01 April 2011

So You Call Yourself a Genealogist? Really...???

Sometimes I think some people just don't get it.  Let me see if maybe this time it will get thru... 

As a general rule 100 year old women don't give birth.  Seriously, when was the last time you actually knew of a woman that old giving birth? Let me explain.

Everytime I go digging around on Ancestry trees I find stuff like this.  It's actually very irritating when you are digging for some clues on your own family tree, you find some names that match.  You click and go for a visit.  When you get there you find wrong info, things like parents who birth babies at 100+ years,  children born before parents,  all sorts of stupid (and I do mean really stupid) stuff that never should have made it up there. 

So you take the time & drop a line - a friendly line, provide some documentation and send it off.  You get a response, "oh yeah, I must have missed that"...  thinking maybe it would be corrected.  NOT!

Next time you go digging there are now 10 others who now have posted this ignorant information on their family trees.  HELLO?  Doesn't anyone read any more?  Don't you pay attention or do you just CLICK & CLAIM to fill those family group sheets? Don't you ever update your tree when corrections are offered?   Is anyone out there actually paying attention?  Are you actually researching and finding real material?  There is so much ACTUAL scanned documentation available online that just Clicking & claiming is plain stupid.  No other way to say it.

Want me to take you seriously as a genealogist?  Then fix it when someone draws your attention to the errors, communicate and most of all DOCUMENT before posting!

I'm just saying...


Anonymous said...

Yes Karen there are those that do take you and other seriously. The answer is for you to continue doing proper documentation and then publish your findings.

There are different levels of genealogy - these are what I label "basket collectors" which are those that you are talking about. They toss everything in a basket and say "oh look how much I have." They aren't going to go away - it is the good researchers job to weed them out. Don't get an ulcer - I know I did!

Jen said...

I have run across many of these types of trees on Ancestry lately. Lots of data no sources, collected errors.....Frustrating.

A rootdigger said...

I call those my working trees, I merely claimm so I can see who they all have and easily join it all together. after I have them I take census marriage, deaths military etc to vouch for the name. However as time comes to close many are left undone, until I come back aother day. Also at times it's a place marker. You have to take it all with a grain of salt, Surely others can see the errors too. I must admit that I made a few errors that way and sadly saw them repeated, because I had sent a tree to someone and asked him what he thought? he forgot the reason, did not wait for reply and put it on, and well it stands there even with my comment added below it.

What is funny too, are those who don't know and just add an extra marriage to the person. We often omitt the second marriage or the third. But these on examination do not make sense. Or the date differs and the name is the same, you take, fix and understand, it's a work in progress. You hope they will contact you, mostly though, they don't.

Karen said...

Thanks to all for your comments. I think the reason for the frustration is that you take the time to leave them the CORRECT info, an obit, a death certificate or other "documentation" to assist them and then nothing changes. If they are provided with real documentation then I feel they should update their file.

I do agree that the trees make a great "jumping" off spot, a place to help jumpstart a tough line. We all know not to take things there as "serious" proof without documenting what we find there.

But it is too much to ask for them to update the file they have posted when they are provided with good dates & documentation to back it up? (Devil's advocate here!)

Happy Researching!

Margel said...

This is exactly why I don't have a public tree. I used to have my Ancestry tree as a working tree. I added many ancestors and knew that I would need to prove them but didn't want to forget the names or relationships. Then I found that people had copied this unproven and sometimes incorrect information and instantly made my tree private.