Genealogy is a process…

Genealogy is a process as well as a result. Don’t short circuit the process just to get the result.  Copying data from books does not constitute uncritical acceptance of their contents. Neither does citing the volumes in a bibliography, nor recommending them to you. I expect that if you choose to check a reference out, or to use the data presented, that you will subject those data to careful genealogical scrutiny. Raise questions, compare the data with similar facts in other sources, and clearly indicate your own conclusions– separate and distinct from those presented by the author.  Each and every genealogy source, documented or not, needs careful scrutiny and comparison with other sources for fit. Family histories and genealogies provide one of the most consulted, and perhaps one of the most under-evaluated records in your genealogy evidence arsenal.

And whether the family tree, you have selected to extend your own charts, came from the internet or from a printed book, or from a or, or from any other source–you owe it to yourself and your own ancestors to check it carefully for accuracy and for fit into your ancestry.

May I suggest that you adopt this as a New Year’s Resolution for 2014? I have done it for myself–every pedigree lineage borrowed from someone else may be a starting point for your own research.  It is not your pedigree until you prove it to be yours.

Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle, writing just 3 days before you have to commit yourself to Resolutions for 2014!

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