The Dangers of Judging Reliability by Source Presence

Relying on sources as a soundness indicator in genealogy is like trying to understand a court case, but only having the witness list and the verdict. Sure you’ll know the outcome and you’ll know who was called to testify, but you won’t be able to understand why the decision was made. You won’t know what was asked nor what answers were given by whom. You won’t have a sense of the veracity of the testimony. And you won’t be able to get your own sense of whether the right decision was made. It’s the same thing with genealogy.
[Read more…]

Genealogy Virus Continues to Spread

I was disappointed yesterday to hear of another outbreak of the virus that’s sweeping through genealogy. A new GEDCOM (GEnealogy Data COMmunication) file sharing site sprang up. I’m disappointed because this nonsense undermines the practice of genealogy. Mostly this is because many (if not most) GEDCOMs being shared contain incorrect conclusions. Sharing incorrect conclusions is the single biggest threat to our hobby. It wastes an incredible amount of research time.

[Read more…]

Researching Distant Records Now Easier

Geographically distant genealogists have been helping each other find records for years. It’s a service referred to as lookups. It works like this: if you’re looking for a record that you haven’t been able to locate locally nor online, you arrange through email or a forum, to have a genealogist who is local to the record do the lookup for you and send you a scan or photo.

Finding and transacting a lookup has gotten easier since Genlighten.com has become available. This service connects genealogists and providers of lookups, handles payment, notifications, service ratings, and document delivery. It has the promise of a centralize source of lookup providers. This helps those of us in need of distant record location as well as those who are willing to do lookups.

In this video: Getting Distant Records Through Genlighten, I show you how to find a provider, request a lookup, and how to retrieve the resulting image.