Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Online Family Tree Databases credibility

hmmmmmmmmmmm....................... I always thought that I was in favor of online family tree databases.  When it was questioned, I questioned the person's credibility that brought the subject up.  But now I think I am on this person's side or at least I can see his reasoning for saying what he said.  There is 1 online datebase that I tried out, quit, went back and tried again and left it in 100% disgust.  I use another one but I am questioning the use of it now.  The information, census', vital records that I get is 100% worth the money that I pay.  But the information that is being put out there and shared without question by other people is what I question now.  I'm wondering if people are actually reading what they are putting on their family trees. 
I have found a lot of information that is not accurate even in the smallest of percentages and people just blindly put it on their family trees which means their tree is wrong.  I put what I find basically on the family tree, such as spouses & children.  Then I go through and put reasoning and logic into it back in their day, not current day and I go through a process of deletion which sometimes takes some time.  That is why I have my tree "private".  I have to at least attach a source to what is on my tree to make it even a little credible, then take it to as credible as I can get it. 
When working on genealogy you have to realize that you will never get it 100%.  For some reason some things are just not to be found till future generations.  With the internet, you can get it close or "completely drive the bus into the ditch".  Which if it's the later, you can still get it corrected as closely as you can at the time.  Sometimes things don't make sense to me, so I go and work on something else and think about it and then I go back and things usually will come together.  That is why when a person asks me to find information for them, they seem to think that it's instanteous and it's not always. 
You have to sort things out.  Sometimes things don't make sense to us in this current day.  Simple truth is that we don't think as they did 200 years ago.  In some ways we have hopefully evolved.  Or we have not, they had it right and we tried to overthink the outcome.  We do do that, ya know?
Be leary of online family tree databases but be appreciative at the same time.  Doesn't make sense but what I am talking about is be appreciative of the stories and pictures that you find.  Be appreciative of the records that you find.  I do indexing for both ancestry and familysearch and it takes a lot of time and a lot of people to get these records online to make your research easier.  Back when I started working on genealogy I never dreamed that we would have what we have today.  I keep thinking how my Grandmother would of been all over this happily! 
I have a GGG Grandfather that back in 1967 she told me that since we were Mormon that his family was Catholic and against that we had joined the church and getting records would not be possible.  I really didn't understand that because after all, we are the finest of people!  But I believed what she said.  30 years later when I found his family had not only provided his death date but a story about his life.  I just sat there and looked around after I found it wishing that my grandmother was around to tell her and I realized that since she had passed away she probably already knew.  But he lived to be 97 years old and the 95 year grace period after his death, we would not of been able to get his death dates.  So mission compleat!
Also be leary of what you find on the various websites.  A lot of stories are cut, copied and pasted and you would not believe how many falsehoods I have found about my ancestors.  Too many to count and the stories just keep getting told over and over and over and over and over again.  Check your facts, get into the detail of the stories and research the time period that they lived in.  When I need a break or know I should be taking a break I read history books of that area and that time period and I learn more about how they thought, what life practices they had, what religions were being practiced in their areas and what people that lived there thought of the different religions.  Religion definitely played a MAJOR part in people's lives.  Question everything, get detailed, nit-pick every word and you will get the true story that should be told for generations.
So in this respect, I love what the internet has given to the world of Genealogy!

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