The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

Verifying Online Sources - A Genwise discussion

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.

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Comment by William Douglas on September 8, 2009 at 11:16
good to hear from you again, Daryl,

I hope the Douglas Archives is not one of them?

Incidently, I think I got the GMT time wrong for the webchat - it should have been 2am the next morning! I think! I must learn how to work out this conversion thing.
Comment by Daryl John Douglass on September 8, 2009 at 10:58
Couldn't agree with you more William. I thought I'd found my long lost link until I did some digging and found that if it were true, then my William's father was 15 and his mother was 5 at the time of his birth. Despite this, there are at least six family trees on the William Douglass line in Australia that carry this error
Daryl Douglass

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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