English: The lonely tree again! With new leaves. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are hundreds of web pages out there that display family trees, but are they your “go-to” source? Is it truthful or just word of mouth saying it’s so? Where did they get this information from? If it was from family members, that’s GREAT! But thinking back to when I was in elementary school, I remember my teacher playing a game with the entire class. She would call on one student at random, whisper something in their ear and tell the next person whatever it was she may have said. On and on it went around the room until the last student received the teachers’ message. Let’s just say that it wasn’t the same as what the teacher had told the first student. I guess you know where I’m headed with this…and if not, then I’ll explain. When people share things, no matter what the subject, in time they just become distorted.
One resource that I use almost daily to search my own family roots is the Mormon based website called Family Search. They place a religious emphasis on publishing materials or documents after a death, and therefore, baptism has inspired the creation of the world’s largest collection of genealogical materials. So with respect to this web site and others that are similar in nature, I thank you for this great resource tool. After all, do I just want a tree full of collected names or do I want the facts? Granted, sometimes you want to go to a resource that offers free information. But you have to think about what you will be getting in return. I, myself, want the facts that lead me on my journey to find out exactly who my ancestors were, how they lived, and where I come from.
From what I can understand through Family Search, they are in the midst of a gigantic project that will take the millions of records they have of microfilmed documents, for online viewing. When researching your family, think strongly about joining a genealogical society for the area in which you are searching. So for me, I would join one in Virginia, Kentucky, Scotland, and England; my ancestors from the Sutherland line originated from Denmark, Scotland, and England. So this is where I could start searching and collaborating with others that are trying to accomplish the same thing that I am.