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RE: The online database dilema?

I suppose you could post information stating that no genealogy information
is valid except authenticated source material, but that's something that is
(or should be) pounded into every genealogist every day.

I would rather see even a questionable database kept on-line because it can
provide so many clues. And after all, that's what even census information
is: a clue based on the database information taken by someone with
questionable spelling, questionable handwriting, even a questionable
interest in certain races, religions, etc. It's a CLUE toward source
information ... a part of the journey, not the destination. As an example,
my grandfather is shown as being 10 years old in the 1900 Wisconsin census,
even though I have several documents showing that he was born in 1899. The
census taker clearly added a zero for some mysterious reason. Another
example, my great-grandmother was a bit vain. She fudged her age by five
years and even changed the spelling of her middle name because she thought
it was prettier.

Actually, now that I think of it, even source documents are suspect. My
mother, who was adopted by her grandmother (it's a long story) finally
received her birth certificate from Washington State after 25 years of
requests. Her grandmother is shown as the birth mother!

In short, it's a business of clues. If you withdraw yours from the Internet
you will be doing all of us a great disservice, and will also be cheating
yourself out of clues from other researchers. My suggestion: keep it posted
and do your best.

Kim Day

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Linda Cassidy Lewis []
> Sent: Monday, March 30, 1998 9:30 AM
> Subject: The online database dilema?
> Recently I have seen some discussion about why you should not upload your
> "less than perfect" genealogy data to the internet.  As a result, I have
> just taken my database offline temporarily while I mull this over.  I was
> COMPLETE novice when I started collecting genealogy data about 8 years
> ago... I didn't even know enough to write down the sources of my info for
> the first year! (Of course when I started this it was just for myself and
> never imagined that anyone else would see it.)  My present database
> over 12,000 persons, not counting the royalty.  I have worked almost daily
> for the last 4 years going back over each of my direct lines trying to
> and record more info and better sources.  But I have included info on
> siblings and their families and collateral lines which I have not, for the
> most part, tried to verify.  I have not yet even had time, access to
> resources, or money to gather all the primary sources that I expect are
> available for every one of my direct ancestors.  I do/did have a notice
> quite prominently on the homepage of my database warning to copy the data
> your own risk because it was not all verified by me.  But now I am
> if that is enough.  Should I not upload ANY genealogical info that has not
> been verified by me with a primary source at best or secondary source at
> least?  I hate to have someone copy something from my data without them
> checking it further, but I will also miss out on the MANY people who have
> seen my data and written to give me more info or correct my errors or
> me to other resources.  I'm sure not everyone who has a less than perfect
> database is going to remove theirs from the web.  But I don't want to have
> mine up there just because "everyone else is doing it"!  Does anyone care
> discuss the pros and cons of this issue?
> Linda Cassidy Lewis
> ______________________________

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