St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Careful Investigation Needed Before Before Posting Family Ties

"Hey, this one looks good. It must be my family. So, I'll add it to the family chart online and life will be so perfect."

So wrong! I was quite surprised when a distant cousin sent an email to me asking if a new family tree posted online belonged to my line. I hadn't seen it, so I went to check it out. Quite shocking. Who are the people they've linked us to? They are not mine.

I took a quick look at the sources noted and quickly noted their assumptions. It was assumed that someone of the same name and similar birth year must have been ours. Not so fast.

One must follow the evidence. Were the obituaries checked? Were the death certs checked? Did they check the wills? The probate records? The land records?

I know they weren't checked because I have copies and what it shows is not what the online family chart is detailing.

Now, there may be researchers who are misled on the real family for years to come. And all because the evidence was not followed properly.

Please don't take a census and make it yours. Please follow the evidence and investigate thoroughly before making a claim. Please don't make the family into a fairy tale.

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