Getting the “Facts” Online

You know those transcriptions on FamilySearch and Ancestry and such? I am thinking they are done by a computer with no brain and they are never proofread. Along comes a collector, adds them to their genealogy and yet another nonsense “fact” is born.

On FamilySearch I found an obituary abstract. You have to go to a pay site to see the actual obituary. The deceased person is Robert William Jr. His father is Robert Thomas. Duh! How does that follow?

His wife is listed twice, by the same name, obviously a duplicate. His mother is correct, even listing her maiden name. And then there is his son, William Thomas Jr. They were obviously junior crazy that day. I note none of the three generations of juniors are “senior” or “III.”

In the obituary I have the deceased’s name and the names of his parents are correct. He has no children at all. He is listed as “junior” even though he clearly is not. It is from a different newspaper, more local.

I have the birth and death certificates of all three of the deceased. They are correct.

He did, of course, have parents. He did have children including a son. He had grandchildren. There were no juniors in any of the generations.

FamilySearch is not the only guilty site, just the one in this example.

As more and more transcriptions make it online free with actual images on pay sites I expect these lovely transcriptions to fill family histories. Will there will be any truthful family histories in 50 years?

 

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