28 March 2012

7 Trees Agree, But Not With Me

The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

I'm working on Friday's "Sourcing in Ancestry.com's Trees" webinar and using a few of my own families to get ready.

So I can practice again with editing, modifying, etc. the online trees, I'm building a tree from scratch as that's the really best way to get certain ideas in my head, review common pitfalls (learn a few more), etc.

Years ago, when I started my research I learned the last name of a female ancestor who for now I'll call Susan Bubbasdaughter. I now know that her maiden name was actually Susan Bobbysdaughter. Bubbasdaughter came from a published county history and Bobbysdaughter came from the actual marriage record. The source for this actually isn't all that difficult to locate and I've actually blogged about Susan several times using the correct name of Susan Bobbysdaughter.

This ancestor appears in 7 public trees on Ancestry.com--every last one of them lists her as Susan Bubbasdaughter. I've even communicated with two of the compilers and shared the correct information. All 7 trees still have the incorrect last name. All were probably copied from something I shared years ago not realizing it was incorrect.

If any of them had actually bothered to research "Susan" they'd know what her maiden name actually was--the source is pretty easy to find--particularly as Susan's obituary hints at the location where she got married. If they'd googled her name, my website and posts would come up on the first page of hits (I know because I just checked). And they'd have found the information on the correct maiden name (and source) without even doing all that much research.

Just because 7 trees agree doesn't mean they are right.

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