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Sloppy Research

Replies: 31

Re: Sloppy Research

Posted: 1 Jan 2013 5:28PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 1 Jan 2013 5:39PM GMT
Donna, YOU are responsible for YOUR family research. YOU can neither fix nor retract that which is done by others. There have always been professionals, gifted amateurs, and rank amateurs in this business. Some ranker than others. I recommend to you a little book by Donald Lines Jacobus, "Genealogy As Pastime And Profession," which addresses your observations. Jacobus was the dean of historical research in Connecticut, the founder of a major genealogical journal, a professional in every sense, and a man with a great sense of humor. It's a thin read, but a good one.

Three common traps in genealogy: (1) It must be true, I seen it in print; (2) The name's the same, so it must be the same person; (3) Everything my parents/grandparents/cousins etc told me is true and I must believe it.

Your family tree is only as reliable as your own research, your own footnotes, your own sources. Accept the work of others and you accept their limitations, their viewpoints, their (sometimes flawed) interpretations of the sources.

I am particularly leery of GEDCOMs copied from other GEDCOMS. I'll say this for the Ancestral File, it allowed error to spread at the speed of light. And now that it's out there, it can't ever be pulled back.

I've spent almost forty years in this silly hobby, and I'm just getting started. Be of good cheer, and have a happy New Year.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
genehisthome 2 Jan 2013 12:28AM GMT 
dmichaelelkin... 2 Jan 2013 4:07PM GMT 
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