Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-11-2018, 06:59 PM   #81
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,175
For those doing research, I've had success finding some living folks using this free site (was mentioned in a NYT article a while ago):

familytreenow.com (It also offers up possible "connections".)

omni
omni550 is online now   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 11-12-2018, 01:45 AM   #82
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: DFW Area (Tx)
Posts: 4,689
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post

Now we have a for-profit company vacuuming up any data they can get their hands on and selling it to general public. How are those data vetted? Does your search return information on sources?
Ancestry has a mix of information. Much of it is data that is available at many places but it is easy to find in one place at Ancestry such as census records, publicly available marriage, birth and death records.

Ancestry also has some thing that are somewhat spotty in coverage but are not easily found at other places. Examples of this are things like school yearbooks and city directories. I found my birthfather because I found the city directory he was in the year before I was born and I found his college yearbook (enabling me to send his photo to my birthmother). I find this type of information very valuable but it is not available for everywhere and for all times.

I also have found some information that users have uploaded or added.

Of course, one thing that is helpful at Ancestry are the many family trees that others have done. Many, many times I have gotten information from those trees that was not easily available. Some people carefully document their sources. For example, I found someone had posted a written remembrance by one of my relatives - something like a half great great aunt. It gave a lot of detail about my ancestor that I could not have gotten anywhere else. This is a line that I have very little information regarding so it was very, very valuable.

Of course -- there are many trees that are full of errors. So you have to be careful to look at the documentation and take it with a grain of salt if there is little substantiation.

I do think that overall Ancestry has been very, very helpful to DH and to me.
Katsmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 07:10 AM   #83
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
target2019's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Stuck in the mud somewhere in the NJ swamp
Posts: 7,180
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
Are there any "real" genealogists out there who could offer an opinion on the accuracy of Ancestry.com's data?

I know how much work it was for researchers back in the pre-internet days to separate fact from fiction. The validity of the sources was always being discussed. Original source documents were the holy grail. Hand-scratched family trees or pedigree charts written by someone's great-grandparent were always taken with a grain of salt. And even the serious researchers had biases. They were always trying to find a famous ancestor, and might easily overlook clues implying theirs was actually the town drunk, or a criminal.

Now we have a for-profit company vacuuming up any data they can get their hands on and selling it to general public. How are those data vetted? Does your search return information on sources?
I am not a genealogist, but have used Ancestry ($$$), FTDNA ($$$), FamilySearch (free), Geni (free) and GEDMatch (free) quite a bit in the last 3-5 years. I am an analyst by trade, and before that a technical writer. I have a good concept of what is necessary to be 100% confident.

On Ancestry.com, when you search and look at a record, say Federal Census data for 1900, there is citation attached. You also see text interpretation for what is on the non-text record. Those records were gathered by census takers, who often misspelled what they heard. And, the human who looked at the record often makes mistakes when transcribing to text. So there is variability in several areas, and you see that in family trees which individuals stitch together. In a tree, the individuals MAY be sourced, but not to the extent a genealogist would require.

The tools on each site improve over time. When you add in your DNA results, there is some level of comparison presented to you for the match. I have not found many matches that I can confirm 100%. The hope is that they have a tree with sources that intersects with your own. For the reasons above, it is not simple.

Ancestry aggregates and repackages a lot of information sources, for a nice cost to you. The sources are sometimes free from elsewhere. For example, census data is on FamilySearch.org.
target2019 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 08:02 AM   #84
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10,051
Ancestry DNA was not a good value for me. I already knew my ethnicity, vanilla western European, and was secretly hoping for a dab of something more exotic, but no....

Also, I have 14 first cousins, but only one showed up. Two are deceased, and I guess the other 11 haven't taken the test. One second cousin contacted me, to know what the family connection had been. She was not otherwise interested in me.

Beyond this, Ancestry only pointed me to several hundred "fourth cousins," which is such a distant relationship that I have no interest in pursuing any of them.
__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.’ Christopher Morley.
It involved a mannequin hand, and an electric shaver taped to a golf club! - "The Other Guys"
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 10:13 AM   #85
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 17,749
I’m sure Ancestry (not the DNA lab testing) is essential for genealogy and it seems to be a great site but I think the point made above is that much of its data appear to be crowd sourced at no cost to Ancestry. Basic membership is $19.99 a month and complete membership is $34.99 a month.

I have genealogies for both my paternal grandparents that go back several centuries that distant relatives put together decades ago—the genealogies may be on Ancestry now and members may have added to them, but did Ancestry staff do any of the work?
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 10:37 AM   #86
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
target2019's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Stuck in the mud somewhere in the NJ swamp
Posts: 7,180
The hope is that DNA testing provides another validated source to confirm matches. For example, written historical record may have missed a few descendants. DNA testing would identify matches at high confidence, and you'd have a new leaf for the tree.
For some populations, endogamy is a significant factor, as I've found. You end up with many more expected matches than you really have.
target2019 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 11:12 AM   #87
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Marita40's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: St. Paul
Posts: 1,502
Ancestry DNA confirmed what we already knew pretty well about our heritage. So that wasn't all that valuable. However, we have really benefited from identifying a couple of 2nd and 3rd cousins, all doing ancestry, that we had never heard of before!
Marita40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 02:25 PM   #88
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 15,647
My mom did a lot of genealogy for our family... none has been put on this site...


BUT, as some has said there are probably errors... I happen to run across a reference to our family in someones tree that had birth dates and death dates a bit off....


Another thing that can happen is just plain lying by the past relatives... IOW, my mom found 'proof' of a relative having a child many years after their last... but further research showed that the 17 YO daughter had disappeared for a year and then the baby showed up... so officially it was a sibling even though it was her baby... and nobody knows who the real father is (well, that is still alive)...


Another problem she told me about... that families will use the same name over again... she has documented where one family had 3 kids they named the same name.... the first two died young and they just kept using the same name... if you are not careful you can confuse who is who...
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 03:26 PM   #89
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Elyria, OH
Posts: 1,937
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
Another problem she told me about... that families will use the same name over again... she has documented where one family had 3 kids they named the same name.... the first two died young and they just kept using the same name... if you are not careful you can confuse who is who...
Try doing Welsh genealogy sometime.
gwraigty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 03:48 PM   #90
Moderator Emeritus
aja8888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 12,538
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwraigty View Post
Try doing Welsh genealogy sometime.

Oh yeah, try doing Lithuanian. I can't get past Ellis Island pages and the last names on the pages are not spelled like mine.
__________________
Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth...philosopher Mike Tyson
aja8888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 04:21 PM   #91
Moderator
braumeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Flyover country
Posts: 18,425
There were a couple of ladies in a distant branch of the family doing genealogy back in the 60s and 70s when everything was done by snail mail letter, generally needing translation at both ends. It was a stupendous amount of work and they eventually published a book with everything they thought they had learned.

I used that as my initial source material, but over the years I've learned that it was full of errors, which led me up many blind alleys.

The family trees on Ancestry are better (and certainly easier to navigate), but there are plenty of errors there as well.
__________________
I thought growing old would take longer.
braumeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 04:37 PM   #92
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
mpeirce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Northern Ohio
Posts: 2,553
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
The family trees on Ancestry are better (and certainly easier to navigate), but there are plenty of errors there as well.
I would venture to say that just about all large family trees have errors in them. Some are typos, others are bad guesses, some are just wrong info from wherever/whomever.

My first brush with genealogy was with a book my DM got when I was a kid. Look, she said, all the details about our family (on her side)! I said "um, why does it have my brother's birthday wrong?" It was wrong! And it was compiled by someone who should have know better or at least double checked it.
mpeirce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 08:35 PM   #93
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: DFW Area (Tx)
Posts: 4,689
Quote:
Originally Posted by target2019 View Post
The hope is that DNA testing provides another validated source to confirm matches. For example, written historical record may have missed a few descendants. DNA testing would identify matches at high confidence, and you'd have a new leaf for the tree.
One of things that DNA can do for people even if they know there are parents is break through brick walls. That is an ancestor where you can't find that person's parents. This happens a lot particularly with women from the 1800s.

I was working with someone's DNA the other day. She has an ancestor born in the late 1800s whose name is known. However -- there is no information on who are parents are. So no way to trace that line.

However, I was looking at the the DNA matches for this lady. She has multiple matches who all descend from a particular person who has the same last name as the brick wall ancestor. I don't know exactly what the relation is but it is clear that is the family that the ancestor comes from. The DNA testing has therefore led to being able to narrow down where to search.
Katsmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2018, 09:19 PM   #94
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
target2019's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Stuck in the mud somewhere in the NJ swamp
Posts: 7,180
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
One of things that DNA can do for people even if they know there are parents is break through brick walls. That is an ancestor where you can't find that person's parents. This happens a lot particularly with women from the 1800s.

I was working with someone's DNA the other day. She has an ancestor born in the late 1800s whose name is known. However -- there is no information on who are parents are. So no way to trace that line.

However, I was looking at the the DNA matches for this lady. She has multiple matches who all descend from a particular person who has the same last name as the brick wall ancestor. I don't know exactly what the relation is but it is clear that is the family that the ancestor comes from. The DNA testing has therefore led to being able to narrow down where to search.
I know of what you say! Have seen similar pattern many times.
This week I found the parents of 4th great grandmother, on Geni.com. The path that led me there was very curvy, and didn't involve Ancestry. It was the unknown parents that was an obstacle.
target2019 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2018, 08:01 AM   #95
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1,670
Quote:
Originally Posted by target2019 View Post
I know of what you say! Have seen similar pattern many times.
This week I found the parents of 4th great grandmother, on Geni.com. The path that led me there was very curvy, and didn't involve Ancestry. It was the unknown parents that was an obstacle.
I think the fun of genealogy is (or at least, was) the trill of the chase. As a kid, I recall all the grandchildren scattering when our grandmother would start one of her boring stories about searching for some particular ancestor.

Of course it was boring to us. But now, as an adult, I can see how much fun it was for her to follow these tantalizing leads down so many dark alleys.

Finding, then poking around, old cemeteries; corresponding with other researchers far away then waiting for the snail mail replies, pulling dusty books off the shelves of libraries and historical societies, traveling to the places our ancestors might be hiding, attending conferences and meeting other genealogists, was all rewarding.

Just forking over hundreds of dollars and clicking on a screen always seemed like much less fun. But this thread has shown me that there still can be some thrill in the chase. Maybe one of these days I'll get back into it.
CaptTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2018, 12:53 PM   #96
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: DFW Area (Tx)
Posts: 4,689
Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptTom View Post
I think the fun of genealogy is (or at least, was) the trill of the chase.
This is one of the reasons I enjoy helping people with DNA searches. I am helping someone now who by DNA is about a 2nd cousin to me. Her mother was born in the early 1900s and was adopted after being found on a park bench. She wants to find out who her mother's parents were.

This might sound like it would be impossible to do but I have gotten a very long way on this search. The mother was found on a park bench not terribly far from where my maternal grandmother's family lived on a farm. Through patterns of matches I have been able to narrow down one of my match's grandparents to a sibling of my maternal grandmother.

I then searched for the other parent of this match's mother. From her other DNA matches I narrowed it down to a family who had a farm on the same road where my maternal grandmother's family lived in 1910! I have narrowed that parent down one of 2 siblings.

It was a lot of fun to do all of this analysis to figure this out and took many hours of work when dealing with a match that far back.
Katsmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Any ancestry surprises when researching your family tree? Lisa99 Other topics 54 11-22-2013 05:33 PM
DNA testing for ancestry BOBOT Other topics 8 01-18-2013 10:16 AM
Used Civic or used Accord?? FinanceDude Other topics 19 06-06-2008 10:14 AM
KIVA.org ~ anybody used it? VaCollector Other topics 12 12-08-2007 11:51 AM
Has anybody bought/used Neuton Power Mower? education Other topics 14 05-30-2006 09:27 PM

» Quick Links

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:32 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.