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Massachusetts Sourcing Errors

Replies: 1

Re: Massachusetts Sourcing Errors

Posted: 29 Mar 2012 7:33AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hello, Mr Oliver:

Your message is as relavent today as it was when you first posted it. I hope people take it to heart.

So many times you see the IGI cited as a source. Whenever I point out on mailing lists the folly of doing so, a person or two gets very miffed that I would question the LDS Church. Those folks who utilize that "information" never take a moment to read the source info caveat that's provided with each search result. [The primary sources that the Church is currently transcribing are a different kettle of ancestors. There, the concern is transcription accuracy.]

The same applies to some Ancestry.com "sources". Mixed in with the primary source collections, there are a number that are based on data compiled from free websites, and similar places, unwittingly uploaded by regular family historians wanting to altruistically share with others. the freely shared data was then repackaged and sold to subscribers as unsourced "collections". Ancestry at least will tell members that in the source description of each "collection", but again, many people don't take the time to read the caveats.

It's disheartening when a family historian uses another online family tree or an anonymous GED file obtained from who-knows-where as their source. It's even more laughable when two online family trees use EACH OTHER as the cited source - talk about a dog chasing its own tail!


To help mitigate these errors, even when primary sources are unknown to us, journals can really help. It's suprizing to me when other family historians have no knowledge of how to use scholarly journals in their research. I think the majority of people don't know that through them, they can find peer-reviewed articles on new, well-documented research and also researched updates to previously published family genealogies. Few people know about using PERSI (Periodical Source Index), available on HeritageQuest, to find relevant articles. Or of those who do know, few realize how outdated the version is that's on Ancestry.com.

So, thank you and keep up your efforts. Your information remains extremely valuable to researchers who want to get it right or at least as close as is possible.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Americas First Families 15 Jun 2004 7:03PM GMT 
seekerJay 29 Mar 2012 1:33PM GMT 
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