Today,while reviewing hints on Ancestry.com for some of my family members, I decided to look at the Public Member Tree hints, something I rarely do. More often than not, I find the information in many of these trees inaccurate at best. It seems that many users, find something in another person’s tree and somehow work it into their own, with no regard to the accuracy of the information.
Take my own ancestor, Jeremiah Shipe. There were no less than five public member trees that Ancestry felt were close matches to my Jeremiah. The operative word is close. Looking over these other trees, it seems these users have just plucked information from other trees, added it to their own, and called it another day of successful genealogical research. I did not find ONE users tree that had any of the information on Jeremiah, his wives, or his children, accurate.
My own tree has documentation to support what I have. Jeremiah was my paternal great grandfather. I researched very carefully to put together his family and spoke with relatives, dug through court records, old newspapers, and other documents.
My point is this: do not take blindly from other users on Ancestry. If they do not have documentation to support their information, put it in your shoebox until you can verify it. I’m not saying all users are inaccurate with their information – but many are. Genealogy research is not as easy as a few mouse clicks from Ancestry and you have your entire family tree. A good researcher will regale you with the countless hours and dollars they have invested in their family tree.
Let the researcher beware!