25 February 2013

The Millennium File

[warning: opinion ahead]

Results of a search for Thomas Rampley on the "Millenium File" at Ancestry.com--25 February 2013.
Don't get me wrong: I use Ancestry.com regularly--every day. The ability to access digital images of a variety of records (particularly census records and other digital images of "original" materials) makes my research easier. A great deal easier. I use my Ancestry.com subscription.

But stuff like this I can do without.

What is the "Millennium File?"  The name sounds like something out of a science fiction novel.

And while there is a source, I have no way at all to gauge the accuracy of this information. Just names in a database. No places included in this entry. I need something upon which to gauge perceived accuracy of information and I'm not seeing that here.

Sometimes it feels like some companies believe that genealogists should be glad for any information we can get and that wondering how that information came to be should not be a concern. For me, it is a concern.

I'm certain I'm not the only genealogist out there who has a mental list of databases whose results we routinely ignore when performing searches. That list gets longer every day and may need to be converted to paper as I get older.

Somehow I doubt I'm the only person who has such a list.

At the rate we are going, I'll be up to a thousand items on the list before you know it.

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