[APG Public List] Actual Physical Location

Larry Boswell laboswell at rogers.com
Mon Nov 8 06:19:18 MST 2010

But again, it's like any other fact.  There are thousands of bogus family trees out on the internet whose authors' would swear are accurate.  Or LDS Ancestral Files.  Pedigrees of all sorts.  I don't like wading through them.

And even when proving the usual relationships myself, there isn't a line drawn between absolutely correct and something that is highly likely but not 100% assured.  And I lay that out clearly, my degree of confidence in my findings.  Any decent researcher will use coordinates appropriately, in context, and with supporting 'facts'.  And the result will be more trustworthy.  And a poor researcher will jump to ill-informed conclusions or pull coordinates using guesswork and a prayer.  Yet even an absolute beginner to genealogy just might have gotten things right.  The only way you know for sure is to "trust no one,"  and re-establish/vette each so-called coordinate by doing your own assessment and evaluations.  I don't take anyone's results for granted when it comes to any genealogical fact.  And I treat coordinates in exactly the same way I treat any so-called "fact".   

We would not be able to stop poorly deduced coordinates from being presented as fact, than we could stop people from putting up inaccurate pedigrees and family histories on the net.  It's buyer beware.


On 2010-11-07, at 8:17 PM, Ray Beere Johnson II wrote:

> Larry;
> --- On Sun, 11/7/10, Larry Boswell <laboswell at rogers.com> wrote:
>> I put the same diligence into establishing facts no matter what they 
>> are.
>     I certainly did not mean to suggest your diligence was lacking in any way. My remark about differing levels of certainty even for information from the same researcher had nothing to do with diligence - I meant that, depending on the quality of information you are able to find, you may be able to pinpoint one site more closely than another. I know that in some cases I have worked _harder_ in situations where I am unsure of the information I have (simply because the situation forces me to work harder).
>     If I discovered that we had ancestors in common, and you shared your information with me, I would take that pretty seriously. I don't say I wouldn't consider other evidence as well - I do that even for results I've dug up. :-) But I'd be happy enough to rely on your information unless something contradictory came up.
>     But if we embrace geographic co-ordinates _without taking care to establish a context for them_, there are countless idiots on the internet who will plug in the spot on Google Maps where they're sure great-grandma lived - perhaps because their psychic told them so ;-) - and list those co-ordinates with a straight face. And I would be no happier wading through that mess of random numbers than I am trying to sift the random dates people seem to have pulled out of thin air. (Even if we do take such care, all too many idiots will run amok - but I'd at least like to try to limit the damage...)
>                         Ray Beere Johnson II

More information about the APGPublicList mailing list