29 November 2012

Drive-by genealogists should learn a few rules

Source: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~clermontcountyohio/genwwork.gif  

Sharon Tate Moody posted an article with this provocative title in the Tampa Tribune recently ...

She states ...

The genealogy world is cluttered with materials that purport to be the writers' family histories. Too many of them are nothing more than lists of people with unproven dates of birth, death and marriage, and in many cases the people on the list aren't even related.

The individuals who created those lists are the same ones who believe the television ads about how easy it is to click on a few links and find your entire family. People who believe those ads are sort of the joy riders of genealogy: They steal the family car and have a grand old time for the weekend, racing around the Internet and leaving a mess for someone else to clean up on Monday morning...

Read the full article.  And, as always, read the comments!  A really neat feature of the blog format are the comments posted by others, whether they agree or disagree they are often entertaining and frequently enlightening.

And, since this post, there has been a “response” post from another genealogist, Amy Coffin, titled Time to Pop a Cap in the Term "Drive-by Genealogist"

Today I read an article about “drive-by genealogists.” Apparently this is a label now.

My issue isn’t necessarily with this article in particular; it’s the message in it that I keep seeing. This piece just happened to be the last place I saw it.

There’s a baffling backlash toward those just discovering their interest in family history. I don’t believe anyone is anti-newbie, but there’s this bizarre assumption that their first efforts are automatically flawed.

Beginners are barely in the door of the Church of Genealogy and we have people telling them they’re not good enough to be here...

Again, do read the full article.

What are your thoughts?  I think it’s a really tough situation.  We were all newbies once and we did get better with time and guidance.  On the other hand, it is frustrating to have a lot of not-documented information out there that then gets repeated ad nauseum!  Though, it is typically easy-enough to quickly tell if some online information is substantive or not and move on ...

Dare you weigh in on this?  Happy to hear your thoughts!

copyright © National Genealogical Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog.
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from NGS. Please drop us a note telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to [email protected]. All republished articles may not be edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom of each UpFront article.
Follow NGS via Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Twitter
Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with NGS posts are always welcome. Please send any suggested topics to [email protected]