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A gentle reminder to helpers

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 2 Apr 2013 12:11

who prefer to help 'off' the boards rather than on.

None of us is infallible!

What I mean by this is that whilst one might think one is experienced enough to do research on someone's behalf without any assistance ( and that may well be so) PLEASE remember that giving help ON the board can open up the search to individuals who may have more specific knowledge of that area of research ( be it local knowledge, or access to 'unusual' records etc).

It can be tempting for a newbie to believe that the person helping them is so experienced that they 'must be right' and not look any further than the info that has been given them.

If I might humbly suggest that when giving info by PM, especially to newbies, that it is better to say " don't forget, this info needs proving with cert's or further research, and maybe posting for more help on the board will bring you more info' ...something to that effect.


I give as a small example the 'obvious' single marriage of my grandfather and his 'obvious' death in his hometown... even a good researcher might mistake the former as the only marriage, and the latter would be wrong. If one were giving out that info it would be essential to say 'this needs to be verified'.

:-D

brummiejan

brummiejan Report 2 Apr 2013 13:06

Couldn't agree more Rose. No doubt, like me, you have received PM's asking for help, maybe as the member has come across you helping out somewhere and likes the look of you!
I always advise them to start a thread, just too much responsibility just for one person!
Jan :-)

Penny

Penny Report 2 Apr 2013 13:23

Many heads are always better than one.

On another level, its irritating to spend time looking for asomething. post it, only to tecieve a private message saying ''so and so has already sent me this information''

access to info we might have - crystal balls are rarer

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 2 Apr 2013 13:30

I've had a few Jan :-) Most have been when I have posted a reply with info and they have thanked me by PM and asked if I can find anything further. On a few I have been able to find 'extras', direct them to possible sources that I have come across that might be less obvious, or given general advice on searching.

I remember one of the best (imo) researchers on here, regularly came back to a query with more info on a search, and was never averse to looking at alternatives posted by other members even if they contradicted what she had found..... that's how the board works best I think.

Sometimes one sees threads being deleted because 'everything has been found'...I do wonder if that is the case, or whether leaving the thread open might have lead to more info being found and added later.

GlitterBaby

GlitterBaby Report 2 Apr 2013 13:34

Good points have been made.

More heads are better than one as we all look for information in a different way which can give surprising results and can sometimes give the right info needed to crack a brick wall.

As already said buying the certs is needed to confirm any info that the helpers find.

BUT do members ever read anything such as my comments in the research box under this reply ?

CupCakes

CupCakes Report 2 Apr 2013 15:13

GlitterBaby I have never thought of reading your reseach notes until just now when you mentioned it. It is long text and I just took it to be personal stuff :-D

SylviaInCanada

SylviaInCanada Report 2 Apr 2013 19:34

Good points!


I love working with others, and seeing how someone can see something that I've missed.


I remember one person who I thought was one of the best helpers who had an incredible ability to see "outside the box". It was amazing how she could spot the "oddity" in what had been posted by others, turn it around 90 degrees, and come up with an unexpected but correct answer! I miss her on here ........ but fortunately she is still helping others elsewhere.



Does anyone remember back to the days before 2007, when Finding Ancestors was NOT threaded? All responses had to be sent by pm to the requester.

I would come on here around 8 or 9 pm UK time, and there would be all these new requests for help. Lovely!!!!!

I would beaver away for hours and hours, gather loads and loads of information, and send pm after pm to the poster ................... 'cos there was only so much you could put into a pm before it refused to accept any more.


I've sometimes wondered just how many pms were received by the requesters in those days :-D

MarieCeleste

MarieCeleste Report 2 Apr 2013 20:01

I do know from a couple of pms I've exchanged with people that I've helped that they've been given information that was never posted on the boards and one said they'd received a suggestion that they delete their thread. There are obviously some researchers with over-inflated egos!

People have quite a few times asked me to undertake research for them as I've found stuff they'd been looking for years for, and twice I found stuff that paid researchers didn't. But I have always told them to start a thread on the boards, that I'd look at it along with everyone else and pointed out that they'd miss out on a variety of expertise.

MarieCeleste

MarieCeleste Report 2 Apr 2013 20:14

Just another thought ....

I know exactly who Sylvia is referring to and agree that she's one of the best researchers I've seen and I certainly learned a lot from her. The good thing was that she explained how she arrived at information and what prompted her to look at different aspects of a query. If someone posted duff info she'd explain why it was.

My point is that if someone considers themself a really good researcher then why would they not want to share their expertise?

patchem

patchem Report 2 Apr 2013 21:22

If one is a 'researcher' one is prepared to face public scrutiny of one's research.
That is how it works in science, and should work elsewhere.
Keeping things private may be very satisfying, but it has little value until it has been examined by others.
If it can be looked at by peers and not found lacking, then one can feel pride in a job well done.
Without that process being undertaken it is not research, just a hobby.

Gins

Gins Report 2 Apr 2013 21:26

I cannot stand PM's and only send them if the information is sensitive and/or recent events.

Working with other fellow researchers is fun and much more reliable information is gathered, rather than as Rose states, just one person's conclusion

There are a lot of good researchers on here but I have seen one or two, post total 'twaddle' Let's hope they don't PM on a regular basis :-0

SylviaInCanada

SylviaInCanada Report 4 Apr 2013 19:05

we all make mistakes sometimes.

None of us is infallible ................. and no-one should consider themselves infallible.



Every bit of information that any of us finds should ALWAYS be doubly, or even triple, checked before being adding to your tree ............... preferably by buying as many certificates as you can afford.

Posting on the open thread, with other helpers around, is one means of checking that what one person suggests MIGHT be correct ................ but does not mean that doing your own checking can be avoided.

Sharon

Sharon Report 5 Apr 2013 15:18

Wow! I am a newbie and just ploughing through the boards as my starting points. I didn't realise people actually helped!! So glad I joined this site now, with not many living relatives left I was feeling a bit alone but I now have a new sense of motivation. Thank you! :-D

GlitterBaby

GlitterBaby Report 5 Apr 2013 15:24

Sharon

It is the helpers that make this site with all the information they can find for other members who are struggling with their research.

So many of us use different sites so what one does not find then perhaps another one will.

GB

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 5 Apr 2013 16:23

Welcome Sharon :-)

The help on here is tremendous, when I first joined I really hadn't a clue where info could be found and what was available.

Putting a plea for help on Find Ancestors can really break down walls even for those who have been doing genealogy for some time, for instance even though I knew where and how to look I might never have found the family on a census mistranscribed Shetonan instead of Whetman had it not been for others helping :-)

Gins

Gins Report 5 Apr 2013 17:03

Hi Sharon

Welcome to the 'Mad House' ;-)

x

MarieCeleste

MarieCeleste Report 5 Apr 2013 18:57

Hi Sharon, as the others have said - one of the best aspects of this site is the help you get on the boards. There are all types of people who help out (we're all members like yourself) with a wide variety of skills and access to information (not to mention diversity of personalities!)

Look forward to any challenge you might want to put our way. This thread is very helpful about how to start the process
http://www.genesreunited.co.uk/boards/board/ancestors/thread/1267972

SylviaInCanada

SylviaInCanada Report 7 Apr 2013 04:22

some good advice on this thread

SylviaInCanada

SylviaInCanada Report 10 Apr 2013 05:20

nudge

SylviaInCanada

SylviaInCanada Report 10 Apr 2013 20:39

let's try to keep this in view