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New to Ancestry.com...reliable?

New to Ancestry.com...reliable?

Posted: 6 Aug 2010 12:04AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hello, I am new to ancestry.com. I have spent about 5-6 good hours starting my tree. With one line, it has gone back to the year 300 with a lot of "nobles" and I am still not done. Is this seriously reliable? My husband says no way, and that everyone's tree probably goes back this far and has "kings" and "queens" in their tree. What do you think??

Re: New to Ancestry.com...reliable?

Posted: 6 Aug 2010 12:26AM GMT
Classification: Query
I hate to break this to you but...

NOTHING- on ANY of the trees is reliable-period.

You should not even be looking at trees if you are serious about doing your family tree.

You should be researching actual documents, documenting every fact you assert, and doing it one person at a time working back one generation at a time.

Do you have copies of your birth certificate, your parent's birth and marriage certificates? Those of your grandparents?

That is genealogy research- not copying whatever information anyone else slaps into their trees without documentation.

If you are merely copying info from other people's trees you are not a genealogical researcher - you are nothing more that a namegathering clickologist.

5 or 6 hours??? !!!!!!!!

Laughable!

Re: New to Ancestry.com...reliable?

Posted: 6 Aug 2010 12:27AM GMT
Classification: Query
You husband is a smart one.

Well there goes 5-6 hours you'll never get back. You can toss the tree in the rubbish and start over. You've copied everything from those shakey leafs?, right? Delete it all.

Spend the next 5-6 hours reading about how to research genealogy and how to build a family history database. You might want to get a "how to" book on genealogy, your local library should have a good selection.

Re: New to Ancestry.com...reliable?

Posted: 6 Aug 2010 12:28AM GMT
Classification: Query
While I don't know anything about you or your family, I am inclined to say "if it sounds too good to be true . . ." etc. One thing I discovered when I got back even as far as around 1400 in people who were researching the same family line is that sometimes it becomes clear that there is just wild guessing going on (among other things, I found "couples" where the husband and wife were born 100-plus years apart, and no one seemed to have noticed that this called into question a lot of the conclusions people reached). I also found instances where it seemed there were many confirmations of a "fact," but they all had the same typos so clear it started with one person and was just copied over and over by many others.

My suggestion, for what it's worth - start with your immediate ancestors and work backwards, slowly, checking the original images of census records, etc., and questioning everything. Look for disrepancies (they can be important) and don't accept what others have put together except as a working roadmap, which you then try to validate yourself.

When you get back past about 1400, keep in mind that there were big segments of the population of Europe (assuming your ancestry is generally European) that were functionally illiterate (so not many record could exist for most families - so how are these "facts" being verified?). Also, keep in mind the serious turmoil around that time, due to the decimation of the Black Death - whole families and villages and towns just wiped out - poof, gone like they never had existed.

I don't want to be a wet blanket, and with a lot of time and work you probably will find a great deat - but (my personal opinion) I would take what you have found so far with a very large grain of salt.

That said, there are lots of folks on this site who will help you any way they can, make suggestions about places you can look for documentation, and offer lots of encouragement. Good luck with the search, and send me a message through the message function if I can help.

Re: New to Ancestry.com...reliable?

Posted: 6 Aug 2010 1:02AM GMT
Classification: Query
Wow, you are one hell of a jerk aren't you? Did you notice where I noted "new to ancestry.com". You could have been a good guy, and tried to encourage others to appropriately use something you are obviously passionate about, instead of being such an ass. If you could have just said that no, those "hints" are not reliable, and that the correct way to do this is research the way you noted, I would have understood and completely agreed. So instead of encouraging others in something you are passionate about, you have made me want to do nothing but unsubscribe to this website because I dont want to have to deal with jerks like you. Have a nice day you classy fella.

Re: New to Ancestry.com...reliable?

Posted: 6 Aug 2010 1:16AM GMT
Classification: Query
Come on Amanda- you're a big girl- with a Degree no less!

What has being new to Ancestry got to do with knowing how to research something? Did you actually get through college without learning how to do *real* research? I knew our educational system had gone downhill but didn't realize it had gone *that* far down.

Perhaps I could have phrased things a bit less harshly but the fact is I didn't. The other replies tend to express the same theme- learn to do proper research. If you check my posting history you;ll find I'm very helpful overall but I don't *ever* sugarcoat things.

Staying with Ancestry is, of course, a decision only you can make. Personally, I hope you listen to the others and do a bit of research as to how to do proper genealogy. It is a fun and rewarding hobby but it does take real work.



Re: New to Ancestry.com...reliable?

Posted: 6 Aug 2010 2:47AM GMT
Classification: Query
Others have addressed some key tree issues.

Here is a site with some basics - look at the links center left, start with the one on building a tree and by all means follow each of the 5 sub -links. It is all well written and does not 'talk down' to you.

http://genealogy.about.com/

The LDS' revised Family Search site has a wiki with some excellent articles on how to do specific areas research and other topics:

https://wiki.familysearch.org/en/Main_Page

For US research help, the USGenWeb project State and County pages have useful brief history items and many volunteer-contributed resources, arranged by State:

http://www.usgenweb.org/

--also check out the network of sites from the link at right labeled "Project Archives".

Rootsweb's home page has very useful links at upper left, including to another research guide:

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/

As you get your teeth into the basics, and start needing more resources such as maps, published research guides (really, books can be a lot handier than websites) and very specific stuff, one of the oldest and richest sites on the web can give you stunning lists of mainly internet resources: www.cyndislist.com

Just for kicks, have a look at a site that shows you how some of the really ridiculous trees got started:

http://personal.linkline.com/xymox/fraud/hoax.htm

Really, the most fun is getting to the treasure-houses: archives, specialized libraries, historical societies' manuscript collections, Church repositories and Courthouses -- that have untold riches in the form of land, estate, tax, vital and Court records that can provide a lot of details about ancestors' lives. If you just looked at internet trees you would not have a clue that there may be diaries or journals, business ledgers, plat maps (etc.) about one of your ancestral neighborhoods. This is really where you find out that a ggggf wound up in court because he sold an ox on a Sunday, or that an ancestor's land was redistributed because the daughters' guardian declared that the folks who did the original partition gave the boys the most productive land. Estate inventories might list the requisite equipment for an 18th-century cooking fireplace, what sort of dishes were in the cupboard, or carriage-maker's tools.

Good hunting!

Re: New to Ancestry.com...reliable?

Posted: 6 Aug 2010 4:07AM GMT
Classification: Query
Well, that was entertaining, any lessons learned?

. . . . maybe about tone used?

Re: New to Ancestry.com...reliable?

Posted: 6 Aug 2010 4:12AM GMT
Classification: Query
Amanda, when I first started research, I purchased a book called "Genealogy for Dummies" because I was a Dummy when I started out. Now after 10+ years I know a little bit more. In my opinion, when you find trees that take your relatives back to the year 300, that is absolute junk. I would venture to say that no one can research their relatives back that far, mostly not even back to 1500/1600 with any accuracy unless you are royalty and probably not even then. As others have said, delete that stuff you downloaded in 5/6 hours. It is not worth a hill of beans as the saying goes. Trees that have that kind of data is called "junkology" pure and simple.

I made lots of mistakes when I first started too but I learned from those mistakes as you will too if you are truly serious about researching your family roots. And as others have suggested, start with you, then your parents, their parents, and so on. Depending on your age, you may find your grandparents in the census if they were born by or before 1930. If you can locate them when they were still living with their parents, you can then find their parents. Genealogy is not quick or easy and cannot be done in 5/6 hours even on a really good day. It takes lots of time and effort but can be very rewarding if you are patient. Talk to your elderly relatives and they may have information that you can use.

Here is an example of how patience rewarded me. About 6 years ago I posted a message on Genealogy.com concerning my ggg grandfather. After a time I decided I would not ever find out anything. Then lo and behold, 4 years later I got a reply from a gentleman who was also descended from him. He put me in contact with his uncle who had a beautiful photo of my ggg grandfather along with tombstone photos and a narrative about how he made his living in 1850/1860. I will be forever grateful for the reply that I received. About a year ago the uncle passed away suddenly and I am so glad that he was able to send me the photo and share the information.

If you are serious, don't give up. The comments you have found come from those of us who have seen how junk trees just create more junk and we deplore the use of those easy hints because that just adds to the problem. You may not like the comments but they do come from those of us who are serious about accuracy. Do your own research even if it takes a long time because your family tree will be the better for it. I do look at hints that I find but then I do my own research to see if the hints are anything close to being accurate. Do not add those hints to your trees without checking and then if you think they are correct, add the information manually.

Re: New to Ancestry.com...reliable?

Posted: 6 Aug 2010 4:47AM GMT
Classification: Query
She was NOT objecting to the comments, but the tone of the comments, which you and others on here, can't understand for some reason.
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