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Advice on Ancestry

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Joyce Report 17 Mar 2013 20:17

I have noticed a distant relatives dumbrell tree dates are different to mine she is using ancestry would her tree be correct

As I am dubious of changing my dates which another relative gave me years ago

joyce m


Margee Report 17 Mar 2013 20:22

I wouldn't trust anyone else's info whether from a tree on Ancestry or from another relative. You have to verify info yourself using census info and buying certificates.


DazedConfused Report 17 Mar 2013 20:23

The best thing to do is to see if you can verify any of the dates provided by your relative some time ago.

There are some very good trees on Ancestry as well as the truly appalling.

When I first started out I was lucky enough to be contacted by relatives on both sides of my paternal grandparents and given access to 3 tree on here. All of which were great, but before adding any of these people to my own tree I made sure I checked all the dates etc., and in fact found several errors (mainly through BMDs) and was able to ensure that my tree was as correct as could be and also was able to inform others of these and shared the BMD's with them.

So what I am saying is that no matter who gave you the information, unless you are 100% sure yourself, take no-one's word that their research is true. May seem a bit harsh, but I would rather be certain that all avenues have been travelled.



Joyce Report 17 Mar 2013 20:26

Thank you all for the replies but i thought ancestry was correct as you have to pay so much to join


Kucinta Report 17 Mar 2013 20:29

Ancestry gives you access to lots of records, but you still have to use them to put your family history together, and people can still get confused or think records refer to their ancestors when in fact they actually relate to someone else of the same or similar name.

Ancestry provides records, but you still have to use and interpret them.

Ancestry trees are as good or bad as the research of the person who compiled them.

Another issue with Ancestry trees is that 'chinese whispers' occurs. People blindly copy the details from one Ancestry tree onto their own,without checking all the facts are correct. A mistake on one tree can thus become a mistake on a dozen trees, yet someone else will come along and assume the information is correct 'because so many trees say the same thing'.


Joyce Report 17 Mar 2013 21:15

Thank you for that advice I had a feeling it wasnt correct
I have a friend whos a geneoligist so his would be true wouldnt it


Kucinta Report 17 Mar 2013 22:36

I would certainly hope that his would be very well researched.

However we're all human, so it is possible for even the best genealogist to make a mistake or take a wrong turning.

As others have said, do the best that you can to verify information or trees that someone else gives you access to.


MarieCeleste Report 17 Mar 2013 22:55

Hello Joyce, I've actually come across some professional genealogists who's information has been inaccurate to say the least.

Most of the researchers on here are far better.

Just because a site charges more doesn't mean that the people paying those fees use the information correctly.

On Ancestry it is far easier to copy information from other peoples trees and many many people don't bother to check what they're copying, hence one person puts duff info on their tree and then a dozen people copy it. Next person comes along and sees this info and thinks "Well, a dozen people have this info, so it must be right" - and so it goes.


TessAkaBridgetTheFidget Report 18 Mar 2013 03:32

On Ancestry, if you have found someone on a Census, you might be given suggestions for other Census years, births, marriages and deaths.

These are only suggestions, and may not be correct.

Several people have put details of the death of my great-greatgrandmother on their tree (one that was suggested by Ancestry).

It is the wrong death (and I have a copy of her death cert. to prove it).

No one else that has her on their tree on Ancestry has the correct death for her, so on the face of it, it seems that I am wrong. :-(

Don't be taken in by info on Ancestry (or any other site).

As the others have said, you need to get cert. to check everything out!

It is also possible to make a transcription error or a typo. (We are all human, even the people "doing" the BMD Certs.) I am not blameless either



HeyJudeB4Beatles Report 18 Mar 2013 06:51

I only accept hints on Ancestry if they look as if they at least might be kosher. And then, having done so, I research it further and if I can't prove it's correct I will either delete the person or put a postscript that it is a big guess.

Also, take relatives advice with a pinch of salt until proved. I spent two years looking for my great grandfather named "Harry" - info from a second cousin. It was only when my mum said "but my grandad was Bill" that I found him (and more) as William!

And gran died on 24 January 1971 and on the entry her dob is 4 September 1889......but my mum made a mistake when registering the death as my gran was born in 1888. Don't assume the informant is always correct!



Joyce Report 18 Mar 2013 08:51

Thank you all for the replies made interesting reading
I have certificates up till my 3rd grt grandfather william mcdowell b 1792

I have had copies from devon history society showing me were they are buried which ive been searching for for years now

Now i am searching my mothers side Dumbrells in Sussex

joyce m