|Sharing my tree online brought me|
my only photo of ancestor Catherine Molloy
I am talking about taking information from online trees on face value without checking the veracity of the claims contained therein.
I was challenged by Bookbook's recent post in which she said "We're encouraged to upload our family trees to the web and make them open to the public. The idea is that distant relatives will make contact and information can be shared, that images and documents can be easily shared and that information from other trees can be merged into your own.
DON'T DO IT!"
I just had to put my thoughts on this issue out in the blogisphere. My message regarding publishing family information on the web is "Do it" - Be generous and share.
In defence of public trees Boobook goes on to say "It's not all bad. There are some gems among the dross. I have made contact with relatives to our mutual benefit. I have found some wonderful photos and documents. I have even been able to extend some branches of the tree back a generation or two and add a few twigs. But I've learnt to be very, very wary."
She states "there are thousands of public family trees and they are chockers with errors". I certainly agree with that BUT these trees can be useful.
We can use the information found in them as hints to check sources and verify or disprove the assertions made. I have found many links to family members from unsourced trees that appear on Ancestry and other sites. These hints have given me leads which have helped me conquer my brick walls, and as Boobook says distant relatives have made contact and information has been shared. I am most grateful for the corrections my contacts have suggested to the data in my online tree (we all make mistakes).
Because I have shared my research online I have received copies of certificates and photographs including precious photos of direct ancestors for whom we had no photos whatsoever. I particularly treasure the only photo I have of my great-grandmother, Catherine Molloy, that my second cousin once removed, Tony Molloy, sent me.
So, please share your information and use online trees as resources but as Boobook says "be very, very wary."
"Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." (Galatians VI)