How well can I trust what I find?

+2 votes

The current issue of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 167(Jan 2013):5, contains a wonderful editorial by Henry B. Hoff and Helen Schatvet Ullman about what to look for in published genealogies. I would say the same holds true for any online genealogies as well. 

  1. "Look at the chronology. Do the dates make sense? Make sure women are not marrying at 6 or having children after 50. If there are few actual dates available, has the author provided reasonable "say" [about] dates of birth and/or marriage?"
  2. "Look at the lineage. Are there many statements without documentation? Is there documentation for the mother's maiden name? Is there evidence to show children belong to their purported parents?" 
  3. "Look at the reasoning. Is there analysis to discuss possible or probably connections? Or is everything presented as 'fact'?"
  4. "Look at the documentation itself. Do the sources cited seem likely to support the information in the text? Are wills and deeds cited, or is the entire publication based on a few secondary sources and a few published primary source records? The latter scenario may be sufficient, but often so much more could be done."

 

asked Mar 5, 2013 by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (134,140 points)

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