Many budding genealogists are excited when they find that many of the names in their family tree are easily found online. Proud of their accomplishment, they then download all the data they can from these Internet sources, import it into their genealogy software and proudly start sharing their "genealogy" with others. Their research then makes its way into new genealogy databases and collections, further perpetuating the new "family tree" and amplifying any errors each time the source is copied. While it sounded great at first, there is one major problem with this scenario; namely that the family information that is freely published in many Internet databases and Web sites is often unsubstantiated and of questionable validity. (A bit like the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq!)
Much of the information that you will find in the Douglas Archives comes without verification. In some cases, we actually publish conflicting material! We take the opportunity to remind you that all information should be checked of accuracy and is only provided as a guide to what we think - but we might be wrong! Which is why we constantly ask for errors to be pointed out to us.
There is an on-line 'chat'
on Monday, August 31, at 8:00pm (MDT) (2:00pm GMT) entitled: GENTREK: Verifying Online Sources
for subscribers to Genwise, the genealogy social network
. This sounds like a 'must do' event to me.