18 February 2010

Ancestry.com's Trees

I really need to just stay off these trees at Ancestry.com. They are just raising my blood pressure.

A submitter claims that the 1900-1920 census indicates the village of birth for my ancestor in Germany. Obviously it doesn't. She also has the county seat as part of the place of birth, another mistake. If anything, she could include the county, but not the county seat.

There are also last names spelled incorrectly in ways that are clearly typographical errors she never bothered to fix.

She also has my great-great-grandmother's father DYING six years before his daughter was born. Interesting to find out that great-grandma was a test tube baby in the mid nineteenth century.

I find it frustrating to have information about ancestors uploaded incorrectly. My ancestors are all a little special to me (even if some were a little flaky) and I think it is important to be fairly accurate in what you compile. Blanks when you do not know something is better than throwing something in. Sometimes I think it's almost disrespectful to just put up any old crap you want about some dead relative and claim "well, it's harmless I'm just an amateur. I am just sharing with everyone what I find. You should be glad I share my information with others. You shouldn't take it so seriously. I have good intentions."

My Dad never did one lick of genealogy, but I was always taught you shouldn't do things half-assed. Some of my distant kin apparently have never heard of that phrase. Personally I would be embarassed to put my name on something with so many mistakes. But that's just me.