Monday, March 30, 2009

Another Bad Genealogy Source

To this list of 5 Bad Genealogy Sources, let's add a sixth: books.

Books are a good source of unreliable information simply because anyone who can type, print, and use a stapler can make a book. And since the credentials of most authors are questionable especially when it comes to history (I have no evidence to back this up, but my conclusion requires that it be true), books will provide no help in your genealogy research. If you believe that a book has helped you in your genealogy research, this is only because you have not been published in various UK genealogy magazines or presented at various conferences.

So when looking for a historical account, stay away from books. Stick to Billy Joel songs. Because not everyone can write a Billy Joel song.

Louisiana Genealogy Blogs

Geneabloggers posted on this as well, but I read your post first, and I couldn't quit laughing. Thank you, for your wonderful sense of humor.

Cyndi Ingle

Another bad source: people. Don't ever talk to them because sometimes they have faulty memories. They have even been known to be wrong on many occasions. People are unreliable. I say just stick with things we know have 100% accuracy. That would be the smartest thing to do.


Oh, I never talk to anyone without first checking their credentials. And if they fail to include footnotes in their side of the conversation, I stick my fingers in my ears.

Miriam Robbins

I don't even bother to listen. When someone approaches me to say something, I cover both ears and say, "La, la, la, la, la" as loud as I can. Then I don't get confused by possible incorrect information.

Elizabeth O'Neal

Personally, I just stick to what I already know. I have enough to worry about without other people getting me all confused and such.


And yet some more bad sources: original vital records. People lie about their age, the number of former marriages, and men never know their mother's maiden name so they make one up just to confuse us. Tombstones also contain faulty information. And newspapers. . .I don't even believe the page numbers much less the content.


I love the fact that you filed this under "utter nonsense".

Another bad source is memory. Or even better, personal experience. Or how about personal documentation of an event, with a video camera.

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