Talk:Rookie Mistakes

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Revision as of 16:55, 22 April 2011 by Tomaarongibson (talk | contribs)

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None of the points in this article discuss family tree or pedigree research. So it is hard to see how Family Trees are a related topic.

Diltsgd 16:21, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for a good article

Since this article is written so well, and I am new to the Wiki, I'd like to add a comment, but not change and potentially damage such a well written article.  If the person or persons who created  this article wish to incorporate these thoughts into the article, please feel free.

Another rookie mistake I have made in the past and often see in others is the willingness to accept another rookie's work as fact and not personally verify new connections to known members of a tree.

Seeing people who are "ancestor hungry" (my term for those who will accept the closest record available as accurate after a less-than-exhausting-search) post their fiction on some of the popular sites out there, I have often longed for a reliability rating field for each ancestor record and each supporting document. I have a g-g-grandmother whose common surname and short life has made documenting her parents a huge challenge, yet the popular ancestry sites contain several different "records" of her parents (at least three different sets of "parents" have been identified to date!).  Yes, I make guesses based on the family history and post supporting documents for those guesses, but those documents are clearly marked as unverified guesses. I have also sincerely appreciated contacts from other researchers who provide documents disproving my guesses.  Accuracy should be the goal - not just getting the blank fields in the pedigree chart filled in.

Conscequences:  Incomplete and/or inaccurate work gets re-published to the point where it is almost accepted as fact (Everyone says the same thing so this must be true!).  It also tends to discourage further research to either verify or refute such connections.  While it could cause some serious disputes between researchers, I believe it is a good practice to tactfully present records with contradictary information and politely request that records in support of an opposing view be provided for the scrutiny of all who are working on a particular family line.

Expert Researchers:  Independently verify each new ancestor or member of a family group.  They also verify the conclusions drawn from other researcher's sources are reasonable and logical.  They will contact other researchers and politely (tactfully, professionally) ask questions and point out alternative theories and documented facts.