Monday, August 6, 2012

Attitude Adjustment

If you read my blog post, To Upload or not Upload, That is the Question, you will know that I tend to be a little skeptical/cynical about online family trees. I have been trying to change my attitude a bit after reading Thomas W. Jones, CG's excellent article, Perils of Source Snobbery, in the May 2012 issue of OnBoard. In this article Mr. Jones states, "Some source types have higher error rates than others, but no type is error-free or worthless." He goes on to say, "Routinely spurning certain genealogical sources implies they never contain useful information - that researchers risk nothing by dismissing them." Okay, so Mr. Jones was speaking directly to me, I get that.

Armed with my new attitude of considering online trees a valid source, I took the time to send messages to everyone on and NewFamilySearch that has Lydia Orr's parents as Christopher Orr and Martha Watkins notifying them that there is an error in their trees. I did it with the attitude of trying to make the online trees better. I provided them with the source information so that they could evaluate it themselves. This is a case that I am actively investigating so I want the right info out there on the internet.

Just in case you are curious about what evidence I actually have to disprove Lydia being a daughter of Christopher and Martha, Lydia Orr was listed as an orphan in the 1805 Land Lottery in Georgia. Because she was an orphan she was entitled to a draw. Christopher and Martha Orr died in 1830 so if they were her parents she wouldn't have been an orphan in 1805. In 1965 Christopher Orr's Bible was still in existence and a transcription was published in the Georgia Genealogical Society Quarterly. Lydia was not listed.

Copyright © 2012 Michele Simmons Lewis

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