How Not to Ancestry


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Jan 27, 2019
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Northwestern PA
As I've mentioned often, I use Ancestry all the time, not only for my own genealogy, but for researching lots of individuals that I'm not related to. Ancestry is extremely valuable for easily accessing all sorts of basic records -- census rolls, birth and death records, and so on.

The weakness of using Ancestry, though, is in relying on the family trees compiled by other users. Some of them are genuinely useless, and contain data that is clearly incorrect. Nevertheless, it's out there, and can easily lead you astray in your own research.

I came across this example today. It's an entry for a woman who, according to this tree, was born in about 1520. Her father was born in 1537, and her mother in 1525. Her son was born in 1530, when she was ten:

View attachment 226142

There's a lot of this foolishness floating around on Ancestry, so be careful, and look closely at what you import into your own family tree.
I've had to remind my family members of this. It was awesome when a couple years ago, a few became really interested in the family history and got on Ancestry...then started just copying information from other people's trees, and the information is incorrect. It's hard to make the correction without bursting their bubbles about getting involved and wanting to know the family history, but at the same time, if it's ignored it snowballs very quickly as other people start copying trees. All it takes is one wrong turn, and the wrong branches are being fused in the wrong places! I was taught even at a young age when I first started getting involved was documentation, documentation, documentation! I love Ancestry for leads and ideas, and sometimes people do have documents I was missing, but that's the key!
 

AndyHall

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@kasey00 , all the old, pencil-and-paper rules of genealogical research still apply. Don't get seduced by easy clicks.

The most ludicrous thing I've seen is someone who found -- and Lord only knows whether this is correct or not -- that he or she was kin to someone in the British royal family 500 years ago, and went and changed every single person's avatar right down to the present to the royal coat of arms.

Hundreds of them. Every. Single. One.

Such grandiose foolishness.
 
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Zella

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The most ludicrous thing I've seen is someone who found -- Lord only knows whether this is correct or not -- that he or she was kin to someone in the British royal family 500 years ago, and went and changed every single person's avatar right down to the present to the royal coat of arms.

Every. Single. One.
:roflmao::laugh:

Guess pointing out that the modern royal coat of arms wouldn't be appropriate for a royal connection from 500 years ago wouldn't go over well? :whistling::wink::angel:
 
Joined
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Northwest Missouri
I agree that too many users post misinformation on Ancestry.com. You can likely get off to a good start if you have older generations who can help with first hand information. You need to understand that many Counties in the Colonial States were subdivided into new Counties, as more settlers arrived. Immigration/transportation, land patent, military service, probate and civil court case, birth, death, marriage bond and marriage records, and finally census are necessary to isolate your ancestor from others with similar names. In my research I found that in both the New England States and old Virginia early local histories helped confirm official records maintained on Ancestry.com.
 
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JPK Huson 1863

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That's an ad for Ancestry? A little awesome, like backwards advertising. Don't see much of that.

Still laughing over the post about the crest. Had someone notice we have the name ' Howard ' in our tree. Goodness. Hadn't given this 6 or 7 times grandparent much thought. This member was a little hostile, emailed us out of the blue apparently just to ensure we had no grand notion ' our ' Howard was one of the Howards. Hadn't, so declined to argue the point. Later sent a link proving his information- to a ' Howard ' DNA site. Made me a little happy our guy was just a plain, old carpenter from Baltimore. Also pretty happy not to be related to anyone who thought Henry VIII would be a good husband.

That whole royalty thing is hysterical. And messes up a lot of information.
 

ARW

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That whole royalty thing is hysterical. And messes up a lot of information.
One of my favorite family jokes is that Princess Diana Frances Spencer's 9th Great Grandfather is my 8th Great Grandfather. He came to the Plymouth colony in 1635. Makes her something like my 7th cousin. I'm ROYALTY.
The only way I know that is years ago I found a site that listed famous people who were descendants of Elder John Strong. There were many others listed including FDR. I think my official title is "Duke of Dumb Knowledge".
 
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
20
Location
Texas
Another tip in census research is always check the page before and after a relative's page. They can lead to clues to confirm marriages, often times with the missing relative, particularly women, living right next door or as a near neighbor. Also it can confirm migration patterns as rarely did a family ever travel alone but rather with other neighbors from the previous county/state.
 



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