Just because its on the internet, doesnt mean its true

I found this really cool site today, and after reading through it, I thought how well this applies to genealogy research. This is a site made to teach elementary school kids that just because they find it on the web, it doesnt always mean its true.

Its called All About Explorers and can be found at All About Explorers it has taken all the major explorers and written fake biographies about them, my favorites are the one for Christopher Columbus and Samuel de Champlain but actually they are all worth reading to see how these great men have been written about for the purpose of this lesson.

SO many times I have run across things in researching on line that I know for a fact are not true but still get propagated all over the place. My poor mother has been trying to dispell bad facts about one branch of her family for years, but because one person put the bad info out there online, people have taken it as gospel and posted all over the place and I’m afraid it will be a tangle that will never become unknotted…thankfully she has taken the time to document it in her files so that at least her children, grandchildren and so forth will know the bad info if and when the ever come across it.

I see this kind of thing in the family trees put up on Ancestry, there are many on there with wrong information about my husbands family, I know, I’ve done the research, I’ve disproved it, just as my mother has with her, but you’d have better luck finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow than getting people to change it, because “its on the internet”.

I bet I could go right now and grab someone’s family tree, download the gedcom file, go in and mess with a bunch of stuff and add erroneous facts (just like the explorer site) reupload it, and within 6 months you’d find a bunch of people that had just taken what I’d done and posted it every place they could find that relates to that surname. Some of you are laughing, I can hear you…and its because you know I’m right.

I’m begging you, please remember, the internet is a TOOL, it is not the repository for all that is factual. Take what you find and use it to investigate on your own, if you come to the same conclusions then great…at least you will know you have the correct information, DON’T always believe that someone else’s research is right, or you will end up being one of the many causes of aneurysms around the globe.

Now, I’m going to go and try not to perpetrate the experiment I explained above

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