Saturday, December 06, 2008

Family history-related updates

Lots of my spare time lately has been spent over at the Salem Cemetery site or adding information to my online family history file at RootsWeb. Both of these are linked at left.

The Selders and Risbeck lots at Salem, Nos. 44 and 45 respectively, were added to the Salem site this week, although they're far from complete. Since the Risbeck family is related to my Redlingshafer family in a distant and obscure sort of way and the Selders were neighbors of my Myers great-great-grandparents at New Florence in Westmoreland County, Pennylvania, I keep going off on tangents when I work with them, which occupies more time than usual. Last week, I added the Calvin E. Hatfield lot (No. 50), but need to collect a couple of tombstone photos and obituaries to complete it --- since Salem is snowed under right now, that will be a challenge.

I've uploaded an update to the family history file, something I intended to do regularly, but neglect. I spent a little time this week adding information about the family of Martin and Anna Mary (Redlingshafer) Banschbach, who lived at DePue in Bureau County, Illinois. Anna Mary's mother, Doratha Redlingshafer (my great-great-great-grandmother), is buried at Salem.

The family history file is at RootsWeb rather than, say, at Ancestry.com for a specific reason. RootsWeb is free and open to all, while Ancestry is a subscription-only service, and the only point of having this material online is to make it available to others.

Still, what I consider misuse of the information aggravates me sometimes. Misuse in my opinion involves adding extensive information to one's own family file from someone else's without noting where the information came from. In the first place, it's good manners to give credit where credit is due, but of more consequence --- folks who happen upon material online need to be able to tell where it came from so that they can judge its authenticity and accuracy or track it to its original source if they care to do so.

Then there are folks out there who create trophy family history files containing tens of thousands of names (a curse be upon them) for no reason other than the fact that they can, in many cases "merging" others' files automatically with their own --- slob genealogy, in other words.

Online genealogy is a blessing (bringing sources that only a few years ago would have taken years to access as close as a mouse-click and connecting cousins who wouldn't have met in any other way) and a curse --- misinformation spreads like wildfire once published online. I may complain about it now and then, but would be hard pressed to live without it.

1 comment:

Ed Abbey said...

It is amazing how fast bad information flies. I'm trying to be real careful not to do so myself.