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Archiver > APG > 2009-06 > 1246323213

From: <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Request to verify family history
Date: Mon, 29 Jun 2009 19:53:33 -0500
References: <410-220096129235337126@earthlink.net> <4A495AF4.6010807@gmail.com>
In-Reply-To: <4A495AF4.6010807@gmail.com>

Elizabeth Whitaker wrote:

>I certainly agree with Bob. Telling your prospective client that
his/her info may be imprecise -- to phrase it diplomatically --
would be likely to be understood as some sort of insult,

I would be more explicit with the potential client. In my experience,
clients who are bedazzled by claims to illustrious ancestry are not into
"preciseness" and do not understand the gravity of a problem we might
tactfully refer to as "imprecise" information.

Whether or not I chose to take the assignment, I would realistically respond
that such claims on OneWorldTree are far more likely to prove false than

If I chose to take the assignment, I would make it clear that (a) it may
well be impossible to verify that many generations in the limited time
available; (b) I would not "authenticate" any questionable links or
assertions; (c) if the research led to a different ancestral path, I would
follow the evidence or the client could halt the project; and (d) whatever
the client might publish, with my name attached, should be reviewed by me
prior to publication to ensure there was no misunderstanding about my
findings. (This advice, as you might suspect, falls into the category of
lessons learned the hard way.)

Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
APG member, Tennessee

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