Discussion:
Take a look at this!
(too old to reply)
r***@btinternet.com
2012-09-07 08:34:26 UTC
Permalink
We all know that there is an awful lot of genealogical garbage out there polluting the Internet,
but I came across an Ancestry record yesterday that simply defies belief!!!

Take a look at.....

http://records.ancestry.com/Mary_Topley_records.ashx?pid=2634974

This concerns one MARY TOPLEY, whom I happen to be interested in. The website carries
the heading "Mary Topley (1572-1839) and the copy below it tells us that Mary Topley "Born
1572. Mary married Thomas Dexter. Mary married Thomas Dexter and had 3 children. She
passed away on Apr 1839."

Really? So Mary Topley/Dexter was aged 267 when she died!

Scroll further down the page and we find that Mary married two men both called Thomas
Dexter, one whose dates were 1568-1676 (so he would have died at 108) and then another
Thomas Dexter whose dates are given as 1609-1840, so he would have been 231.

Click on Thomas Dexter No 2 and the family tree becomes even more bizarre! We are told
that Thomas was born in Dedham, Essex, England, in 1609. He married 1) Dexter and 2)
Mary Topley and they had 4 children.and Thomas passed away in Sep 1840 in England.

Click on one of the children, George Topley Dexter, and you find on his record that his
parents are stated to be Thomas Dexter (1609-1840) and Mary (1572-1839).

The only thing right about this record are the death dates of Thomas Dexter and Mary, who
both in fact died at Oakham, Rutland (England's smallest county), at the dates stated.

How anyone can seriously confuse two totally different men and their wives from a couple of
centuries apart and combine them into the same family trees is utterly beyond me! Shouldn't
there be some kind of law that debars people who clearly don't have a clue what they are
doing from ever taking up genealogy? Or is it something to do with Ancestry's often peculiar
system of record-presenting that has confused and defeated me?


--
Roy Stockdill
Genealogical researcher, writer & lecturer
Famous family trees blog: http://blog.findmypast.co.uk/tag/roy-stockdill/

"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about,
and that is not being talked about."
OSCAR WILDE
Graeme Wall
2012-09-07 09:01:53 UTC
Permalink
On 07/09/2012 09:34, ***@btinternet.com wrote:
> We all know that there is an awful lot of genealogical garbage out there polluting the Internet,
> but I came across an Ancestry record yesterday that simply defies belief!!!
>
> Take a look at.....
>
> http://records.ancestry.com/Mary_Topley_records.ashx?pid=2634974
>
> This concerns one MARY TOPLEY, whom I happen to be interested in. The website carries
> the heading "Mary Topley (1572-1839) and the copy below it tells us that Mary Topley "Born
> 1572. Mary married Thomas Dexter. Mary married Thomas Dexter and had 3 children. She
> passed away on Apr 1839."
>
> Really? So Mary Topley/Dexter was aged 267 when she died!
>

I seem to recall you've had a moan about this one before.

I suspect you'd have to have a subscription and actually look at the
information to make sense of it.

--
Graeme Wall
This account not read, substitute trains for rail.
Railway Miscellany at <http://www.greywall.demon.co.uk/rail>
Andy
2012-09-07 09:16:36 UTC
Permalink
"Graeme Wall" wrote in message news:5Ki2s.279174$***@fx08.am4...

>On 07/09/2012 09:34, ***@btinternet.com wrote:
>> We all know that there is an awful lot of genealogical garbage out there
>> polluting the Internet,
>> but I came across an Ancestry record yesterday that simply defies
>> belief!!!
>>
>> Take a look at.....
>>
>> http://records.ancestry.com/Mary_Topley_records.ashx?pid=2634974
>>
>> This concerns one MARY TOPLEY, whom I happen to be interested in. The
>> website carries
>> the heading "Mary Topley (1572-1839) and the copy below it tells us that
>> Mary Topley "Born
>> 1572. Mary married Thomas Dexter. Mary married Thomas Dexter and had 3
>> children. She
>> passed away on Apr 1839."
>>
>> Really? So Mary Topley/Dexter was aged 267 when she died!
>>

>I seem to recall you've had a moan about this one before.

>I suspect you'd have to have a subscription and actually look at the
>information to make sense of it.
>Graeme Wall

This is actually from the Trees posted on Ancestry by subscribers. It looks
like one person has incorrectly entered 1839 instead of 1639 and dozens of
others have copied this onto their trees. I'm sure that you will find
similar errors on every site that hosts trees, even Findmypast.

Andy
Tony Proctor
2012-09-07 10:40:12 UTC
Permalink
"Andy" <***@ozemail.com.au> wrote in message
news:OqadnTY-***@westnet.com.au...
>
>
> "Graeme Wall" wrote in message news:5Ki2s.279174$***@fx08.am4...
>
>>On 07/09/2012 09:34, ***@btinternet.com wrote:
>>> We all know that there is an awful lot of genealogical garbage out there
>>> polluting the Internet,
>>> but I came across an Ancestry record yesterday that simply defies
>>> belief!!!
>>>
>>> Take a look at.....
>>>
>>> http://records.ancestry.com/Mary_Topley_records.ashx?pid=2634974
>>>
>>> This concerns one MARY TOPLEY, whom I happen to be interested in. The
>>> website carries
>>> the heading "Mary Topley (1572-1839) and the copy below it tells us that
>>> Mary Topley "Born
>>> 1572. Mary married Thomas Dexter. Mary married Thomas Dexter and had 3
>>> children. She
>>> passed away on Apr 1839."
>>>
>>> Really? So Mary Topley/Dexter was aged 267 when she died!
>>>
>
>>I seem to recall you've had a moan about this one before.
>
>>I suspect you'd have to have a subscription and actually look at the
>>information to make sense of it.
>>Graeme Wall
>
> This is actually from the Trees posted on Ancestry by subscribers. It
> looks like one person has incorrectly entered 1839 instead of 1639 and
> dozens of others have copied this onto their trees. I'm sure that you will
> find similar errors on every site that hosts trees, even Findmypast.
>
> Andy
>
>

It almost sounds like the "deliberate errors" that map-makers incorporate in
order to prove copyright issues. Maybe that date error was deliberate.

Of course I'm not entirely serious there, but the fact that an error can be
traced through multiple trees is an interesting concept. It might be used to
prove all sorts of suggestions about tree-copying, lack of analysis/proof on
copying, and just the evolutionary natures of trees (as opposed to the
individuals within them).

Tony Proctor
Charles Ellson
2012-09-07 14:50:30 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 7 Sep 2012 11:40:12 +0100, "Tony Proctor"
<***@proctor_NoMore_SPAM.net> wrote:

>
>"Andy" <***@ozemail.com.au> wrote in message
>news:OqadnTY-***@westnet.com.au...
>>
>>
>> "Graeme Wall" wrote in message news:5Ki2s.279174$***@fx08.am4...
>>
>>>On 07/09/2012 09:34, ***@btinternet.com wrote:
>>>> We all know that there is an awful lot of genealogical garbage out there
>>>> polluting the Internet,
>>>> but I came across an Ancestry record yesterday that simply defies
>>>> belief!!!
>>>>
>>>> Take a look at.....
>>>>
>>>> http://records.ancestry.com/Mary_Topley_records.ashx?pid=2634974
>>>>
>>>> This concerns one MARY TOPLEY, whom I happen to be interested in. The
>>>> website carries
>>>> the heading "Mary Topley (1572-1839) and the copy below it tells us that
>>>> Mary Topley "Born
>>>> 1572. Mary married Thomas Dexter. Mary married Thomas Dexter and had 3
>>>> children. She
>>>> passed away on Apr 1839."
>>>>
>>>> Really? So Mary Topley/Dexter was aged 267 when she died!
>>>>
>>
>>>I seem to recall you've had a moan about this one before.
>>
>>>I suspect you'd have to have a subscription and actually look at the
>>>information to make sense of it.
>>>Graeme Wall
>>
>> This is actually from the Trees posted on Ancestry by subscribers. It
>> looks like one person has incorrectly entered 1839 instead of 1639 and
>> dozens of others have copied this onto their trees. I'm sure that you will
>> find similar errors on every site that hosts trees, even Findmypast.
>>
>> Andy
>>
>>
>
>It almost sounds like the "deliberate errors" that map-makers incorporate in
>order to prove copyright issues. Maybe that date error was deliberate.
>
>Of course I'm not entirely serious there, but the fact that an error can be
>traced through multiple trees is an interesting concept. It might be used to
>prove all sorts of suggestions about tree-copying, lack of analysis/proof on
>copying, and just the evolutionary natures of trees (as opposed to the
>individuals within them).
>
It is probably a consequence of the "pick one off this list" matching
provided by Ancestry which maybe was OK until someone typed in the
above error after which others failed to check carefully and so
on.....
Ancestry now seems to have some error-checking related to children's
birthdates and parents ages but only with records which have been
typed in rather than copied from another tree. If the dodgy age is
attached to a child then IME it becomes much easier to be missed when
parents are being matched and the children are the acconmpanying
"noise".
r***@btinternet.com
2012-09-07 11:11:42 UTC
Permalink
From: Graeme Wall <***@greywall.demon.co.uk>

> On 07/09/2012 09:34, ***@btinternet.com wrote:
> > We all know that there is an awful lot of genealogical garbage out
> there polluting the Internet, but I came across an Ancestry record yesterday that simply defies
> belief!!!
> >
> > Take a look at.....
> >
> > http://records.ancestry.com/Mary_Topley_records.ashx?pid=2634974
> >
> > This concerns one MARY TOPLEY, whom I happen to be interested in.
> > The website carries the heading "Mary Topley (1572-1839) and the copy below it tells
> > us that Mary Topley "Born1572. Mary married Thomas Dexter. Mary married Thomas
> > Dexter and had 3 children. She passed away on Apr 1839."
> >
> > Really? So Mary Topley/Dexter was aged 267 when she died!
> >
>
> I seem to recall you've had a moan about this one before.<

I very much doubt it because I only came across it yesterday while looking for anything on the
Thomas Dexter and Mary Topley I am researching.

> I suspect you'd have to have a subscription and actually look at the
> information to make sense of it.>

Why on earth should I be forced to take out a subscription in order to make sense of
something that, at least on the face of it, appears to be patent nonsense? In any case, where
am I going to find extra information that makes sense of a record that is very clearly labelled
in large print across the top of the page "Mary Topley (1572-1839)?"

In fact, the given age of death of Mary Dexter (nee Topley) was 67, which suggests her birth
was actually in 1772. Possibly it's a literal error, However, the links to her husband and
children only throw the matter into further confusion.

Surely there can be only two explanations for this nonsense, i.e. 1) The person who originally
submitted it hasn't the faintest idea what they are doing; 2) The original submitter got it right
but a subsequent submitter has added information and somehow managed to combine the
two into one record! This is why I would never dream of putting my family tree on Ancestry or,
indeed, any other website that allows total strangers to change it.

--
Roy Stockdill
Genealogical researcher, writer & lecturer
Famous family trees blog: http://blog.findmypast.co.uk/tag/roy-stockdill/

"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about,
and that is not being talked about."
OSCAR WILDE
Andy
2012-09-07 12:53:05 UTC
Permalink
wrote in message news:***@rootsweb.com...

From: Graeme Wall <***@greywall.demon.co.uk>

> On 07/09/2012 09:34, ***@btinternet.com wrote:
> > We all know that there is an awful lot of genealogical garbage out
> there polluting the Internet, but I came across an Ancestry record
> yesterday that simply defies
> belief!!!
> >
> > Take a look at.....
> >
> > http://records.ancestry.com/Mary_Topley_records.ashx?pid=2634974
> >
> > This concerns one MARY TOPLEY, whom I happen to be interested in.
> > The website carries the heading "Mary Topley (1572-1839) and the copy
> > below it tells
> > us that Mary Topley "Born1572. Mary married Thomas Dexter. Mary married
> > Thomas
> > Dexter and had 3 children. She passed away on Apr 1839."
> >
> > Really? So Mary Topley/Dexter was aged 267 when she died!
> >

>Surely there can be only two explanations for this nonsense, i.e. 1) The
>person who originally
>submitted it hasn't the faintest idea what they are doing;

No, this would be a simple typo as other trees on Ancestry have 1639 as her
year of death

>2) The original submitter got it right
>but a subsequent submitter has added information and somehow managed to
>combine the
>two into one record! This is why I would never dream of putting my family
>tree on Ancestry or,
>indeed, any other website that allows total strangers to change it.

No, the tree owners can allow people they trust to add to their tree,
usually a close relative, but many don't allow anyone. Others have copied
information from the original tree without checking, and added to their own
tree which they have then uploaded to Ancestry. This means that there are 78
separate public trees with this error.

--
>Roy Stockdill
>Genealogical researcher, writer & lecturer
>Famous family trees blog: http://blog.findmypast.co.uk/tag/roy-stockdill/

The advantage of a tree online is that you can sometimes find someone with
relatives in common and can exchange information. I don't have a tree on
Ancestry but do on Genesreunited, if someone contacts me I don't open my
tree to them but will supply any information I have that may help them.

Unfortunately many peoples idea of researching family history is copying
others work without confirming that it is correct.

Andy
Graeme Wall
2012-09-07 18:08:17 UTC
Permalink
On 07/09/2012 12:11, ***@btinternet.com wrote:
> From: Graeme Wall<***@greywall.demon.co.uk>
>
>> On 07/09/2012 09:34, ***@btinternet.com wrote:
>>> We all know that there is an awful lot of genealogical garbage out
>> there polluting the Internet, but I came across an Ancestry record yesterday that simply defies
>> belief!!!
>>>
>>> Take a look at.....
>>>
>>> http://records.ancestry.com/Mary_Topley_records.ashx?pid=2634974
>>>
>>> This concerns one MARY TOPLEY, whom I happen to be interested in.
>>> The website carries the heading "Mary Topley (1572-1839) and the copy below it tells
>>> us that Mary Topley "Born1572. Mary married Thomas Dexter. Mary married Thomas
>>> Dexter and had 3 children. She passed away on Apr 1839."
>>>
>>> Really? So Mary Topley/Dexter was aged 267 when she died!
>>>
>>
>> I seem to recall you've had a moan about this one before.<
>
> I very much doubt it because I only came across it yesterday while looking for anything on the
> Thomas Dexter and Mary Topley I am researching.

My mistake, I thought the name Mary Topley was familiar.

>
>> I suspect you'd have to have a subscription and actually look at the
>> information to make sense of it.>
>
> Why on earth should I be forced to take out a subscription in order to make sense of
> something that, at least on the face of it, appears to be patent nonsense?

I never said you had to.

> In any case, where
> am I going to find extra information that makes sense of a record that is very clearly labelled
> in large print across the top of the page "Mary Topley (1572-1839)?"

Typos happen, if you actually looked at the original, rather than taking
it on trust at first glance, you may have discovered where the mistake was.
>
> In fact, the given age of death of Mary Dexter (nee Topley) was 67, which suggests her birth
> was actually in 1772. Possibly it's a literal error, However, the links to her husband and
> children only throw the matter into further confusion.
>
> Surely there can be only two explanations for this nonsense, i.e. 1) The person who originally
> submitted it hasn't the faintest idea what they are doing; 2) The original submitter got it right
> but a subsequent submitter has added information and somehow managed to combine the
> two into one record! This is why I would never dream of putting my family tree on Ancestry or,
> indeed, any other website that allows total strangers to change it.

There can be many explanations as to why this sort of nonsense can happen.

--
Graeme Wall
This account not read, substitute trains for rail.
Railway Miscellany at <http://www.greywall.demon.co.uk/rail>
brightside S9
2012-09-08 07:43:29 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 07 Sep 2012 12:11:42 +0100, ***@btinternet.com
wrote:

>From: Graeme Wall <***@greywall.demon.co.uk>
>
>> On 07/09/2012 09:34, ***@btinternet.com wrote:
>> > We all know that there is an awful lot of genealogical garbage out
>> there polluting the Internet, but I came across an Ancestry record yesterday that simply defies
>> belief!!!
>> >
>> > Take a look at.....
>> >
>> > http://records.ancestry.com/Mary_Topley_records.ashx?pid=2634974
>> >
>> > This concerns one MARY TOPLEY, whom I happen to be interested in.
>> > The website carries the heading "Mary Topley (1572-1839) and the copy below it tells
>> > us that Mary Topley "Born1572. Mary married Thomas Dexter. Mary married Thomas
>> > Dexter and had 3 children. She passed away on Apr 1839."
>> >
>> > Really? So Mary Topley/Dexter was aged 267 when she died!
>> >
>>
>> I seem to recall you've had a moan about this one before.<
>
>I very much doubt it because I only came across it yesterday while looking for anything on the
>Thomas Dexter and Mary Topley I am researching.
>
>> I suspect you'd have to have a subscription and actually look at the
>> information to make sense of it.>
>
>Why on earth should I be forced to take out a subscription in order to make sense of
>something that, at least on the face of it, appears to be patent nonsense? In any case, where
>am I going to find extra information that makes sense of a record that is very clearly labelled
>in large print across the top of the page "Mary Topley (1572-1839)?"
>
>In fact, the given age of death of Mary Dexter (nee Topley) was 67, which suggests her birth
>was actually in 1772. Possibly it's a literal error, However, the links to her husband and
>children only throw the matter into further confusion.
>
>Surely there can be only two explanations for this nonsense, i.e. 1) The person who originally
>submitted it hasn't the faintest idea what they are doing; 2) The original submitter got it right
>but a subsequent submitter has added information and somehow managed to combine the
>two into one record! This is why I would never dream of putting my family tree on Ancestry or,
>indeed, any other website that allows total strangers to change it.

What do you make of this page Roy?
http://records.ancestry.com/Mary_records.ashx?pid=2634972

--
brightside S9
Anne Chambers
2012-09-08 08:00:20 UTC
Permalink
brightside S9 wrote:

>
> What do you make of this page Roy?
> http://records.ancestry.com/Mary_records.ashx?pid=2634972
>
Her husband is equally long-lived; perhaps aliens are among us....

--
Anne Chambers
South Australia

anne dot chambers at bigpond dot com
e***@varneys.org.uk
2012-09-08 12:04:51 UTC
Permalink
> >
> Her husband is equally long-lived; perhaps aliens are among us..

Nah, they (or one couple) are from Rutland, the greatest little county in
England (so said my grandfather whose mother was from there).

EVE


Author of The McLaughlin Guides for Family Historians
Secretary, Bucks Genealogical Society
Tim Powys-Lybbe
2012-09-07 12:35:46 UTC
Permalink
On 7 Sep at 9:34, ***@btinternet.com wrote:

> We all know that there is an awful lot of genealogical garbage out
> there polluting the Internet, but I came across an Ancestry record
> yesterday that simply defies belief!!!
>
> Take a look at.....
>
> http://records.ancestry.com/Mary_Topley_records.ashx?pid=2634974
>
> This concerns one MARY TOPLEY, whom I happen to be interested in. The
> website carries the heading "Mary Topley (1572-1839) and the copy
> below it tells us that Mary Topley "Born 1572. Mary married Thomas
> Dexter. Mary married Thomas Dexter and had 3 children. She passed away
> on Apr 1839."
>
> Really? So Mary Topley/Dexter was aged 267 when she died!

Brilliant, Roy.

Perhaps we should have a column here akin to Private Eye-of-old's
Colmanballs: AncestryBalls. All contributions gratefully received?

--
Tim Powys-Lybbe ***@powys.org
for a miscellany of bygones: http://powys.org/
Jenny M Benson
2012-09-07 13:21:05 UTC
Permalink
On 07/09/2012 13:35, Tim Powys-Lybbe wrote:
> Perhaps we should have a column here akin to Private Eye-of-old's
> Colmanballs: AncestryBalls. All contributions gratefully received?

I recently found several trees on Ancestry which apparently show the
marriage of one of my Ancestors: it gives his wife's forename and
surname and the date and place of the marriage.

I was pleased to find this because I had searched in vain for quite a
while for the details of this marriage and the surname of my 5th Great
Grandmother who I knew only as Mary. So I turned to the PRs to confirm
the information and found that the woman concerned had indeed been
married on that date and in that place ... but neither the forename nor
surname of her spouse was that of my 5th Great Grandfather, nor even an
approximation of them.

--
Jenny M Benson
Keith Nuttle
2012-09-07 12:54:57 UTC
Permalink
On 9/7/2012 4:34 AM, ***@btinternet.com wrote:
> We all know that there is an awful lot of genealogical garbage out there polluting the Internet,
> but I came across an Ancestry record yesterday that simply defies belief!!!
>
> Take a look at.....
>
> http://records.ancestry.com/Mary_Topley_records.ashx?pid=2634974
>
> This concerns one MARY TOPLEY, whom I happen to be interested in. The website carries
> the heading "Mary Topley (1572-1839) and the copy below it tells us that Mary Topley "Born
> 1572. Mary married Thomas Dexter. Mary married Thomas Dexter and had 3 children. She
> passed away on Apr 1839."
>
> Really? So Mary Topley/Dexter was aged 267 when she died!
>
> Scroll further down the page and we find that Mary married two men both called Thomas
> Dexter, one whose dates were 1568-1676 (so he would have died at 108) and then another
> Thomas Dexter whose dates are given as 1609-1840, so he would have been 231.
>
> Click on Thomas Dexter No 2 and the family tree becomes even more bizarre! We are told
> that Thomas was born in Dedham, Essex, England, in 1609. He married 1) Dexter and 2)
> Mary Topley and they had 4 children.and Thomas passed away in Sep 1840 in England.
>
> Click on one of the children, George Topley Dexter, and you find on his record that his
> parents are stated to be Thomas Dexter (1609-1840) and Mary (1572-1839).
>
> The only thing right about this record are the death dates of Thomas Dexter and Mary, who
> both in fact died at Oakham, Rutland (England's smallest county), at the dates stated.
>
> How anyone can seriously confuse two totally different men and their wives from a couple of
> centuries apart and combine them into the same family trees is utterly beyond me! Shouldn't
> there be some kind of law that debars people who clearly don't have a clue what they are
> doing from ever taking up genealogy? Or is it something to do with Ancestry's often peculiar
> system of record-presenting that has confused and defeated me?
>
>
> --
> Roy Stockdill
> Genealogical researcher, writer & lecturer
> Famous family trees blog: http://blog.findmypast.co.uk/tag/roy-stockdill/
>
> "There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about,
> and that is not being talked about."
> OSCAR WILDE
>
I did not pursue but it looks like that is one of the trees on Ancestry
that are computer generated. I have found several "Trees" where it
appears the Ancestry computer created a tree from random bits of data to
show what you can do from their database.

This is a perfect example of what you can do from their database by
"entering your name and finding all of your ancestors" philosophy of
Ancestry. At least this garbage is so obviously wrong you will not
spend a lot of time checking the facts.
singhals
2012-09-07 14:37:27 UTC
Permalink
***@btinternet.com wrote:
> We all know that there is an awful lot of genealogical garbage out there polluting the Internet,
> but I came across an Ancestry record yesterday that simply defies belief!!!
>
> Take a look at.....
>
> http://records.ancestry.com/Mary_Topley_records.ashx?pid=2634974


Roy,

Y'know, I really wonder why you bother to go to Ancestry.com
You never seem to find anything useful there.

The URL given above appears to present an index to records
at Ancestry which contain her name. Not having a
subscription, I can't be certain, of course, but it /does/
begin by saying "...10 records ..." and the dates would
probably cover all 10 of them, not any specific one.

Still, why you bother to go ...

Cheryl
r***@btinternet.com
2012-09-07 16:44:51 UTC
Permalink
From: singhals <***@erols.com>

> ***@btinternet.com wrote:
> > We all know that there is an awful lot of genealogical garbage out
> there polluting the Internet,
> > but I came across an Ancestry record yesterday that simply defies
> belief!!!
> >
> > Take a look at.....
> >
> > http://records.ancestry.com/Mary_Topley_records.ashx?pid=2634974
>
>
> Roy,
>
> Y'know, I really wonder why you bother to go to Ancestry.com
> You never seem to find anything useful there.>

Yes, I frequently wonder that too! However, when I'm researching a subject fairly intensely I
like to follow every possible lead, however obscure.

I was so struck by the total idiocy of this particular record that I couldn't resist posting it!

--
Roy Stockdill
Genealogical researcher, writer & lecturer
Famous family trees blog: http://blog.findmypast.co.uk/tag/roy-stockdill/

"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about,
and that is not being talked about."
OSCAR WILDE
Doug Laidlaw
2012-09-11 13:21:10 UTC
Permalink
***@btinternet.com wrote:

>> Y'know, I really wonder why you bother to go to Ancestry.com
>>You never seem to find anything useful there.>
>
> Yes, I frequently wonder that too! However, when I'm researching a subject
> fairly intensely I like to follow every possible lead, however obscure.
>
> I was so struck by the total idiocy of this particular record that I
> couldn't resist posting it!
>
The person concerned seems to be in a lot of trees!

Sometimes I too wonder why I go there. I could add my own examples:

My special study, Thomas Boykett, who migrated from London to Adelaide and
died there, is supposed to have a family in the USA. Even the name is
spelled differently, and the entire correct family is on FamilySearch.
(This is different from his Canadian link, which turned up a second wife for
Thomas.)

A very distant relative of my wife's married into the family of the composer
William Vincent Wallace. A tree on Ancestry.com claims that Wallace married
a girl of their family, and has done a lot of interesting research about
him. The only trouble is, on the dates on the tree itself, the bride was
only 1 year old when Wallace died in France.

IMO, the trees at Myheritage are of far better quality. It was only the
management's attitude that put me off.

Doug.
john
2012-09-08 09:03:31 UTC
Permalink
On 07/09/2012 10:34, ***@btinternet.com wrote:
> We all know that there is an awful lot of genealogical garbage out there polluting the Internet,
> but I came across an Ancestry record yesterday that simply defies belief!!!
>
> Take a look at.....
>
> http://records.ancestry.com/Mary_Topley_records.ashx?pid=2634974
>
> This concerns one MARY TOPLEY, whom I happen to be interested in. The website carries
> the heading "Mary Topley (1572-1839) and the copy below it tells us that Mary Topley "Born
> 1572. Mary married Thomas Dexter. Mary married Thomas Dexter and had 3 children. She
> passed away on Apr 1839."
>
> Really? So Mary Topley/Dexter was aged 267 when she died!
>
> Scroll further down the page and we find that Mary married two men both called Thomas
> Dexter, one whose dates were 1568-1676 (so he would have died at 108) and then another
> Thomas Dexter whose dates are given as 1609-1840, so he would have been 231.
>
> Click on Thomas Dexter No 2 and the family tree becomes even more bizarre! We are told
> that Thomas was born in Dedham, Essex, England, in 1609. He married 1) Dexter and 2)
> Mary Topley and they had 4 children.and Thomas passed away in Sep 1840 in England.
>
> Click on one of the children, George Topley Dexter, and you find on his record that his
> parents are stated to be Thomas Dexter (1609-1840) and Mary (1572-1839).
>
> The only thing right about this record are the death dates of Thomas Dexter and Mary, who
> both in fact died at Oakham, Rutland (England's smallest county), at the dates stated.
>
> How anyone can seriously confuse two totally different men and their wives from a couple of
> centuries apart and combine them into the same family trees is utterly beyond me! Shouldn't
> there be some kind of law that debars people who clearly don't have a clue what they are
> doing from ever taking up genealogy? Or is it something to do with Ancestry's often peculiar
> system of record-presenting that has confused and defeated me?
>

If you searched ancestry.co.uk rather than ancestry.com for Mary Topley
b 1572 you would find most results have a death date of 1639 in England.
The majority of the 1839 deaths seem to be recorded as occurring in the
USA. I suspect the error arose from a US "genealogist". There does seem
to be a source on Ancestry.com for the 1839 death mentioned in some of
the trees so perhaps someone with a subscription to the US Ancestry
could check it.

As has been said before it is probably
(a) a typing error (don't tell me you never made one as a journalist
which went unnoticed into print) which has just been replicated by those
who just want to maximise the number of individuals in their tree or
possibly
(b) someone (again probably in the USA) desperate to find their UK
ancestor has just picked an English Mary Topley and added it to the Mary
Topley in their tree who happened to die in 1839 without checking the
birth date and again that has been replicated by others mindlessly.

The Ancestry family trees should be regarded with even more suspicion
than the IGI contributed records. Ancestry doesn't check the trees so I
don't think you should be blaming them. You will find all sorts of
errors on the internet which continue to be replicated on other web sites.

I suppose I'm responsible for some errors. A long, long time ago I once
passed a GEDCOM onto someone with a note stating there could be errors
and it needed checking - I'd purposely added some errors in the hope
they would check it all and feed back any variations they found as a way
of validating my data. Years later that person just posted the data I'd
given them on Ancestry UK without having done the checking. Those errors
have now been replicated in several other trees.

If it really pains you that much perhaps you should
(a) not use Ancestry or only use the databases in Ancestry where you
understand the data validity (and which have sources you can personally
check) and/or
(b) be contacting all those who have incorrect information, giving them
the correct information, and asking them to correct to assist others who
may view/copy it rather than moaning here.

(and no, I've not bothered to contact any more of those who have got the
erroneous data in their trees from that old GEDCOM - if they can't be
bothered to check what they've copied..
I did try once for one tree but was ignored - it would probably have
involved the tree owner checking a large part of their tree as there was
also wrong family link which I thought was correct at the time I'd
passed on the GEDCOM!)
r***@btinternet.com
2012-09-08 14:55:24 UTC
Permalink
From: john <***@s145802280.onlinehome.fr>

> If you searched ancestry.co.uk rather than ancestry.com for Mary Topley
> b 1572 you would find most results have a death date of 1639 in England.
> The majority of the 1839 deaths seem to be recorded as occurring in the
> USA. I suspect the error arose from a US "genealogist". There does seem
> to be a source on Ancestry.com for the 1839 death mentioned in some of
> the trees so perhaps someone with a subscription to the US Ancestry
> could check it.

I am so glad you put quotation marks round the word genealogist!

> As has been said before it is probably
> (a) a typing error (don't tell me you never made one as a journalist
> which went unnoticed into print) which has just been replicated by those
> who just want to maximise the number of individuals in their tree or
> possibly

I rather doubt it is a typing literal but a case of idiots confusing two people of the same name
whose lives were two centuries apart!

> (b) someone (again probably in the USA) desperate to find their UK
> ancestor has just picked an English Mary Topley and added it to the Mary
> Topley in their tree who happened to die in 1839 without checking the
> birth date and again that has been replicated by others mindlessly.

Again, I ask should such people ever be allowed near the Internet without a licence that
proves they have at least some kind of knowledge of genealogy and family history!

>The Ancestry family trees should be regarded with even more suspicion
than the IGI contributed records.<

Well, there I am forced to agree with you. It is interesting, is it not, that both organisations are
run from America and the majority of such nonsensical family trees and records appear to
emanate from that country? Please, my American friends, don't get me wrong! I am sure
there are many proper genealogists and family historians over there (my good friend Dick
Eastman, to give but one example) but you must surely agree that there seem to be an
inordinate number of gullible fools as well (and probably some in this country too)!

In researching the Dexter family of Oakham, Rutland - which prompted me to initiate this
whole debate - I did the proper professional thing and purchased two CDs of transcriptions of
the Rutland Parish Registers from the Leicestershire & Rutland FHS. This cost me very
substantially less than an Ancestry subscription and the data on them is about a thousand
times more accurate. Moreover, I am helping to benefit a UK family history society which is
what in my humble opinion people should do far more often, rather than just swallowing
whole like kiddies' milk the sort of nonsense that appears to be washing around in space on
the Internet.


--
Roy Stockdill
Genealogical researcher, writer & lecturer
Famous family trees blog: http://blog.findmypast.co.uk/tag/roy-stockdill/

"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about,
and that is not being talked about."
OSCAR WILDE
Steve Hayes
2012-09-09 05:19:41 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 08 Sep 2012 15:55:24 +0100, ***@btinternet.com wrote:

>From: john <***@s145802280.onlinehome.fr>
>>The Ancestry family trees should be regarded with even more suspicion
>than the IGI contributed records.<
>
>Well, there I am forced to agree with you. It is interesting, is it not, that both organisations are
>run from America and the majority of such nonsensical family trees and records appear to
>emanate from that country? Please, my American friends, don't get me wrong! I am sure
>there are many proper genealogists and family historians over there (my good friend Dick
>Eastman, to give but one example) but you must surely agree that there seem to be an
>inordinate number of gullible fools as well (and probably some in this country too)!

If you want to put genealogical information online, I recommend TribalPages,
which gives you some control over your data.

On many of the Ancestry trees I've looked at, pewople seem to have a
proclivity for copying the wrong data, and it is hard to find a trail of who
copied from whom.

In one case there were people of similar names who married about the same time
in Westmorland, and there were about 25 Ancestry trees with the wrong parties
married, as opposed to only three with the correct parties. Trying to sort out
which was correct was an interesting exercise. We did it through finding
census records that showed the children staying with other members of the
family, and being shown as niece or nephew, And the aunt that they were
staying with, C, was the sister of B, so A married B, not D, and D was
married to someone else with the same name as A.

But when you find someone in Ancestry, Ancestry asks "Add this person to your
family?" and a lot of people seem to click the "Yes" option without thinking.


--
Steve Hayes
Web: http://hayesgreene.wordpress.com/
http://hayesgreene.blogspot.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/afgen/
singhals
2012-09-09 14:26:10 UTC
Permalink
***@btinternet.com wrote:
> From: john<***@s145802280.onlinehome.fr>
>
>> If you searched ancestry.co.uk rather than ancestry.com for Mary Topley
>> b 1572 you would find most results have a death date of 1639 in England.
>> The majority of the 1839 deaths seem to be recorded as occurring in the
>> USA. I suspect the error arose from a US "genealogist". There does seem
>> to be a source on Ancestry.com for the 1839 death mentioned in some of
>> the trees so perhaps someone with a subscription to the US Ancestry
>> could check it.
>
> I am so glad you put quotation marks round the word genealogist!
>
>> As has been said before it is probably
>> (a) a typing error (don't tell me you never made one as a journalist
>> which went unnoticed into print) which has just been replicated by those
>> who just want to maximise the number of individuals in their tree or
>> possibly
>
> I rather doubt it is a typing literal but a case of idiots confusing two people of the same name
> whose lives were two centuries apart!
>
>> (b) someone (again probably in the USA) desperate to find their UK
>> ancestor has just picked an English Mary Topley and added it to the Mary
>> Topley in their tree who happened to die in 1839 without checking the
>> birth date and again that has been replicated by others mindlessly.
>
> Again, I ask should such people ever be allowed near the Internet without a licence that
> proves they have at least some kind of knowledge of genealogy and family history!
>
>> The Ancestry family trees should be regarded with even more suspicion
> than the IGI contributed records.<
>
> Well, there I am forced to agree with you. It is interesting, is it not, that both organisations are
> run from America and the majority of such nonsensical family trees and records appear to
> emanate from that country? Please, my American friends, don't get me wrong! I am sure
> there are many proper genealogists and family historians over there (my good friend Dick
> Eastman, to give but one example) but you must surely agree that there seem to be an
> inordinate number of gullible fools as well (and probably some in this country too)!

I've been assuming the percentage of gullible fools to total
population is fairly consistent world-wide. The US has a
larger population than England, so our 10% is a larger
number. Also because apparently more of the US population
has in-home high-speed internet, a larger percent of our 10%
are visible.

OTOH, many of the on-line trees I've found at-fault go back
into 18th c Virginia, South Carolina, or Georgia none of
whom found it convenient to make civil records or to collate
church records until the War Between the States. When
there's no record in existence, it's hard to prove they're
wrong. And, I do have a line where one man was 115 when he
died...I've always had trouble believing it, but the wills,
baptisms, Bible records, and affadavits are /consistent/ and
I've yet to find anything contra-indicative so...I have to
stipulate that someone else might a different extremely aged
ancestor. But anything over 125 is gonna get preceded and
followed by "???"!

Cheryl
Don Kirkman
2012-09-09 17:21:56 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 09 Sep 2012 10:26:10 -0400, singhals <***@erols.com>
wrote:

>***@btinternet.com wrote:
>> From: john<***@s145802280.onlinehome.fr>
>>
>>> If you searched ancestry.co.uk rather than ancestry.com for Mary Topley
>>> b 1572 you would find most results have a death date of 1639 in England.
>>> The majority of the 1839 deaths seem to be recorded as occurring in the
>>> USA. I suspect the error arose from a US "genealogist". There does seem
>>> to be a source on Ancestry.com for the 1839 death mentioned in some of
>>> the trees so perhaps someone with a subscription to the US Ancestry
>>> could check it.
>>
>> I am so glad you put quotation marks round the word genealogist!
>>
>>> As has been said before it is probably
>>> (a) a typing error (don't tell me you never made one as a journalist
>>> which went unnoticed into print) which has just been replicated by those
>>> who just want to maximise the number of individuals in their tree or
>>> possibly
>>
>> I rather doubt it is a typing literal but a case of idiots confusing two people of the same name
>> whose lives were two centuries apart!
>>
>>> (b) someone (again probably in the USA) desperate to find their UK
>>> ancestor has just picked an English Mary Topley and added it to the Mary
>>> Topley in their tree who happened to die in 1839 without checking the
>>> birth date and again that has been replicated by others mindlessly.
>>
>> Again, I ask should such people ever be allowed near the Internet without a licence that
>> proves they have at least some kind of knowledge of genealogy and family history!
>>
>>> The Ancestry family trees should be regarded with even more suspicion
>> than the IGI contributed records.<
>>
>> Well, there I am forced to agree with you. It is interesting, is it not, that both organisations are
>> run from America and the majority of such nonsensical family trees and records appear to
>> emanate from that country? Please, my American friends, don't get me wrong! I am sure
>> there are many proper genealogists and family historians over there (my good friend Dick
>> Eastman, to give but one example) but you must surely agree that there seem to be an
>> inordinate number of gullible fools as well (and probably some in this country too)!
>
>I've been assuming the percentage of gullible fools to total
>population is fairly consistent world-wide. The US has a
>larger population than England, so our 10% is a larger
>number. Also because apparently more of the US population
>has in-home high-speed internet, a larger percent of our 10%
>are visible.
>
>OTOH, many of the on-line trees I've found at-fault go back
>into 18th c Virginia, South Carolina, or Georgia none of
>whom found it convenient to make civil records or to collate
>church records until the War Between the States. When
>there's no record in existence, it's hard to prove they're
>wrong. And, I do have a line where one man was 115 when he
>died...I've always had trouble believing it, but the wills,
>baptisms, Bible records, and affadavits are /consistent/ and
>I've yet to find anything contra-indicative so...I have to
>stipulate that someone else might a different extremely aged
>ancestor. But anything over 125 is gonna get preceded and
>followed by "???"!

Just to second Cheryl's message, and add that if the 18th century is
hard the 17th is nigh impossible. War, fire, carelessness, and a
myriad of other evils have destroyed a large part of our recorded
heritage. Add to that that some states didn't require much in the way
of civil records until the mid 19th century or later.
--
Don
***@charter.net
Phil C.
2012-09-10 16:10:38 UTC
Permalink
On 09/09/2012 15:26, singhals wrote:
> ***@btinternet.com wrote:
>> From: john<***@s145802280.onlinehome.fr>
>>
>>> If you searched ancestry.co.uk rather than ancestry.com for Mary Topley
>>> b 1572 you would find most results have a death date of 1639 in England.
>>> The majority of the 1839 deaths seem to be recorded as occurring in the
>>> USA. I suspect the error arose from a US "genealogist". There does seem
>>> to be a source on Ancestry.com for the 1839 death mentioned in some of
>>> the trees so perhaps someone with a subscription to the US Ancestry
>>> could check it.
>>
>> I am so glad you put quotation marks round the word genealogist!
>>
>>> As has been said before it is probably
>>> (a) a typing error (don't tell me you never made one as a journalist
>>> which went unnoticed into print) which has just been replicated by those
>>> who just want to maximise the number of individuals in their tree or
>>> possibly
>>
>> I rather doubt it is a typing literal but a case of idiots confusing
>> two people of the same name
>> whose lives were two centuries apart!
>>
>>> (b) someone (again probably in the USA) desperate to find their UK
>>> ancestor has just picked an English Mary Topley and added it to the Mary
>>> Topley in their tree who happened to die in 1839 without checking the
>>> birth date and again that has been replicated by others mindlessly.
>>
>> Again, I ask should such people ever be allowed near the Internet
>> without a licence that
>> proves they have at least some kind of knowledge of genealogy and
>> family history!
>>
>>> The Ancestry family trees should be regarded with even more suspicion
>> than the IGI contributed records.<
>>
>> Well, there I am forced to agree with you. It is interesting, is it
>> not, that both organisations are
>> run from America and the majority of such nonsensical family trees and
>> records appear to
>> emanate from that country? Please, my American friends, don't get me
>> wrong! I am sure
>> there are many proper genealogists and family historians over there
>> (my good friend Dick
>> Eastman, to give but one example) but you must surely agree that there
>> seem to be an
>> inordinate number of gullible fools as well (and probably some in this
>> country too)!
>
> I've been assuming the percentage of gullible fools to total population
> is fairly consistent world-wide. The US has a larger population than
> England, so our 10% is a larger number. Also because apparently more of
> the US population has in-home high-speed internet, a larger percent of
> our 10% are visible.

<Speculations> Genealogy also seems to have been popular for a longer
time as a layman's hobby. This may be partly the Mormon link and partly
just the colonial experience of harking back to the mother country. In
the "melting pot" of mass immigrants, freed slaves and native indians,
there was also race/sect/status element - proving one's ancestry to have
been all WASPs who arrived on the Mayflower. Far more Americans are
likely to be interested in British records than vice versa. Few Brits
have USA ancestry so fewer will be found stumbling helplessly about on
unfamiliar ground. And national stereotypes tend to be founded on direct
personal experiences. Ergo Americans have simply had more opportunity to
look stoopid.

I suspect Sir Walter Scott must take some blame. Distance lends
enchantment. If one's ancestors came from a land far away where there
were fairytale castles and knights, then *anything* seems possible. For
Brits, knowing recent ancestors were humble ag labs and factory workers
etc from unromantic places usually suggests the reverse. There does seem
to be a real cultural difference. Put very simply, Americans love to
build up their heroes whereas Brits love to knock them down <shrug>.

I wonder if there's also simple statistic. America is a much more
religious society than Britain. So family Bibles would have been more
likely to survive, with family notes appended, to spark an interest.
--
Phil C.
Renia
2012-09-11 02:11:10 UTC
Permalink
On 10/09/2012 17:10, Phil C. wrote:

> <Speculations> Genealogy also seems to have been popular for a longer
> time as a layman's hobby. This may be partly the Mormon link and partly
> just the colonial experience of harking back to the mother country. In
> the "melting pot" of mass immigrants, freed slaves and native indians,
> there was also race/sect/status element - proving one's ancestry to have
> been all WASPs who arrived on the Mayflower. Far more Americans are
> likely to be interested in British records than vice versa. Few Brits
> have USA ancestry so fewer will be found stumbling helplessly about on
> unfamiliar ground. And national stereotypes tend to be founded on direct
> personal experiences. Ergo Americans have simply had more opportunity to
> look stoopid.
>
> I suspect Sir Walter Scott must take some blame. Distance lends
> enchantment. If one's ancestors came from a land far away where there
> were fairytale castles and knights, then *anything* seems possible. For
> Brits, knowing recent ancestors were humble ag labs and factory workers
> etc from unromantic places usually suggests the reverse. There does seem
> to be a real cultural difference. Put very simply, Americans love to
> build up their heroes whereas Brits love to knock them down <shrug>.
>
> I wonder if there's also simple statistic. America is a much more
> religious society than Britain. So family Bibles would have been more
> likely to survive, with family notes appended, to spark an interest.

The Society of Genealogists in London has been running for more than a
century. Burke's and Lodges Peerages (etc) have been published longer
than that, though, it has to be said, more as marriage market
publications than pure genealogy. Castles up and down the land have
their 20-feet-long highly illustrated pedigrees going back centuries. So
British genealogy is not new, though perhaps it has been confined to the
classes with more chance of finding records or links to the aristocracy
or royalty.

The USA, on the other hand, sees itself as a meritcratic society, when
it is anything but. It is just as class-ridden as its mother countries,
but, because it has a relatively short history, well-documented familiy
pedigrees began not long after the country was settled by Europeans keen
to remember the old countries and the old ways.

Seasoned American genealogists continually tell me that America has a
"small gene pool" and that anyone who can lock on to early settlers has
a good chance of locking on to what they call "gateway ancestors" -
ancestors with royal pedigrees. An American may have many lineages, just
like anyone else, but they only need one gateway ancestor, and those
gateway ancestors are so well covered and documented that they all
scramble to lock into them like flies in a spider's web.
Charles Ellson
2012-09-11 02:41:01 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 11 Sep 2012 03:11:10 +0100, Renia <***@otenet.gr> wrote:

>On 10/09/2012 17:10, Phil C. wrote:
>
> > <Speculations> Genealogy also seems to have been popular for a longer
> > time as a layman's hobby. This may be partly the Mormon link and partly
> > just the colonial experience of harking back to the mother country. In
> > the "melting pot" of mass immigrants, freed slaves and native indians,
> > there was also race/sect/status element - proving one's ancestry to have
> > been all WASPs who arrived on the Mayflower. Far more Americans are
> > likely to be interested in British records than vice versa. Few Brits
> > have USA ancestry so fewer will be found stumbling helplessly about on
> > unfamiliar ground. And national stereotypes tend to be founded on direct
> > personal experiences. Ergo Americans have simply had more opportunity to
> > look stoopid.
> >
> > I suspect Sir Walter Scott must take some blame. Distance lends
> > enchantment. If one's ancestors came from a land far away where there
> > were fairytale castles and knights, then *anything* seems possible. For
> > Brits, knowing recent ancestors were humble ag labs and factory workers
> > etc from unromantic places usually suggests the reverse. There does seem
> > to be a real cultural difference. Put very simply, Americans love to
> > build up their heroes whereas Brits love to knock them down <shrug>.
> >
> > I wonder if there's also simple statistic. America is a much more
> > religious society than Britain. So family Bibles would have been more
> > likely to survive, with family notes appended, to spark an interest.
>
>The Society of Genealogists in London has been running for more than a
>century. Burke's and Lodges Peerages (etc) have been published longer
>than that, though, it has to be said, more as marriage market
>publications than pure genealogy. Castles up and down the land have
>their 20-feet-long highly illustrated pedigrees going back centuries. So
>British genealogy is not new, though perhaps it has been confined to the
>classes with more chance of finding records or links to the aristocracy
>or royalty.
>
>The USA, on the other hand, sees itself as a meritcratic society, when
>it is anything but. It is just as class-ridden as its mother countries,
>but, because it has a relatively short history, well-documented familiy
>pedigrees began not long after the country was settled by Europeans keen
>to remember the old countries and the old ways.
>
>Seasoned American genealogists continually tell me that America has a
>"small gene pool" and that anyone who can lock on to early settlers has
>a good chance of locking on to what they call "gateway ancestors" -
>ancestors with royal pedigrees.
>
Charlemagne, Attila the Hun or Chimalpopoca ?

>An American may have many lineages, just
>like anyone else, but they only need one gateway ancestor, and those
>gateway ancestors are so well covered and documented that they all
>scramble to lock into them like flies in a spider's web.
Steve Hayes
2012-09-11 03:08:14 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 11 Sep 2012 03:41:01 +0100, Charles Ellson
<***@ellson.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>On Tue, 11 Sep 2012 03:11:10 +0100, Renia <***@otenet.gr> wrote:
>>Seasoned American genealogists continually tell me that America has a
>>"small gene pool" and that anyone who can lock on to early settlers has
>>a good chance of locking on to what they call "gateway ancestors" -
>>ancestors with royal pedigrees.
>>
>Charlemagne, Attila the Hun or Chimalpopoca ?

Or Skeaf, son of Noah, born in the ark?


--
Steve Hayes
Web: http://hayesgreene.wordpress.com/
http://hayesgreene.blogspot.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/afgen/
Graeme Wall
2012-09-11 07:15:14 UTC
Permalink
On 11/09/2012 04:08, Steve Hayes wrote:
> On Tue, 11 Sep 2012 03:41:01 +0100, Charles Ellson
> <***@ellson.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
>> On Tue, 11 Sep 2012 03:11:10 +0100, Renia<***@otenet.gr> wrote:
>>> Seasoned American genealogists continually tell me that America has a
>>> "small gene pool" and that anyone who can lock on to early settlers has
>>> a good chance of locking on to what they call "gateway ancestors" -
>>> ancestors with royal pedigrees.
>>>
>> Charlemagne, Attila the Hun or Chimalpopoca ?
>
> Or Skeaf, son of Noah, born in the ark?
>
>

Where was the birth registered, Ararat?

--
Graeme Wall
This account not read, substitute trains for rail.
Railway Miscellany at <http://www.greywall.demon.co.uk/rail>
Jenny M Benson
2012-09-11 09:26:09 UTC
Permalink
On 11/09/2012 03:41, Charles Ellson wrote:
>> Seasoned American genealogists continually tell me that America has a
>> >"small gene pool" and that anyone who can lock on to early settlers has
>> >a good chance of locking on to what they call "gateway ancestors" -
>> >ancestors with royal pedigrees.
>> >
> Charlemagne, Attila the Hun or Chimalpopoca ?
>

More usually Charlemange, IME!!

--
Jenny M Benson
Tim Powys-Lybbe
2012-09-11 11:16:52 UTC
Permalink
On 11 Sep at 10:26, Jenny M Benson <***@hotmail.co.uk> wrote:

> On 11/09/2012 03:41, Charles Ellson wrote:
> > > Seasoned American genealogists continually tell me that America
> > > has a
> > > > "small gene pool" and that anyone who can lock on to early
> > > > settlers has a good chance of locking on to what they call
> > > > "gateway ancestors" - ancestors with royal pedigrees.
> >> >
> > Charlemagne, Attila the Hun or Chimalpopoca ?
> >
>
> More usually Charlemange, IME!!

This not what they mean by a gateway ancestor. These are people who
came over with the early-ish settlors and have a connection to landed
records usually of Europe. There are useful books on the subject,
notably Faris' 'Plantagenert Ancestry of Seventeenth Century Colonists,
though now it is a little long in the tooth and its scholarship can be
criticised. Try the <soc.genealogy.medieval> newsgroup. There are some
very good USA genealogists.

--
Tim Powys-Lybbe ***@powys.org
for a miscellany of bygones: http://powys.org/
Steve Hayes
2012-09-08 11:05:21 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 07 Sep 2012 09:34:26 +0100, ***@btinternet.com wrote:

>How anyone can seriously confuse two totally different men and their wives from a couple of
>centuries apart and combine them into the same family trees is utterly beyond me! Shouldn't
>there be some kind of law that debars people who clearly don't have a clue what they are
>doing from ever taking up genealogy? Or is it something to do with Ancestry's often peculiar
>system of record-presenting that has confused and defeated me?

Ancestry encourages people to do this, so they do.


--
Steve Hayes
Web: http://hayesgreene.wordpress.com/
http://hayesgreene.blogspot.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/afgen/
Tony Proctor
2012-09-08 11:58:19 UTC
Permalink
<***@btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:***@rootsweb.com...
> We all know that there is an awful lot of genealogical garbage out there
> polluting the Internet,
> but I came across an Ancestry record yesterday that simply defies
> belief!!!
>
> Take a look at.....
>
> http://records.ancestry.com/Mary_Topley_records.ashx?pid=2634974
>

<snip>

> How anyone can seriously confuse two totally different men and their wives
> from a couple of
> centuries apart and combine them into the same family trees is utterly
> beyond me! Shouldn't
> there be some kind of law that debars people who clearly don't have a clue
> what they are
> doing from ever taking up genealogy? Or is it something to do with
> Ancestry's often peculiar
> system of record-presenting that has confused and defeated me?
>
>
> --
> Roy Stockdill
> Genealogical researcher, writer & lecturer
> Famous family trees blog: http://blog.findmypast.co.uk/tag/roy-stockdill/
>
> "There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about,
> and that is not being talked about."
> OSCAR WILDE
>
>
>

It's easy to make fun of these so-called contributions, and even more easy
to get downright irritated by them.

It is a serious problem though - more serious than some commentators give
weight to. I saw an old blog from Ben Sayer likening it to a "virus" - which
Roy's observation of the errors creeping through other "contributions"
confirms. What is the solution though?

For a private collection, it's unfortunate but much less of a problem.
However, when such trees are put online then it degrades the discipline of
genealogical research. The implications for collaborative trees are
profound, and suggest they are completely impractical, and yet they continue
to thrive.

I feel that before we can suggest solutions, we have to understand the
problem better. Yes, people are lazy, but what about commercial software?
What about the nature of content in online trees? What about the
inadequacies of GEDCOM, which helps to share conclusions and little else? If
we understood the reasons then we should be able to make it easier to be
thorough and harder to be lazy.

I didn't really intend this post to be a blatant plug for FHISO
(http://fhiso.org) but I genuinely believe that sort of organisation could
help. Professional and serious genealogists need to worry about this because
it won't be long before "genealogy" is simply a hobby where you cherry-pick
names/dates/places from online content, preferably the free content, or from
other people's trees.

Tony Proctor
r***@btinternet.com
2012-09-08 19:10:49 UTC
Permalink
From: "Tony Proctor" <***@proctor_NoMore_SPAM.net>

> It's easy to make fun of these so-called contributions, and even
> more easy to get downright irritated by them.
>
> It is a serious problem though - more serious than some commentators
> give weight to. I saw an old blog from Ben Sayer likening it to a "virus"
> - which Roy's observation of the errors creeping through other
> "contributions" confirms. What is the solution though?
>
> For a private collection, it's unfortunate but much less of a
> problem. However, when such trees are put online then it degrades the
> discipline of genealogical research. The implications for collaborative trees are
> profound, and suggest they are completely impractical, and yet they
> continue to thrive.
>
> I feel that before we can suggest solutions, we have to understand
> the problem better. Yes, people are lazy, but what about commercial
> software?
> What about the nature of content in online trees? What about the
> inadequacies of GEDCOM, which helps to share conclusions and little
> else? If we understood the reasons then we should be able to make it easier
> to be thorough and harder to be lazy.
>
> I didn't really intend this post to be a blatant plug for FHISO
> (http://fhiso.org) but I genuinely believe that sort of organisation
> could help. Professional and serious genealogists need to worry about this
> because it won't be long before "genealogy" is simply a hobby where you
> cherry-pick names/dates/places from online content, preferably the free content,
> or from other people's trees.>

Tony makes some excellent points. It is only in recent years that the researches of
genealogists and family historians have begun to be taken seriously by the academic world,
and now what happens? We will almost certainly be derided for all the rubbish that is out
there on the Internet!

Mind you, this is not an entirely new experience. Those of you who have been around in this
business for a very long time will know that a great many published pedigrees and family
histories on paper in the days long, long before the Internet were rubbish as well. A classic
example are the inventions of Burke, who gave the nouveau riche industrialists and minor
landed gentry what he thought they wanted and what they were prepared to pay for in the
19th century!

--
Roy Stockdill
Genealogical researcher, writer & lecturer
Famous family trees blog: http://blog.findmypast.co.uk/tag/roy-stockdill/

"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about,
and that is not being talked about."
OSCAR WILDE
Piercefield
2012-09-08 23:13:09 UTC
Permalink
Tony Proctor wrote, Saturday, September 08, 2012 12:58 PM

> it won't be long before "genealogy" is simply a hobby where
> you cherry-pick names/dates/places from online content,
> preferably the free content, or from other people's trees.

To me, all these things are clues, which you might not get any other
way. Having got the clue, one should, for one's own satisfaction,
check that the clue is valid by going back to the "original" source.

My ancient FHS program simply takes the data; it should - and Oh, how
I wish it could - have similar parallel fields for "Source" for every
item, e.g. DoB.
Tony Proctor
2012-09-09 07:08:09 UTC
Permalink
"Piercefield" <***@btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:***@rootsweb.com...
> Tony Proctor wrote, Saturday, September 08, 2012 12:58 PM
>
>> it won't be long before "genealogy" is simply a hobby where
>> you cherry-pick names/dates/places from online content,
>> preferably the free content, or from other people's trees.
>
> To me, all these things are clues, which you might not get any other
> way. Having got the clue, one should, for one's own satisfaction,
> check that the clue is valid by going back to the "original" source.
>
> My ancient FHS program simply takes the data; it should - and Oh, how
> I wish it could - have similar parallel fields for "Source" for every
> item, e.g. DoB.
>

That's always a wise approach. However, fast-forward into the future. How
long before 'original research' is a thing of the past, and genealogists
simply look at other peoples' trees - implicitly assuming they must all have
involved some original research - and at the most maybe checking the dates
and places in FreeBMD? Maybe I'm unusual but I did all my original work from
the ground up, and didn't look at anyone else's work. When I did finally
make comparisons, I was a little shocked at the differences.

It is true that history only has a finite amount of evidence in existence
(which in turn means there can never be an absolute proof of anything) but
only a small fraction of that evidence is online. Even now, it is a minority
of genealogists who go and visit archives, etc., during their research. As
time moves on, I believe there will be a perception that 'someone will have
researched this family already so what good is re-doing that same work?'.
This will be more true for genealogy in its literal sense of family lineage
than it will be for generalised family-history, but that's what the majority
of current online content is structured for.

Tony Proctor
Phil C.
2012-09-09 14:21:43 UTC
Permalink
On 09/09/2012 08:08, Tony Proctor wrote:

> However, fast-forward into the future. How
> long before 'original research' is a thing of the past, and genealogists
> simply look at other peoples' trees - implicitly assuming they must all have
> involved some original research - and at the most maybe checking the dates
> and places in FreeBMD?

In the future, all data will be on-line and transcribed so checking will
be relatively cheap and simple - if a bit dull. Websites will become
cheaper and will compete to to be the most accurately transcribed rather
than the most extensive. Or Ancestry will out-compete the others and
have a monopoly. Or it will all become free. The focus will shift to
genetic research and broader aspects of family history.
--
Phil C.
Richard Heaton
2012-09-09 18:33:18 UTC
Permalink
In future,
And probably not that long into the future Secretary Hand is likely to be
OCR'd with a sufficient degree of accuracy that documents that have a common
inherent structure will become available in large volumes to researchers.
This means we will have close to full text search of court records (church ,
state, and manorial) documents in English and Latin, possibly Wills, and the
multitude of wonderful documents in the National Archive (more court
records, wills, army and admiralty, and tax records) available for searching
not merely on the name (s) in any current index - but also the names buried
within them.

Would that make things dull ... er no ... it will give us a far richer
researching experience - certainly for the 16th to 19th century

And if that experience is controlled by only one or two players in the
"market place" I'm quite relaxed about it.


Best Regards
Richard



-----Original Message-----
From: Phil C.
Sent: Sunday, September 09, 2012 3:21 PM Newsgroups: soc.genealogy.britain
To: ***@rootsweb.com
Subject: Re: Take a look at this!

On 09/09/2012 08:08, Tony Proctor wrote:

> However, fast-forward into the future. How
> long before 'original research' is a thing of the past, and genealogists
> simply look at other peoples' trees - implicitly assuming they must all
> have
> involved some original research - and at the most maybe checking the dates
> and places in FreeBMD?

In the future, all data will be on-line and transcribed so checking will
be relatively cheap and simple - if a bit dull. Websites will become
cheaper and will compete to to be the most accurately transcribed rather
than the most extensive. Or Ancestry will out-compete the others and
have a monopoly. Or it will all become free. The focus will shift to
genetic research and broader aspects of family history.
--
Phil C.

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Piercefield
2012-09-09 19:25:25 UTC
Permalink
Richard Heaton wrote, Sunday, September 09, 2012 7:33 PM

> And if that experience is controlled by only one or two players
> in the "market place" I'm quite relaxed about it.

Hmmm...

*I* think that things are quite bad enough already !

Our local Dorset History Centre is "pleased" to announce that they
have signed a contract with Ancestry who will scan and OCR their
records. Access to these on-line will, of course, require one to pay
Ancestry for the privilege. And I understand that Ancestry, as part
of the Contract, have the sole right to do this; i.e. they will have a
monopoly.

Yes; at the moment I can saunter down there and do my own research for
free, for the records are "public". But - oh, dear; oh, dear - wading
through miles of microfilm is SO tedious and time-consuming....

And I can see that the logical development will be that the Centre
then decides that, as all the stuff is available on-line, they will
then restrict access to "the real thing" ("reel thing"?) in order to
preserve it.

And then Ancestry will put their prices up so that even Richard will
squeak ! By which time it will be too late.

IMO, their prices are already far too high - too high for me,
certainly.

I believe (as you know!) that the data should be input by anyone on
the dole (i.e. whose wages are being paid - at the moment, for doing
nothing), and that the data should be available for free, both "in the
flesh" and on-line.


A parallel:-
Our house has a damp-proof course. I wrote recently to the "Building
Research Establishment" to ask when damp-proof courses were
introduced, to try to establish when our house was built, about which
there is some argument. The BRE was set up by the Government years
ago, and all its output, etc., was freely available to "the tax-payer"
who was funding it. Now, though, it has been sold off; and their
response was that they would only provide information to those
companies who sponsor it; i.e. all that research that used to be
freely available is now closed to the public. *I* think it is
disgraceful. Yes; I know the logic, but it still seems wrong.

I fear the same may happen in the genealogy field, too.
cecilia
2012-09-10 10:51:54 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 9 Sep 2012 20:25:25 +0100, "Piercefield"
<***@btinternet.com> wrote:

>[...]
>Our local Dorset History Centre is "pleased" to announce that they
>have signed a contract with Ancestry who will scan and OCR their
>records. Access to these on-line will, of course, require one to pay
>Ancestry for the privilege. And I understand that Ancestry, as part
>of the Contract, have the sole right to do this; i.e. they will have a
>monopoly.
>
>Yes; at the moment I can saunter down there and do my own research for
>free, for the records are "public". But - oh, dear; oh, dear - wading
>through miles of microfilm is SO tedious and time-consuming....
>
>And I can see that the logical development will be that the Centre
>then decides that, as all the stuff is available on-line, they will
>then restrict access to "the real thing" ("reel thing"?) in order to
>preserve it. [....]


The National Archives has free on-line access to digital copies of its
records, if one goes to TNA - is Dorset not going to have a similar
arrangement?
Steve Hayes
2012-09-09 14:04:28 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 9 Sep 2012 00:13:09 +0100, "Piercefield" <***@btinternet.com>
wrote:

>Tony Proctor wrote, Saturday, September 08, 2012 12:58 PM
>
>> it won't be long before "genealogy" is simply a hobby where
>> you cherry-pick names/dates/places from online content,
>> preferably the free content, or from other people's trees.
>
>To me, all these things are clues, which you might not get any other
>way. Having got the clue, one should, for one's own satisfaction,
>check that the clue is valid by going back to the "original" source.

Indeed. And that is why I continue to look at such things, because they give
something to check. But the problem is that for wvery one who checks them
there are 50 who don't, and so bad genealogy drives out good.

>My ancient FHS program simply takes the data; it should - and Oh, how
>I wish it could - have similar parallel fields for "Source" for every
>item, e.g. DoB.

I'm glad to see that someone else still uses FHS.

I do my rough research in PAF, importing Gedcoms where possible, than I check
it, and once I've got it as accurate as possible, I get it into my main tree
in FHS.



--
Steve Hayes
Web: http://hayesgreene.wordpress.com/
http://hayesgreene.blogspot.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/afgen/
Graeme Wall
2012-09-09 16:31:48 UTC
Permalink
On 09/09/2012 15:04, Steve Hayes wrote:
> On Sun, 9 Sep 2012 00:13:09 +0100, "Piercefield"<***@btinternet.com>
> wrote:
>
>> Tony Proctor wrote, Saturday, September 08, 2012 12:58 PM
>>
>>> it won't be long before "genealogy" is simply a hobby where
>>> you cherry-pick names/dates/places from online content,
>>> preferably the free content, or from other people's trees.
>>
>> To me, all these things are clues, which you might not get any other
>> way. Having got the clue, one should, for one's own satisfaction,
>> check that the clue is valid by going back to the "original" source.
>
> Indeed. And that is why I continue to look at such things, because they give
> something to check. But the problem is that for wvery one who checks them
> there are 50 who don't, and so bad genealogy drives out good.

Does it really matter? If hundreds of people are deluding themselves
but you are doing it properly do you really care about what happens to
the idiots?

--
Graeme Wall
This account not read, substitute trains for rail.
Railway Miscellany at <http://www.greywall.demon.co.uk/rail>
r***@btinternet.com
2012-09-09 18:04:41 UTC
Permalink
From: Graeme Wall <***@greywall.demon.co.uk>

> >> Tony Proctor wrote, Saturday, September 08, 2012 12:58 PM
> >>
> >>> it won't be long before "genealogy" is simply a hobby where
> >>> you cherry-pick names/dates/places from online content,
> >>> preferably the free content, or from other people's trees.
> >>
> >> To me, all these things are clues, which you might not get anyother
> >> way. Having got the clue, one should, for one's own
> satisfaction, check that the clue is valid by going back to the "original"
> source.
> >
> > Indeed. And that is why I continue to look at such things, because
> they give something to check. But the problem is that for wvery one who
> checks them there are 50 who don't, and so bad genealogy drives out good.
>
> Does it really matter? If hundreds of people are deluding
> themselves but you are doing it properly do you really care about what happens
> to the idiots?>

Perhaps I'm being naïve (my wife sometimes tells me I am) but isn't it at least part of the
responsibility of we supposed "experts" who have been at it for years to try and help the idiots
(for which read novices and beginners) to understand better how to conduct their
researches? Surely this should help to raise the overall standard of research generally.

Hopefully, at least some of them will take notice and adjust their methodology accordingly
which should raise the overall standards, while the complete idiots will go away and find
something else to do like Japanese flower-arranging or advanced nose-picking!

Is there not an obligation on people like thee and me to at least try and help beginners and
novices struggling to understand our often very complex world of genealogy?

--
Roy Stockdill
Genealogical researcher, writer & lecturer
Famous family trees blog: http://blog.findmypast.co.uk/tag/roy-stockdill/

"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about,
and that is not being talked about."
OSCAR WILDE
Graeme Wall
2012-09-09 18:57:24 UTC
Permalink
On 09/09/2012 19:04, ***@btinternet.com wrote:
> From: Graeme Wall<***@greywall.demon.co.uk>
>
>>>> Tony Proctor wrote, Saturday, September 08, 2012 12:58 PM
>>>>
>>>>> it won't be long before "genealogy" is simply a hobby where
>>>>> you cherry-pick names/dates/places from online content,
>>>>> preferably the free content, or from other people's trees.
>>>>
>>>> To me, all these things are clues, which you might not get anyother
>>>> way. Having got the clue, one should, for one's own
>> satisfaction, check that the clue is valid by going back to the "original"
>> source.
>>>
>>> Indeed. And that is why I continue to look at such things, because
>> they give something to check. But the problem is that for wvery one who
>> checks them there are 50 who don't, and so bad genealogy drives out good.
>>
>> Does it really matter? If hundreds of people are deluding
>> themselves but you are doing it properly do you really care about what happens
>> to the idiots?>
>
> Perhaps I'm being naïve (my wife sometimes tells me I am) but isn't it at least part of the
> responsibility of we supposed "experts" who have been at it for years to try and help the idiots
> (for which read novices and beginners) to understand better how to conduct their
> researches? Surely this should help to raise the overall standard of research generally.
>
> Hopefully, at least some of them will take notice and adjust their methodology accordingly
> which should raise the overall standards, while the complete idiots will go away and find
> something else to do like Japanese flower-arranging or advanced nose-picking!
>
> Is there not an obligation on people like thee and me to at least try and help beginners and
> novices struggling to understand our often very complex world of genealogy?
>

Only if they want it and it certainly isn't worth getting so upset
about. Most of these train-spotter genealogists will get bored with it
once they've got back to Adam and Eve and go and do something else.
Those that really get the bug will soon realise that there is more to it
than just downloading prefrozen ready-trees from the internet. They are
the ones you can, and do, help. They will buy the magazines your
articles appear in and read newsgroups like this.

--
Graeme Wall
This account not read, substitute trains for rail.
Railway Miscellany at <http://www.greywall.demon.co.uk/rail>
Tim Powys-Lybbe
2012-09-09 23:25:22 UTC
Permalink
On 9 Sep at 19:57, Graeme Wall <***@greywall.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> On 09/09/2012 19:04, ***@btinternet.com wrote:
> > From: Graeme Wall<***@greywall.demon.co.uk>
> >
> > > > > Tony Proctor wrote, Saturday, September 08, 2012 12:58 PM
> >>>>
> > > > > > it won't be long before "genealogy" is simply a hobby where
> > > > > > you cherry-pick names/dates/places from online content,
> > > > > > preferably the free content, or from other people's trees.
> >>>>
> > > > > To me, all these things are clues, which you might not get
> > > > > anyother way. Having got the clue, one should, for one's own
> > > satisfaction, check that the clue is valid by going back to the
> > > "original" source.
> >>>
> > > > Indeed. And that is why I continue to look at such things,
> > > > because
> > > they give something to check. But the problem is that for wvery
> > > one who checks them there are 50 who don't, and so bad genealogy
> > > drives out good.
> >>
> > > Does it really matter? If hundreds of people are deluding
> > > themselves but you are doing it properly do you really care about
> > > what happens to the idiots?>
> >
> > Perhaps I'm being naïve (my wife sometimes tells me I am) but isn't
> > it at least part of the responsibility of we supposed "experts" who
> > have been at it for years to try and help the idiots (for which read
> > novices and beginners) to understand better how to conduct their
> > researches? Surely this should help to raise the overall standard of
> > research generally.
> >
> > Hopefully, at least some of them will take notice and adjust their
> > methodology accordingly which should raise the overall standards,
> > while the complete idiots will go away and find something else to do
> > like Japanese flower-arranging or advanced nose-picking!
> >
> > Is there not an obligation on people like thee and me to at least
> > try and help beginners and novices struggling to understand our
> > often very complex world of genealogy?
> >
>
> Only if they want it and it certainly isn't worth getting so upset
> about. Most of these train-spotter genealogists will get bored with
> it once they've got back to Adam and Eve and go and do something else.
> Those that really get the bug will soon realise that there is more to
> it than just downloading prefrozen ready-trees from the internet.
> They are the ones you can, and do, help. They will buy the magazines
> your articles appear in and read newsgroups like this.

Surely the education of the lame and halt is nigh on impossible when we
have a large company doing very heavy advertising and getting big bucks
from naive users and also allowing their site to contain so much
rubbish. They have to develop some rational standards. So we have to
complain in public that these large organisations are incompetent;
hopefully one day we will touch a raw nerve.

That is why Roy's original post on this thread was and remains so
important.

Has anyone got a raw nerve touching tool?

--
Tim Powys-Lybbe ***@powys.org
for a miscellany of bygones: http://powys.org/
Andy
2012-09-10 08:32:30 UTC
Permalink
"Tim Powys-Lybbe" wrote in message
news:***@powys.org...

>Surely the education of the lame and halt is nigh on impossible when we
>have a large company doing very heavy advertising and getting big bucks
>from naive users and also allowing their site to contain so much
>rubbish. They have to develop some rational standards. So we have to
>complain in public that these large organisations are incompetent;
>hopefully one day we will touch a raw nerve.

Shouldn't that be 'companies', after all there are trees on Genesreunited
that include Adam and Eve, but then Genesreunited is owned by BrightSolid
who also own Findmypast and is British. Genesreunited also sends emails
advising subscribers of possible matches to people in their tree, often
those so called matches are born in other parts of the UK or even overseas
but the year of birth is at least correct.

I notice that Findmypast are also moving into the area of online trees and
eventually there will be both Public and Private Trees. I guarantee that it
won't be long before there are trees with similar errors online, no doubt
these errors will be publicised with the same gusto as those on Ancestry,
yeh, right.

>That is why Roy's original post on this thread was and remains so
>important.

Rubbish, Roy simply saw another opportunity to slag off at Ancestry. I'm
only an amateur but when I see something obviously incorrect I would at
least either try to work out what had happened or simply shake my head and
carry on, unfortunately there are others who do take great delight in
crapping on about certain companies.

>Has anyone got a raw nerve touching tool?

Andy
Sue
2012-09-10 12:49:08 UTC
Permalink
"Andy" <***@ozemail.com.au> wrote >
> "Tim Powys-Lybbe" wrote in message
> news:***@powys.org...
>
>>Surely the education of the lame and halt is nigh on impossible when
>>we have a large company doing very heavy advertising and getting big
>>bucks from naive users and also allowing their site to contain so much
>>rubbish. They have to develop some rational standards. So we have to
>>complain in public that these large organisations are incompetent;
>>hopefully one day we will touch a raw nerve.
>
> Shouldn't that be 'companies', after all there are trees on
> Genesreunited that include Adam and Eve, but then Genesreunited is
> owned by BrightSolid who also own Findmypast and is British.
> Genesreunited also sends emails advising subscribers of possible
> matches to people in their tree, often those so called matches are
> born in other parts of the UK or even overseas but the year of birth
> is at least correct.
>
> I notice that Findmypast are also moving into the area of online trees
> and eventually there will be both Public and Private Trees. I
> guarantee that it won't be long before there are trees with similar
> errors online, no doubt these errors will be publicised with the same
> gusto as those on Ancestry, yeh, right.
>
>>That is why Roy's original post on this thread was and remains so
>>important.
>
> Rubbish, Roy simply saw another opportunity to slag off at Ancestry.
> I'm only an amateur but when I see something obviously incorrect I
> would at least either try to work out what had happened or simply
> shake my head and carry on, unfortunately there are others who do take
> great delight in crapping on about certain companies.
>
>>Has anyone got a raw nerve touching tool?

The commercial sites such as Ancestry actually do have some sensible
info and advice about how to start out, with the pitfalls and dos and
don'ts explained - if only people would read it and take heed.

The problem is this is all ruined by companies also offering a quick
pick and mix, 'grab a name/family group that looks vaguely right and
tack it on to your own tree' sort of approach, which makes it too easy
for people to think all the correct data is already there on that site
and that's how to get along faster. It gives the impression you can 'do'
a family tree with no need to consult sources for oneself any more or do
any actual research, even with the online scans, let alone actual
documents in real life archives.

It's a pity because there are some meticulous people who've put their
hard work online for others to be able to use - I've been helped
enormously by a few and count myself fortunate to have hit on their
signal among the increasing noise.
Steve Hayes
2012-09-10 00:56:14 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 09 Sep 2012 17:31:48 +0100, Graeme Wall <***@greywall.demon.co.uk>
wrote:

>On 09/09/2012 15:04, Steve Hayes wrote:
>> On Sun, 9 Sep 2012 00:13:09 +0100, "Piercefield"<***@btinternet.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Tony Proctor wrote, Saturday, September 08, 2012 12:58 PM
>>>
>>>> it won't be long before "genealogy" is simply a hobby where
>>>> you cherry-pick names/dates/places from online content,
>>>> preferably the free content, or from other people's trees.
>>>
>>> To me, all these things are clues, which you might not get any other
>>> way. Having got the clue, one should, for one's own satisfaction,
>>> check that the clue is valid by going back to the "original" source.
>>
>> Indeed. And that is why I continue to look at such things, because they give
>> something to check. But the problem is that for wvery one who checks them
>> there are 50 who don't, and so bad genealogy drives out good.
>
>Does it really matter? If hundreds of people are deluding themselves
>but you are doing it properly do you really care about what happens to
>the idiots?

Well yes it does, because some of them may not be related to me, but think
they are.

Conversely, of course, some of them may be related to me but not realise it
because they've been barking up the wrong family tree.


--
Steve Hayes
Web: http://hayesgreene.wordpress.com/
http://hayesgreene.blogspot.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/afgen/
Graeme Wall
2012-09-10 07:29:01 UTC
Permalink
On 10/09/2012 01:56, Steve Hayes wrote:
> On Sun, 09 Sep 2012 17:31:48 +0100, Graeme Wall<***@greywall.demon.co.uk>
> wrote:
>
>> On 09/09/2012 15:04, Steve Hayes wrote:
>>> On Sun, 9 Sep 2012 00:13:09 +0100, "Piercefield"<***@btinternet.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Tony Proctor wrote, Saturday, September 08, 2012 12:58 PM
>>>>
>>>>> it won't be long before "genealogy" is simply a hobby where
>>>>> you cherry-pick names/dates/places from online content,
>>>>> preferably the free content, or from other people's trees.
>>>>
>>>> To me, all these things are clues, which you might not get any other
>>>> way. Having got the clue, one should, for one's own satisfaction,
>>>> check that the clue is valid by going back to the "original" source.
>>>
>>> Indeed. And that is why I continue to look at such things, because they give
>>> something to check. But the problem is that for wvery one who checks them
>>> there are 50 who don't, and so bad genealogy drives out good.
>>
>> Does it really matter? If hundreds of people are deluding themselves
>> but you are doing it properly do you really care about what happens to
>> the idiots?
>
> Well yes it does, because some of them may not be related to me, but think
> they are.
>
> Conversely, of course, some of them may be related to me but not realise it
> because they've been barking up the wrong family tree.
>
>

If you are being purist about it and Not Using Ancestry then what's your
problem. Carry on using the original records only[1] and know that you
are so much superior to the common herd. If you don't look at Ancestry
then you'll never know about the might-have-beens.

[1] Assuming you can afford to spend a fortune travelling round the
country/world to hunt them down only to discover the archive in question
is only open during the transit of Venus and can you some back in 117 years.

--
Graeme Wall
This account not read, substitute trains for rail.
Railway Miscellany at <http://www.greywall.demon.co.uk/rail>
Tony Proctor
2012-09-10 09:39:53 UTC
Permalink
"Graeme Wall" <***@greywall.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:1Fg3s.366659$***@fx22.am4...
> On 10/09/2012 01:56, Steve Hayes wrote:
>> On Sun, 09 Sep 2012 17:31:48 +0100, Graeme
>> Wall<***@greywall.demon.co.uk>
>> wrote:
>>
>>> On 09/09/2012 15:04, Steve Hayes wrote:
>>>> On Sun, 9 Sep 2012 00:13:09 +0100,
>>>> "Piercefield"<***@btinternet.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Tony Proctor wrote, Saturday, September 08, 2012 12:58 PM
>>>>>
>>>>>> it won't be long before "genealogy" is simply a hobby where
>>>>>> you cherry-pick names/dates/places from online content,
>>>>>> preferably the free content, or from other people's trees.
>>>>>
>>>>> To me, all these things are clues, which you might not get any other
>>>>> way. Having got the clue, one should, for one's own satisfaction,
>>>>> check that the clue is valid by going back to the "original" source.
>>>>
>>>> Indeed. And that is why I continue to look at such things, because they
>>>> give
>>>> something to check. But the problem is that for wvery one who checks
>>>> them
>>>> there are 50 who don't, and so bad genealogy drives out good.
>>>
>>> Does it really matter? If hundreds of people are deluding themselves
>>> but you are doing it properly do you really care about what happens to
>>> the idiots?
>>
>> Well yes it does, because some of them may not be related to me, but
>> think
>> they are.
>>
>> Conversely, of course, some of them may be related to me but not realise
>> it
>> because they've been barking up the wrong family tree.
>>
>>
>
> If you are being purist about it and Not Using Ancestry then what's your
> problem. Carry on using the original records only[1] and know that you
> are so much superior to the common herd. If you don't look at Ancestry
> then you'll never know about the might-have-beens.
>
> [1] Assuming you can afford to spend a fortune travelling round the
> country/world to hunt them down only to discover the archive in question
> is only open during the transit of Venus and can you some back in 117
> years.
>
> --
> Graeme Wall
> This account not read, substitute trains for rail.
> Railway Miscellany at <http://www.greywall.demon.co.uk/rail>

I like the comment about Venus, Graeme, but I feel there's a more subtle
danger here. It's not just a case of 'we're doing it correctly so who cares
if others are doing it incorrectly'.

Although we probably all strive to avoid errors, it's highly likely that we
all have a few, somewhere. Also, we were all newbies once, and I personally
cringe at some of the things I did back then. So, yes, there is a
responsibility to encourage and educate newbies who want to do it correctly.
I believe this also extends to the capabilities of the software we use and
the data formats that we use for sharing.

But then we come to online data. Now that the big content providers have all
got major record collections digitised, they all want to concentrate on our
'conclusions' - all those results that we've spent time & money creating.
Irrespective of whether their T&C's say they own the uploaded data, or
whether they will charge others for access to it, they are running headlong
into this in the belief that 'sharing' will create better truths, and more
quickly. Unfortunately, they don't appear to have thought about the
logistics very well.

Whether we like it or not, there will always be people who simply want to
collect, and stitch together, the conclusions without looking at the records
(whether originals or scans thereof). These people will proliferate those
trees that already have hundreds of thousands of names (and so must have
been done by an 'expert', right?), but zero citations or justifications for
the conclusions. The weak data models that the content providers offer
simply encourage this.

My fear is that this will become the norm for "genealogy", and those of us
who are used to doing real research will simply become part of the history
that we love.

Tony Proctor
Graeme Wall
2012-09-10 10:00:58 UTC
Permalink
On 10/09/2012 10:39, Tony Proctor wrote:
> "Graeme Wall"<***@greywall.demon.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:1Fg3s.366659$***@fx22.am4...
>> On 10/09/2012 01:56, Steve Hayes wrote:
>>> On Sun, 09 Sep 2012 17:31:48 +0100, Graeme
>>> Wall<***@greywall.demon.co.uk>
>>> wrote:
>>>
>>>> On 09/09/2012 15:04, Steve Hayes wrote:
>>>>> On Sun, 9 Sep 2012 00:13:09 +0100,
>>>>> "Piercefield"<***@btinternet.com>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>>> Tony Proctor wrote, Saturday, September 08, 2012 12:58 PM
>>>>>>
>>>>>>> it won't be long before "genealogy" is simply a hobby where
>>>>>>> you cherry-pick names/dates/places from online content,
>>>>>>> preferably the free content, or from other people's trees.
>>>>>>
>>>>>> To me, all these things are clues, which you might not get any other
>>>>>> way. Having got the clue, one should, for one's own satisfaction,
>>>>>> check that the clue is valid by going back to the "original" source.
>>>>>
>>>>> Indeed. And that is why I continue to look at such things, because they
>>>>> give
>>>>> something to check. But the problem is that for wvery one who checks
>>>>> them
>>>>> there are 50 who don't, and so bad genealogy drives out good.
>>>>
>>>> Does it really matter? If hundreds of people are deluding themselves
>>>> but you are doing it properly do you really care about what happens to
>>>> the idiots?
>>>
>>> Well yes it does, because some of them may not be related to me, but
>>> think
>>> they are.
>>>
>>> Conversely, of course, some of them may be related to me but not realise
>>> it
>>> because they've been barking up the wrong family tree.
>>>
>>>
>>
>> If you are being purist about it and Not Using Ancestry then what's your
>> problem. Carry on using the original records only[1] and know that you
>> are so much superior to the common herd. If you don't look at Ancestry
>> then you'll never know about the might-have-beens.
>>
>> [1] Assuming you can afford to spend a fortune travelling round the
>> country/world to hunt them down only to discover the archive in question
>> is only open during the transit of Venus and can you some back in 117
>> years.
>>
>> --
>> Graeme Wall
>> This account not read, substitute trains for rail.
>> Railway Miscellany at<http://www.greywall.demon.co.uk/rail>
>
> I like the comment about Venus, Graeme, but I feel there's a more subtle
> danger here. It's not just a case of 'we're doing it correctly so who cares
> if others are doing it incorrectly'.
>
> Although we probably all strive to avoid errors, it's highly likely that we
> all have a few, somewhere. Also, we were all newbies once, and I personally
> cringe at some of the things I did back then. So, yes, there is a
> responsibility to encourage and educate newbies who want to do it correctly.
> I believe this also extends to the capabilities of the software we use and
> the data formats that we use for sharing.
>
> But then we come to online data. Now that the big content providers have all
> got major record collections digitised, they all want to concentrate on our
> 'conclusions' - all those results that we've spent time& money creating.
> Irrespective of whether their T&C's say they own the uploaded data, or
> whether they will charge others for access to it, they are running headlong
> into this in the belief that 'sharing' will create better truths, and more
> quickly. Unfortunately, they don't appear to have thought about the
> logistics very well.
>
> Whether we like it or not, there will always be people who simply want to
> collect, and stitch together, the conclusions without looking at the records
> (whether originals or scans thereof). These people will proliferate those
> trees that already have hundreds of thousands of names (and so must have
> been done by an 'expert', right?), but zero citations or justifications for
> the conclusions. The weak data models that the content providers offer
> simply encourage this.
>
> My fear is that this will become the norm for "genealogy", and those of us
> who are used to doing real research will simply become part of the history
> that we love.
>

But, at the end of the day, does it really matter? Ancestry and Bright
Solid have to act commercially to justify spending money on their
digitisation projects. If that means encouraging the trainspotter
genealogists to spend money chasing themselves up the wrong tree it
doesn't worry me. It's not just genealogy it happens in many different
hobbies. But, as a result, I have access to records that I would never
have been able to afford any other way. So I am quite happy for Hiram J
Chipmunk VI to post dozens of copies on-line of his descent from Adam &
Eve, half the royal families of Europe and Thutmose III. I know it's
rubbish, you know it's rubbish and we can safely ignore it, just as we
have been ignoring patron submissions on the IGI for decades.

As Roy has pointed out, rubbish genealogy is not a new thing, it has
been around for centuries. Even before the infamous Burke, arriviste
knights were not above bribing the heralds to add a few famous names to
their ancestry. And said heralds, the professionals of the day, were
quite happy to pocket the cash and lie through their parchments.

--
Graeme Wall
This account not read, substitute trains for rail.
Railway Miscellany at <http://www.greywall.demon.co.uk/rail>
singhals
2012-09-10 01:28:01 UTC
Permalink
***@btinternet.com wrote:

> Perhaps I'm being naïve (my wife sometimes tells me I am) but isn't it at least part of the
> responsibility of we supposed "experts" who have been at it for years to try and help the idiots
> (for which read novices and beginners) to understand better how to conduct their
> researches? Surely this should help to raise the overall standard of research generally.
>
> Hopefully, at least some of them will take notice and adjust their methodology accordingly
> which should raise the overall standards, while the complete idiots will go away and find
> something else to do like Japanese flower-arranging or advanced nose-picking!
>
> Is there not an obligation on people like thee and me to at least try and help beginners and
> novices struggling to understand our often very complex world of genealogy?

Well, back about 40 years ago, that's what I was pushed to
do. I've been at ever since. My level of enthusiasm for
educating the masses has dropped, since you no more than get
/this/ class of 25 taught/trained than a different 25 show
up and you're back where you began. Cuts into my own
research time, dreaming up believable answers to questions
such as "It's my genealogy, why do you care how I do it?" or
"Look this is just to satisfy my curiosity, why do I have to
buy all those certificates?" Too few of these irritating
newbies settle for "because I said so, that's why."

And, still, after 40+ years of doing this and teaching this,
no one but another genealogist has EVER asked to see my
proof and most don't read it even if I put it in anyway.

Cheryl
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