Why do people assume that their genealogy line is correct

+8 votes
Hello fellow genealogist.

For the past few days now, I have tried to repair some merging on my line.

The prior person had the wrong lineage, I could see where he got his/her information. Happy that I have Ancestry and could look directly in church records but it took me all day to do some research for the whole family.

Please do not assume that the merging person have the correct information. I always make a copy of the church record and apply it under the proper name in my Family Tree Maker. Thank you....
in Policy and Style by Lise Rodrigue G2G6 Mach 1 (12.4k points)
assumption is the mother of all mess-ups. It makes an A** out of u & me. Is why I love Wikitree ♥
Yeap, I thought of it as well about assuming....it did sure made a mess out of me....lol

2 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer
I think the answer to the question is that when we first begin genealogy, and first look for sources, seeing any hit on any new record is like finding an Easter egg when you were a kid.  You're excited at the prospect of locating relevant data, and you don't question the find or invoke any mental process of evaluating accuracy or quality.  It's only after gaining a little experience, and seeing some inconsistent or contradictory records, or seeing more experienced researchers express skepticism about a source, that you begin to realize that not every printed word is gospel, and that the records were created by humans who sometimes made mistakes.
by Dennis Barton G2G6 Pilot (472k points)
selected by Living Berg - Hilse
+6 votes
That is why all profiles should have good sources that can easily checked by everyone. Just citing "Ancestry" is of no help and will cause you much more work because nobody knows where on Ancestry to look even if they do have an account there. Also the sad truth is that there is a lot of bad information an All Sites so if I can not check the source myself I have to make an educated guess based on what I can find.
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
I know from our conversations here that I must rebuild most of my earliest efforts here to include more precise sources (especially from anc.com). It is a load of work on anc.com to state a source, but once I realized it was important, I tried to do it. It's the worst kind of work for me (character flaw I suppose) (smile).

I think we should develop a consistent way to state "this source is an educated guess based on facts found to date. (In academic research, the correct term is "inference," meaning "educated guess.") Sounds like it's full of holes, but in this framework it is much more legitimate than in, for instance, national politics. (smile)
Roberta, one of the easiest ways to cite a source is to use a site like fanilysearch.org and just copy and paste the way they tell you to cite the source. The other advantage to that site is they have at least an indexed version of a lot of information from other pay sites like ancestry and fold3.
I've had such bad experiences with anc.com, I want to avoid all the LDS-owned sites. I also live in an LDS dominated AZ county. I hope there are other sites that do the job just as easily as with family search.
I've stated my real response but this site says I've said that before and will not allow me to post it. It regards my resistance to LDSsite use.
The LDS church does not own ancestry.com. but other than that comment I will not push you if you do not want to use that site I was just using their "cite this source" link as an example of a well cited source. The biggest problem I see with you avoiding all LDS connections is that familysearch partners with almost everyone, even WikiTree but they do not own WikiTree either
And the FamilySearch Wiki, collections (whether indexed or not), digitised books, and catalogue are extremely useful.

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