Sometimes you have to do some work.

+14 votes
Please do not make the mistake of assuming that every source is online, it is not. There is a great deal of information available, but you have to make a little effort.

In the UK, many Parish Registers are not yet on the internet, and some that are merely transcripts full of errors. To verify this data you need to obtain fiche of the original document. These are available from the Area Records Offices at a nominal price to cover the photographic process, and still cheaper than 'pay to view' sites with questionable data.
in The Tree House by Tim Perry G2G6 Mach 3 (35.7k points)
retagged by Anthony McCabe

1 Answer

+6 votes
Good reminder Tim. I have spent the past three afternoons in the Northumberland Archives. Among the images I found that highlight transcript errors is a bride transcribed as Margaret Basley. The banns show her as Margaret Pasley and trawling through the rest of the microfilm for 20 years either side of the marriage date to find more Pasleys indicates she may actually have been a Paisley.
by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (683k points)
Lynda, I think that there are many folk who expect "instant genealogy", If it's online, it MUST be correct, and if it's not online it is dismissed. Of course, these errors are copied, and recopied, around the globe. Before you know, folk are arguing that "It must be true, because everybody says so."

Simple truth is that there is no "Lazy man's way", it you want the truth , you have to work for it. My data files, in excess of 40,000 profiles, ( NOT on WIKI ), are the result of work started by my father in 1925, and continued by myself after his demise, and I feel that I have barely scratched the surface yet.

Original Parish Registers are by far the best source, written up by the clergy, contemporaries of the data subject, and having first hand personal knowledge of the individual. Not some book written decades, or hundreds, of years after the event, based upon the assumptions of an "expert".
You are very lucky to have had some of the groundwork done by your father.

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