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    Just another fish in the pond. Seriously. I’m not a famous genealogist, and not likely to ever reach that lofty goal.

    I failed my first test in my first class, and didn’t bother to take anymore classes. The question that submarined me was something like: Your aunt tells you about a “family secret” having to do with an adoption or an illegitimate child or something like that. Do you research it anyway? Of course I’m thinking, “Hells yeah!” They disagreed. The question didn’t ask “Do you research it anyway, and make your findings KNOWN!” It just asked if you research it.

    So, I putter around and see what I can find, and do the best I can with my uneducated self. Since I don’t have a lot of contact with some branches of the family, I make what I think are really exciting discoveries, only to find out those guys already knew about it — like the first family that my Great Great Grandfather had. The wife and at least one of the children died early on, and he remarried. Wow! Except that everyone already knew that but me. 😀 This doesn’t bother me. I think part of what we should be doing is confirming stuff like that, and I have found information that was assumed and turned out to be inaccurate.

    I like to do research, and I like to do websites. The two seem to naturally go hand in hand. It’s disappointing that most of the “free” sites, like Rootsweb and the USGenWeb projects, aren’t as popular as they used to be. All roads now seem to lead to Ancestry or Find A Grave — talk about inaccuracies! It seems too many people are using them to find their family trees in nice little packages, not to do research. And if they do research, if they can’t find it on Ancestry, they’ve hit a brick wall. I might not have a degree, but at least I know that a dusty court house basement will solve many mysteries, as well as create new ones. Or that just because FJSmith90210 says the brother of a distant cousin died in Lichtenstein as a small child and is buried in Ontario doesn’t necessary mean that statement is completely accurate.

    Of course, mistakes are easily made. The focus should be on correcting, not perpetuating, them. And, that said, if you find errors here, yes, I absolutely want to know. Even if it’s “just” a typo.