APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2004-02 > 1076749568
From: "richard pence" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Repositories, Sources, and Citations
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 04:06:08 -0500
References: <001201c3f27a$12145480$dc1afea9@K9> <003e01c3f294$3c01ac10$16763e44@win2000a141573> <002601c3f296$7d01ec00$6401a8c0@alviecomputer>
Alvie L. Davidson <> wrote:
> The unfortunate part about Ancestry is that sooooooooooo
> many folks will dive into that web site with the full assumption
> that everything they see, read, copy, and assimilate into their
> partially compiled genealogical material is the absolute "gospel".
> The real truth; there are no checks and balances. The researcher
> should forever take with a grain of salt anything which is offered on the
That's a statement that can be made about most web sites - and a great many
I recently went through 5,000 marriages involving persons with the surname
PENCE in the International Genealogy Index at FamilySearch. Only a few
hundred of them were accurate and practically all of these were from the
Mormon Church's records extraction program. I didn't stop to count, put if a
fourth of them were correct I would be surprised. (What I am saying her is
that nearly all of the marriages submitted by church members are not
accurate as to both time and place.)
Yet I have seen entire books (most pre-Internet) tracing the descendants of
persons whose marriage is recorded in the IGI - a marriage that never
happened! Even the children of this marriage are ficticious!
Your comment is one that should always be on the mind of researchers: How
reliable is this material and how can I verify it?
A favorite example of mine is this. My wife has a great grandfather and a
great grandfather buried in a small cemetery in Mississippi. Many years ago
the stones were transcribed and published in a small book. In the book, the
quoted inscription from the stone for her great great grandfather contained
these words: "Son of N. B." When I had a cousin check it, we found that the
stone actually reads, "Erected by his son, W. B."
This fatal error was repeated when the book was copied to the Internet. As
for the son, W. B. (William Bolivar Ferrell), his tombstone was accurately
rendered in the book - but when it made the journey to the internet that
last two digits of the year of his death were transposed.
That's about par. Several mistake in the book. Twice as many when put on
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