The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

Wikipedia has it's fans and it's detractors. The on-line encyclopaedia will be 10 years old in 2011, and has in that time become a major reference for researchers in all fields of discovery.

Because Wkipedia can be edited by anyone, it is prone to pranksters and to the spread of mis-information. However, it is still a very useful resource.

Anyone doing serious research is advised to use alternative sources to verify the information. However, Wikipedia itself offers an opportunity for people to question, or challenge, the information they find on its pages.

I have just been looking at the Clan Douglas page. This page title in itself is a question - is there such an entity as 'Clan Douglas'? Should it be 'House of Douglas'? or just 'Douglas Family'?

One of the topics on that page is the question of who should be the clan chief. Of course, if the Douglases are not a clan, then they cannot have a clan chief!

Debates about these topics, and others, can be found on the 'Talk' or 'Discussion' page. if you are using Wikipedia as a research resource, be sure to check out the Discussion page. There is one for every topic. It is also worth looking at the 'History' page where you will be able to find details of changes that have been made to the article.

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Comment by William Douglas on April 26, 2012 at 13:13

There is an interesting comment on 'Heirs to the Black Douglases' on this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Douglas,_12th_Marquess_of_Queens...

Comment by Christopher J. Valin on September 11, 2010 at 23:40
I agree, William, Wikipedia can be a very valuable source. It is not as easy as it used to be for just anyone to change an article, either. While anyone can attempt it, most articles are constantly monitored by the site's administrators, who will not only change back pranks immediately, but also ban an IP address if it happens more than once. A student of mine disagreed with me on this, so I had him make a change to the Wikipedia article for our school that was obviously not correct. Then I had him refresh the page one minute later. Not only was the article changed back, but he had a warning that if he attempted to vandalize an article again, then that IP address would be banned from making any changes to Wikipedia!

Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?


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