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lessons learned

Journal by daneil2229

I decided to really search for my brick wall Elias Myers 1832-1912, so I joined Ancestry.com for the free 14 day trial.

Well, first of all, I did not find Elias anywhere. So I thought, I'll flesh out the rest of my existing family tree. I did find a few individuals that I had not run into using the free Heritage.com software. But then I started noticing a strange phenom over and over. Some of the people in the 1700's have dates that are amazing. Example: a parent is one year older than the daughter. Now that would not be so bad if it weren't for all the other family trees that hopped on the same train by accepting the dates as well. So I click the leaf, and I look at ten other family trees that post the same erroneous dates. Did no one look at the dates? No, they just all accept the same bad info and then pass it on!

One other thing, I spent lots of time looking at all the volumes of records and attaching them to a person. Well, some of that info can be gotten for free at most public libraries that have genealogical departments. Here in Ohio, most of the public libraries let you log on for free and research practically anything you want.

So bottom line... I maybe added twenty people to my tree. The real bummer was the link I found to a Lord in England only to realize that the son of the father was born the year before the father was born. Oh, well!

Surnames: NONE
Viewed: 662 times
by daneil2229 Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-09-01 23:02:58

daneil2229 has been a Family Tree Circles member since Jul 2011. is researching the following names: MYERS, HENNERDINE, RUECKER and 10 other(s).

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by Scott_J on 2011-09-01 23:47:07

Ancestry's user trees are definitely to be taken with a grain of salt. There are obviously some good leads in there, but it's true that people will accept anything into their trees and you need to verify everything.

Even if the info looks good (not one-year-olds having children; though I wouldn't put that past the English Royalty!) it may not be correct.

I'd say that Ancestry is as much to blame for this as as the members. They make it too easy to merge in data and the bad data spreads like wildfire.

by daneil2229 on 2011-09-03 20:16:37


I did quit Ancestry.com before the 14 day free trial was over, however, I think they are still going to charge me for the first month anyway. So much for free trials!

When asked why I was ending the subcription, I explained that I got very few actual leads beyond what my own Gedcom contained, and that I got lots of erroneous info. She somewhat agreed that folks got what they thought was good and just blindly passed it on.

Here is what I have really learned. When you get beyond what your grandparents give you or you find in the family Bible, the info out there is pretty shaky and sketchy. If I find info on Census, and it matches what I have in my tree, it is probably more accurate than some sites who pride themselves in giving you the fact that your grandfather lived next door to the Wright Brothers. =-)

I did find a library in Findlay, OH that had a decent Genealogy Department. It had three or four nicely filled rows of Ohio county histories. Very interesting reading. I actuall found some family facts by closely reading some of the articles.

I was lucky because I got interested in family history in my thirties when both grandparents where both living and in their right minds! That is good advice for you younguns out there.


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