17 February 2011

Are You Really Who You Think You Are?

Are you like many of the people out there who tune in to NBC's- Who Do You Think You Are? every Friday night? Tune out the world and dive into the genealogy of the rich & famous? 

Don't get me wrong I think its a great show, and I've actually remembered to tune in. But there are a few issues.  The biggest one that I have is that they make it look so simple, and that commercial about logging onto Ancestry.com and finding their whole family tree makes me really NERVOUS!

I think the issue is that they don't mention the hours & hours it can take to do all that research, nor do they urge you to document all those goodies you find on the website!  Personally I think the show should add a disclaimer, but I doubt that's ever gonna happen!

Personally my descendants are important enough to me to make sure that each & every piece of information I find, whether its on the website featured on the show or anywhere on the web, is fully & totally documented with sources OFF the web.  You know - real research.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that what I have has been proven & fully documented. 

How about you?  Are you really who you think you are?  Is your work proven & documented or are you using the stuff off the line & assuming its correct?

1 comment:

Karen Packard Rhodes said...

Having been trained as a historian and a genealogist, I know how important documentation is. And genealogists are more rigorous about documentation and sources than historians are!

I was a bit jumpy when Rosie O'Donnell took her notes on Friday night's show -- in a small note pad, just jotting down this and that! The best way, of course, is to do a full transcription, and to use full 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper to do it on!

Ah, well. The interest is there, sparked by shows like WDYTYA. It is up to us to educate people how to really do it right.

(I am the Education Chair of my genealogy society).