Friday, March 7, 2014

Part 2: The Pitfall of Vilification of New Genealogists

So in part 1 I talked about the frustration of the vilification of all new genealogists, asking folks to throw away years of work or take their work offline or follow a so-called "expert's" standard from an online forum.

I can see where that might be mystifying to many genealogists, who really don't use social media for genealogy. But I will keep going with the negative issues associated with this vilification for the moment (rest assured, tomorrow's post will conclude with some positive ways to focus) for the moment. Please bear with me.

So what's the problem with hating on the new people? #1. It teaches you to be sloppy.

Recently, I decided to write up a series of blog posts  on a couple that I've been working on for 3 years with little luck and little family interest in trying to see what happened to them, David Ingerson and Elizabeth Ann Graves.

Those blogs are still in draft mode. Why? Because I realized that I was following in this trap. I recently discovered a very small piece of information about David Ingerson online. Curious, I click on the Mundia link  given by Google and see:

See that last part? Let me zoom in for you.

Yes, that says 53,692 people in this person's tree. ::facepalm::

Now, I was about to do as most of the other online forum members would do - roll my eyes, dismiss this person's research, and assume that it was bad. What could I do? It was so frustrating! Yet I found the brain power to follow the advice in my opening pic. "Check myself before I wreck myself!" 

Here's the thing. Yes, this person's research was TERRIBLE. But it made me stop and think to evaluate MY research. So I compiled what I have affectionately dubbed "Super David" with ALL of my research put together:

“Super David” Ingerson 
Child of Jonathan Ingerson and Abigail Scofield ?
Birth 29 Apr 1801 Saratoga, Saratoga, New York, United States ?
Marriage to Almira Drake 1821 Evans Mills, Jefferson Co, New York, United States 
Kid 1 Eneas Ingerson, b. 1832 NY 
Census 1850 Gouverneur, Saint Lawrence, New York, United States 
Marriage to Elizabeth Graves 1852 
Mary J Ingerson, b. 1851 NY 
Jay Eugene Ingerson, b. 1857 NY 
Census 1860 Macomb, St Lawrence, New York, United States 
Military 1864 Private, 92nd New York Infantry 
Census 1870 Forester, Sanilac, Michigan, United States 
Death 13 May 1872 Sanilac, Sanilac, Michigan, United States ?
Census 1880 Gouverneur, Saint Lawrence, New York, United States 
Death 23 April 1886 Gouverneur, St Lawrence, New York

This compilation of facts that have been put together across multiple years of research shows the mess that Super David is in. 2 deaths, a semi-proven parentage (? standing for questionable data in this case, blogs really aren't the best place for me to pull all the sources together without writing up a full case study). 

So I dug into each fact individually, taking each piece of evidence on its face. 

And I would have probably thrown the computer out the window if I could have. Instead, I substituted my rage for knitting, and calmed right back down.

Tomorrow: the conclusion of the story, and why the world is not doomed because of all these new genealogists

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