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Archiver > ROOTS > 2006-07 > 1153337480

From: "MScheffler" <>
Subject: [ROOTS-L] Online genealogy information - Should we use it?
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2006 15:31:20 -0400
References: <001301c6aae1$b751e940$02000003@oemcomputer> <>

George makes a good point about errors whether it be individual online
web sites, the LDS site, the FTM pedigree cds, that people can purchase, the
large FREE Ancestry/WorldConnect shared database, etc. All of these
represent both some good research and horrible research.

I'm not sure how the better researchers convince those that take
everything they see online or in a published book for the gospel truth, that
they need to VERIFY anything they find in these collections of data. Even
the best of us make mistakes.

Everyone needs to learn how to use vital records, church records, land
records, wills and other probate information, etc. to prove family
generational links. We all need to be meticulous about documenting where we
found information so when the inevitable conflicts turn up, we and others
can follow the information back to its source. And yes dates and lots of
little details are important, but if the parental-child links are
inaccurate, the material is worthless, no matter how many correct dates may
be found.

The big databases are not going to go away and they frequently offer
CLUES about where to go for those land or vital records or other possible
locations to search. Particularly for the relative newcomers to genealogy,
just DO NOT ASSUME ANYTHING IS ACCURATE, unless you find the material for
yourself in sources that can be trusted.

And we can all the help the quality of what is online by posting the
most accurate material we can, and where at all possible telling the reader
where we found it.

And what it a good source -- it is NOT A GEDCOM file from someone
else. Look for land records and wills and church records and vital records
that spell out clearly the family relationships. Sometimes old family
letters and diaries have good information not to be found elsewhere. Family
Bible information can be good if it was recorded close to the time of the
event. Not all records are accurate as most of us have experienced, but in
general a record made close to the time of the event will be more accurate
than one made years later.

It may be a losing battle, but when we find obviously inaccurate
material online, it never hurts to contact the submitter in a tactful manner
and suggest they might want to delve a little deeper. Some people won't
change anything, but most of us want to be proud of our work and appreciate
corrections backed up with solid evidence.

Happy researching everyone...... Margaret Scheffler

----- Original Message -----
From: "George van der Merwede" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, July 19, 2006 1:29 PM
Subject: Re: [ROOTS-L] Ancestry World tree project surprise!

....... snipped.... that also leads to errors since people will put up
> genealogy on their sites that hasn't been verified through documentation,
> it is not correct, ends up on and people start to accept it
> and add it to there tree. I do not trust anything from that
> is not from vital records and you can see the original.
> rgds
> George

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