St Clair Cemetery, Mt Lebanon, Allegheny Co, PA

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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Thankful Thursday: Seek and Ye Shall Find, Maybe

Ever remember playing hide and seek as a child?  It appears to me that genealogy and searching for our beloved of old are similar to that favorite childhood game. Yesterday, after writing the post on Uncle Charles, I found the name of one of his children online.  There wasn't much information given other than the name and approximate year of death.  Holding my breath, I emailed the owner of the private tree and asked if she was the one for whom I was searching.

The reply came back later, and she was.  After eagerly accepting the invitation to view the private tree, I saw no new documentation.  I added a few pictures and obits to the tree and asked for any documentation.

My newly found cousin has informed me he received the maiden name of a grandma from his grandma which led him to the family tree that I assisted in putting together with another cousin.  And then, I see information which also appears to have come from yet another cousin who I assisted with her research.

While I am sure this is my guy, I am also disappointed not to have unearthed any more documentation.

So, I am thankful to make another connection to my great grandmother through her brother, but strangely disappointed that the research used is my own.

This seems to be a recurrent issue in the world of genealogy.  Family seekers sniff out the information on the internet without going through the extra work of documenting it on their own.  Of course, my big irk is when I see blogs I have written placed as comments on other people's trees with no acknowledgement as to the origin of the data.

Be a great family seeker.  Look at the internet information and use that to begin your search.  Use the information to go back and document everything you can.  Help fill in the gaps.  Make the corrections.  Credit the folks who provide information by using their url and name.  Love knowing you have family members to discover.

Ahh, genealogy.  Got to wonder how many people just clone the information and just don't care.  As for me, I try to document everything and love making connections to family of the past.  Who knows when a favorite recipe or story of old will come to light?  I have been fortunate over the years to have heard stories from cousins about my direct bloodline that help bring them to life.  That is my goal and the willingness to share stories of the shared past makes me thankful everyday.

©AS Eldredge 2012


Katherine said...

I can relate. Nothing goes in my tree unless I have seen the source myself! I'm all for sharing, but I often see my information posted online with no reference to my work. I especially see old photographs copied again and again. It's sad. Perhaps one step to fixing the issue would be for places like Ancestry asking for sources? I don't know, but I hate the problem.

Carol Chidlow said...

So true, I've been guilty of this myself. I am trying to go back and make sure I have all my sources right. Thanks for the reminder.

Stephanie Nichols Bateman said...

I love this post, especially the last two paragraphs.

ScotSue said...

How right you are! I have had the same experience. I have put some key images on Ancestry as I thought they might prompt a response from distant connections. However I later discovered thatthey were appearing on other Public Family Trees, without so much as a please, thank you or acknowledgement. I would have been happy to agree to it, but was never asked. So let's continue with our hobby horse of promoting good practice.