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SOURCING DISCLOSURE


As a Certified Genealogist Research Specialist, I hold my credentials in high esteem. I pride myself in values and integrity within the genealogy community. I have been doing this hobby for 45 years, my parents 50 years before me and my grandparents for 50 years before them. My roots run deep.

Because of some recent events within the past couple of years, I feel the necessity to post this disclosure for citing sources.  First, and foremost, each and every item in my database has a source. However, all genealogy program software does not use source codes in every field. Although dates and locations have source codes, the fields used for "general notes", "research notes", "birth notes", christening notes, death notes and burial notes DO NOT SHOW source coding, thereby leaving the researcher of this database with the belief that there is no source.

Problems arise when I am accused of cutting and pasting notes from others into my database, and worse, that others are also accused of cutting and pasting my notes into their records.

Over a year ago I sent requests to both FTM and Legacy to correct this major flaw. A recent email to establish a progress reveals that nothing has been done, but they recognize it as a problem. Their advice is to use the old fashioned way of citing the source by physically typing it into the note fields. 

I was also accused of copyright infringement by the Champaign County Genealogy Society with a formal letter from the previous president Ted Smith. My attorney contacted him informing him that everything I had done on this web site was done within the "fair use" of copyright law. He was asked to please give us his proof of infringement, and/or URL for the basis of their accusations. As of this date, that has never been provided and the demand letter remains unanswered. Every source from the books of Champaign County publications are properly cited in my database. I am not to blame if the software does not show the source codes.

Therefore, if you wish to make this hobby more than just a fun part-time project, you will need to take your sourcing very serious.  You must check each and every source and never take anyone else at their word. There are so many errors in transcription of records, and typos, that an actual document must be checked for accuracy. Even then, you may have 4 sources that show 4 different birth dates, and then must decide what constitutes a primary source.

If you find anything within this database that does not have a source code, I respectfully ask you to contact me directly at sandi.j.koscak@gmail.com and ask for my source. You can find more information on sourcing at http://genealogy.about.com/od/citing/a/sources.htm

 




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