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Tip of the day...Fact or fiction?

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


AllanC Report 18 Nov 2009 12:19

If you search on the LDS site for a particular event, say birth and/or christening, you get a list of those matching your search conditions. If you then click on one of them you get the IGI Individual Record. Near the bottom of the page is a space headed 'Messages'. In this space you should see one of the following:

"Extracted birth or christening record for the locality listed in the record. The source records are usually arranged chronologically by the birth or christening date."

"Form submitted by a member of the LDS Church. The form lists the submitter's name and address and may include source information. The address may be outdated. Details vary. To find the form, you must know the batch and sheet number."
(The batch and sheet number are in the 'Source Information' box directly under 'Messages')

All very clear, and all due credit to the LDS for making the distinction.


AuntySherlock Report 18 Nov 2009 11:30

Allan, Do you have that info. I have it in a booklet. I don't think I would be contravening copyright if I quoted three paragraphs of it.


Jilliflower Report 18 Nov 2009 11:19

could you just tell me please how I know which LDS records are which?


AllanC Report 18 Nov 2009 11:11

Yes, I've had one or two contacts recently about matches to my tree, but when I've asked for more information there's been no reply. Actually one of them looks as if it could be a link I've been looking for and at least I know where to start looking in parish records to find the info for myself.

Talking about the LDS site, it's worth remembering that there are two types of record - those from official sources (parish records etc) and those submitted by LDS members. Submitted records may not always be accurate, but they are identified as such.


Jilliflower Report 18 Nov 2009 11:05

Good morning uncle Jonesey,
I love this tip as family stories are fascinating but often embroidered as I have found out to my cost. But there is often a grain of truth which can take a lot of checking. I baulked a bit at the advice to check from two aspects - it takes enough to get the facts from one source!
I've found it's important not to give elderly relations any false info as they can feed it back to you as fact!
Still haven't traced my German Duchess though.........


Wildgoose Report 18 Nov 2009 10:51

I agree with that, Blossom.

I spent a lot of time looking for the birth/death of my mother's baby sister.

Turned out she was my Grandmother's baby sister.

That was probably my fault for not writing it all down. Well, I was about 10 when they told me!

+*+blossom In Essex+*+

+*+blossom In Essex+*+ Report 18 Nov 2009 10:49

Following on from Aunty Sherlock, can I just add that it is always wise to check so-called 'family knowledge' as this can also lead you up the garden path.

It is tempting to think that what your relatives tell you is correct, but always back this up with certs as well. I spent ages chasing a long lost person, who I was told was called 'Peter'. Peter proved to be extremely elusive, until I discovered that his name was Samuel Charles. It was a lot simpler when I had his proper name....


AuntySherlock Report 18 Nov 2009 09:35

I went to a workshop on the LDS Family Search site last week. Very informative and interesting. One of the suggestions made by the presenter (when speaking about family history research in general) was, "Always have two sources to prove your information. Two sources from different angles". So if you have found an address in an Ancestry census try to double check the address by other means, telephone directory, electoral rolls, personal knowledge.


Wildgoose Report 18 Nov 2009 09:01

Well said, Jonesey.

I noticed a tree on Ancestry a few days ago. They had 'found' their Clara born 1873 in Kent and plonked her down in our family group, none of which were born or ever lived (to my knowledge) in Kent!

They have built the tree around their 'Clara' using the information on Ancestry (mine, complete with the odd, old mistake) and have her eldest brother marrying a 'Sarah' when he married Harriet!

I have written to the person, offering to exchange information without pointing out the mistakes but no reply is forthcoming and I don't expect to hear back from them :-)

I've made my Ancestry tree private now, has been for about 6 months.


Jonesey Report 18 Nov 2009 08:30

Much has been said about the dangers of copying information found in other peoples family trees. I know that there is a great temptation to add it to your tree because it fills a gap. Your heart sometimes rules your head and you are prepared to accept the information as fact, but is it?

If you are serious about tracing your family history then my advice is simple. Accept nothing at face value, include nothing in your tree that you personally have not first verified as fact.

At the very least you should ask the person in whose tree you found the information how they acquired it and what documentation/records they have to prove its accuracy. If they respond saying that they have none then view the information with suspicion as it implies that they may not be as thorough in their research as they should be. There are other clues that might help you to decide whether the tree owner is a serious family historian or just a name collector. Are the birthdates shown as just the year or a full date? Who else is shown in the tree and is it reasonable that they could legitimately be there?

With regard that last point I have seen trees which included King Canute (Birthplace indicated as Norfolk), William the conqueror and yesterday, I viewed one on Ancestry with the Emperor Nero in it complete with photograph. Now I have no way of knowing whether these were the tree owners true ancestors or not but shall we just say that I have my doubts. If the tree owner wishes to include them in their tree then that is up to them but if they do then I would seriously doubt that the information they have about your missing great aunt Gladys or cousin Bill is likely to be accurate.

Good luck with your research.