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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Junk Genealogy

Does junk genealogy exist? It certain does!  There are several genealogy programs online which allow you to connect your family to someone's lineage chart.  Please do not do this.  There are simply too many errors and mistakes which exists in genealogy but what to compound the situation. Most of the time, I have noticed that very few of the charts contain documented information.  This is quite obvious from the entries.  At first glance, merging your chart to someone who has already traced the information, appears to be a good idea.  When actually, it is a nightmare. How would you like someone else's information merged with yours?  Especially, if you do not agree to the data?

In his quest for truth (and solutions), the genealogist searches a trail of facts.  Facts are discovered in census and church records, bibles, pensions from wars, and county records.  The most recent record is preferred to a more dated one.  There can be errors on tombstones as this information is usually provided by a relative who may not recall exact dates and places. All records should be examined, especially county records where the person resided.  Deeds, Wills, Estates, Marriages, Tax Digests, etc. provide a testimony as to that person's life.  No genealogical research is complete without a thorough examination of all available public information as well as that information from relatives. Ask for bible records and old photographs, while visiting.  The costumes in photographs are clues as to dates.  Say, you have a photograph of a family and one young girl has a baby in her arms.  The photo was taken in the 1870s or 1880s.  To learn the name of the baby, examine the 1870, 1880 and 1890 census records and identify every family member.  You probably already have photographs of elusive family members. The actual photograph is telling, so examine it closely for minor details.

Ultimately, unless our tracing is correct, we are on the wrong path.  Best to avoid connecting yourself to the online genealogy charts (of others).  It simply creates junk genealogy!

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  7. (Graduates database from ca 1830 to 1925)
  8. (Digitized Wills in counties of: Carter 1794-1830; Jefferson 1802-1810;Johnson 1839-1900;Unicoi 1878-1887; Washington 1779-1800)
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