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17 July 2012

Compiled Trees Should Not Be Your Only Source

Compiled trees (regardless of the compiler or the book, site, etc.) should not be your only source for a fact, relationship, date of an event, etc. These trees can lead you to other sources and give you research ideas, but do not simply "copy it down because you saw it online."

At the best, compiled trees provide references to original source materials.

At the worst, they are completely incorrect.

The truth is that most are somewhere in between. Use them as clues.

1 comment:

  1. OMG, that is so true it ought to be one of the 10 commandments of genealogy. Found egregious errors in compiled trees, e.g. man who is "son" of his brother (born 2 years apart in compilers tree), wife "died" in 1850 but actually moved away from husband to live with her kids. Don't the compilers read dates, put "facts' in context, and look at relationships? Arrgh.