[APG Public List] Geni, "breaking family news, " and a test of your skill as a genealogist

eshown at comcast.net eshown at comcast.net
Thu Dec 2 14:04:35 MST 2010

Thanks for posting this valuable caution. Would that it could be read by all who play what James Tanner aptly calls video-game genealogy (http://www.genealogywise.com/profiles/blogs/click-and-claim-the-genealogy).
Incidentally, there was no “J” involved in the message I posted. I’m guessing that the funny face I added to the end of my first sentence was converted to “J” by your plain-text viewer, leaving the impression that my first line had been initialed by someone. It definitely wasn’t the initial of the great guru of video-game genealogy whom I impersonally (and, yes, somewhat uncharitably) referenced.
From: Jeanette Daniels [mailto:jeanettedaniels8667 at yahoo.com] 
Sent: Thursday, December 02, 2010 2:33 PM
To: eshown at comcast.net; apgpubliclist at apgen.org
Subject: Re: [APG Public List] Geni, "breaking family news, " and a test of your skill as a genealogist

If I happen to be "J," I don't necessarily find this humorous but totally sad.  My guess it that someone did the merge on the New Family Search and is an idiotic when it comes to understanding that research is supposed to be done first before anything is merged together.  New Family Search is not working obviously!

I'm afraid that many LDS think wrongly that if they can make connections to deceased persons on New Family Search, that everything in there is correct.  There is no concept of actually looking up records or verifying information.  I personally don't know how to explain this to those who want a "quick family tree" whether they are LDS or not.  The Internet, in a way, has spread the concept of being able to find anything quickly but whether it is correct or not is another story.

Much of the really old dates for genealogy come from the old Family Group Sheets that many LDS family organizations paid money to have researched.  Sadly, many of the older genealogists made a good living from gullible LDS families interested in getting their temple work done.  I don't have statistics on how many of these Family Group Sheets are fabricated, but I know the number is extremely high.  Old Family Group Sheet information was then put into the Ancestral File by people not aware of all the mistakes, fraud, etc. in them and then after the Ancestral File became too fragile to handle more information, the Pedigree Resource File was created and now New Family Search.  All contain the old garbage from almost 100 years ago.  

Jeanette Daniels
Heritage Genealogical College

From: "eshown at comcast.net" <eshown at comcast.net>
To: APGPublicList at apgen.org
Sent: Thu, December 2, 2010 12:04:01 PM
Subject: [APG Public List] Geni, "breaking family news, " and a test of your skill as a genealogist
I’m trying to see humor in this. Maybe you will, too.J
A genealogically inexperienced relative started a “Geni” tree for us last year, then accepted a “merge request” from someone who had a same-name/different-person ancestor on a peripheral branch of the tree (totally unrelated to Showns)—a merge request that she says she can’t undo, created by somebody who apparently has nothing to do but merge trees and add celebrity names. 
Since then, every few few days, a “Shown Family Newsletter” comes into my box “alerting” me to his additions.  Here’s the first gem today:
“ <http://www.geni.com/c/74692b246ae3ee5bf3c6326ff6ddaba269fda988?u=%2Fpeople%2FGene-Daniell-4%2F6000000001171611022> [name deleted by esm] added his 16th great grandmother's husband's second great aunt's husband's grandmother's husband's niece's husband's 19th great grandson's wife's sister [name deleted again] and 4 others.
Wow!  Can anybody chart that in 5 minutes or less?
Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
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