[APG Public List] Trusting Family Trees WAS: Geni, "breaking family news, " and a test of your skill as a genealogist

eshown at comcast.net eshown at comcast.net
Thu Dec 2 16:33:20 MST 2010

Ray wrote:
> I found one of "my ancestors" once in a popular online family tree:
supposedly, they had been born in the 1400s - and died in 1798. The idea was
so ridiculous, I found myself sitting in front of the screen, snickering.
No, it wasn't really funny, considering this "information" had been
published on a CD-ROM, but I was just overwhelmed by the absurdity of anyone
taking such a claim seriously.

And, of course, Ray, your experience is woefully common. Among the other
reasons for my negative reaction to our "family merger" was that the merger
made our ancestor (born in the 1740s), a son of a woman born in 1831. One
would think that Geni, like most reputable genealogical software, would have
a built-in mechanism to prevent or at least flag such absurdities.

Incidentally (and this is to everybody) when I forwarded my "Shown Family
Newsletter" message, I made a deliberate effort to bleep out all names and
embedded links to protect the guilty. Alas, some of your responses back to
the list, with my message included at the bottom, show that the embedded
links still survived and that they displayed the bleeped material right
along with my editorial placeholders.  

Which, of course, just underscores the point Jeanette and Ray have made:
that it's nigh onto impossible to get rid of genealogical junk, once it goes
out into cyberspace!


Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG

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