This is a true story as it involves myself and another researcher of an Owen county connected family.

I was surfing the internet on the various family sites, finding nothing I looked into my own files that I have loaded onto Gencircles, as they cross reference your submissions with other researchers appearing to be working on the same families.

Finding a promising reference, I contacted the other researcher in hopes of finding more data. The data I found was severely altered from anything I and another researcher have ever found. What we carried on the family line had documentation records of a family being in the Anne Arundel County of Maryland since the early 1700's. Suddenly this other researcher has one of the children born in New Jersey of all places; not to mention the addition of a wife never heard of and the ancestor's death in Maryland, even though there are adequate land records and census records for a residence in Kentucky since 1793.

In contacting this person, I am told that "oh, I found that on a website and it was contributed by Nancy White. You should contact her for info". Well....I have worked with Nancy for the past couple of years and I know her high standards for documentations and I also knew neither of us had ever had the slightest suspicion of our lineage in New Jersey. In addition, the website she cited had no records mentioning the family being in New Jersey.

BUT, she is placing this on the internet for other researchers and mixing these erroneous facts with other documented facts she copied from our data. What's the big deal?

First of all--This places our research in question when it is combined with the bad data.

Second--Other researchers see this and take it as gospel (many do) without any documentations or realizations of how wrong the info is.

I have no problems with people using my info to further their own research; if it helps someone then that is fine. However, I would prefer they not mix it with bad info and place mine into question. If the info MUST appear together I would prefer a notation that the other info is in question. If mine is in question, I note that also. I would not have minded this instance except that in this particular lineage we have accumulated just way too much documentations to prove our data for someone to state otherwise and have it passed along as fact.

This is why I warn everyone about just accepting what is on the internet.

Just because it is there, doesn't make it a fact...so be careful.