of the purge was to remove source-identification data for
material from IGI.

Every now and then, for laughs, I go to familysearch.org and search for
persons in one of my family lines. I see an erroneous parent given for one
of my
ancestors plus erroneous maiden name and ancestry given for his wife (these
items disproven by me personally by merely going to Courthouse records).
were initially published in the 1930s and copied in genealogical
in the 1960s-1980s. The last genealogical publication also invented an
ancestry for one woman; it gives vital dates from her grave marker, and her
name from 'family lore' ; the purported father was born about 40 years after

she was. I can always use these items as 'markers' for what source is used
various non-researchers. Another 'marker' as to source is that the
birth-year for the last-mentioned women was keyed incorrectly into IGI in
microfiche days, as 1737 instead of 1773.

Of course I also see additional errors in the earliest known generations of
this family, including a new nonexistent middle initial and additional
erroneous birthplaces. Sigh.

This material has had some laughable and sad uses. On one hand my cousin
wrote the last genealogical publication on this family was delighted to see
the 1737 birth-year in (pre-1991) IGI for the above woman: he thought it
'proved' another theory he had for her parentage. He thought the appearance
in IGI
of the genealogical material he published was verification of its accuracy.

He was quite disappointed to learn that the IGI entries on the family
extracts from his book, but with a typographical error in this case of this

On another hand I find it very sad that this unverified database is now the
foundation of a unified Tree. Considerable effort is going into creating
Yet there appears to be little attention to the factual basis of the
material except to the extent of developing a way for LDS members to discuss
and make
factual corrections. If the new scenario and platform can be made to work
well, and if made available to the public, perhaps those taking a look in 5
years or so will see changes for the better. I have not, however, seen any
discussion of modifying IGI, the AF or PRF to reflect the corrections taking
in NewFamilySearch. Possibly these indexes will be eliminated as
databases entirely.

Good hunting,


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