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Two Wrongs Don't Make it Right!

treegenealogymidI had a discussion not long ago with a client and something came up that I thought all new genealogists should be aware of. I often see family trees posted online that 1) do not have any sources & 2) that have been copied from other family trees without sources.

It is first important to note that you should NEVER copy information from another family tree & put it in your own tree until you have verified all the information by locating all the documentation to prove it. 


In the instance of my conversation with the client, he asked if I take information from other family trees in the course of my research for clients & I told him no. I proceeded to explain to him why I do not do that. I will use it as a reference or guide if I have encountered a brick wall so I can locate & acquire the documents to support it. He said he had taken information from other family trees & accepted it as fact if dates & other information matched what he had. In both cases there is no source from either his information or the other tree. I explained to him that it does not matter if information matches because a person has no idea where the information came from as it could have been acquired from another unverified source.

To put it simply, without sources, just accepting information because it matches yours is not proof that the information is accurate.... Two incorrect pieces of information will not make it correct. VERIFY ALL INFORMATION! Genealogy research does not happen overnight and takes a lot of work so why take a shortcut that could cause you to end up further researching a line that may turn out not to be related at all. You will have spent all that time in vain & will cause you or someone else to have to start all over again. If you think you are in over your head, then you may want to consider hiring a professional.

Genealogy without documentation is mythology!!!

Classes are available at genealogy conferences to help you learn how to do genealogy research properly, take advantage of that and learn. Rootstech is the largest genealogy conference in the world that takes place in Salt Lake City every year in February where thousands of people go to network & learn and I highly recommend it, but there are many local conferences that you can attend. You might consider joining a local genealogy society and or join the Conference Keeper Facebook group.

Sherlock's Latest Blog Post

 T he long awaited day has arrived. The series of books that are guides to researching docments in other languages is complete. For awhile now, the translation guide books for Polish, Latin & Russ...

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