Tuesday, May 23, 2017

To Tell The Truth

Don't Always Follow The Crowd

In the process of my genealogy research, I have tried to perform a reasonable search of information that is available. That being said, I do not know all the information that is available about a family member or family.  My research is also a search. I am constantly looking for information. I try to record the source origin, correlate it with known facts and look for details. The internet is loaded with genealogy sites free and paid such as  Ancestry.com, Family Search, Newspaper.com, FindaGrave,  Genealogybank, Fold3 and  Heritage Quest to name only a few. These sites often has transcription errors of names, sex and possibly race.   

Some of the sites employ elements of crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is a technique in which an organization or individuals use many people or a crowd for pay or free to give information to solve a problem. Wikipedia is a prime example.  Anyone can edit and contribute to Wikipedia.  Ancestry.com family trees also uses crowdsourcing.   Is all the information true?    
The majority of people in my trees have been dead decades ago and I have met very few of their descendants. I am on a mission. I feel that my African family with disseminated trees with roots in America have a story that is worth telling. That is why I have this blog.   Through the years I have tried to educate myself by attending genealogy conferences and reading books.  I have visited the National Archives, Mississippi Archives, Tennessee Archives, Allen County Library, Family History Library and various other libraries. I am a member of the National Genealogy Society but not a certified genealogist.
 I also have attended family reunions and communicated with previously unknown cousins. I will be forever grateful for meeting my cousin the late Roger Dale Wilson.  He showed me the Caston and Brumfield connection through Liddie Brumfield Caston.    I would like to acknowledge my cousins who helped me along my mission Lexie Mae Bullock Johnson, Lexie Pearl Smith Elmore, Daisy Smith, Gerald Hollins, Manual Graves, Carletta Graves, Eddie Brumfield Jr., Kerry Shelton, Belinda Howard and the late Eddie J. Brumfield Sr.  

Ancestry.com has used crowdsourcing on the family trees they have listed.  I have looked on Ancestry.com at other family trees listed and there are errors in the information.  There are also errors in the information that I have on my trees on Ancestry.com.  When I find the true information, I try to make corrections.

Most recently on my tree, I listed Annie Gatlin who married Thomas J. Brumfield as a child of Jack Gatlin Sr. and Alice Conerly. When I reviewed my sources, Annie Gatlin was never listed as a child of Jack Gatlin Sr. and Alice Conerly. I really don’t know where I got that information.  I did not record my source which is a newbie mistake. The information I recorded was wrong and three other people put the wrong information on their Ancestry.com trees.

My lesson is to check and record the source.  Don't always follow the crowd because the crowd could be wrong.

------The TreeGardener

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