Sunday, October 6, 2013

Thank you

On Friday, October 4, 2013, Anne Gillespie Mitchell posted Ancestry Anne’s Top Rules for Growing Your Family Tree  on’s official blog, .  I am glad to see that recognizes that there is a problem with their “shaky leaves.”  Personally, I don’t think it went far enough but it is a great start. is being flooding with newbies thanks to mainstream television shows such as Who do You Think You Are? and Genealogy Roadshow.  I think could do more to encourage these people in the RIGHT way.  I am happy that their business is going so well (the rest of us benefit from that) but I think they do have some responsibility to educate and to promote accuracy.

Thanks, Anne and for taking a step in the right direction.

Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. Michelle,thanks for mentioning my post!

    Let me clarify one thing though, I don't think there is anything wrong with shaky leaves. Having records discovered and presented to me is something I've always found useful.

    I think there are some people who could be a bit more careful in how they use them. Anyone who just accepts a hint or shaky leaf without looking at the record and image might be attaching the wrong record, and more importantly they will be missing valuable information about their family.

    I would also suggest that we at do quite a bit to educate and promote accuracy. We publish countless news letters, articles, blogs, and videos giving our members and others new ideas on how to get the most out of discovering their family history. But at the end of the day, everyone who is on the site approaches building their own tree in their own way.

    For me, I need to learn as much as I can about being a proficient genealogist. I can only hope to inspire a few people along the way.

  2. Anne,
    Keep up the good work is what I have to say :) The more you blog and the more you send out these newsletters the better for everyone. is doing a much better job in this area then it used to and I have mentioned this on the blog several times. The reason I am so critical about is because they are the company with the biggest marketing campaign and their their marketing campaign specifically targets people that have never delved into their family history before. The advertisements make it seem a whole lot easier than it really is. The newbies come into it thinking that all they have to do is access Ancestry,com and everything will be right there for them. When they see their family in a tree they copy everything willy nilly thinking it is gospel. There is a big difference between the trees section and the documents section but newbies don't understand that. One of my favorite bloggers is Russ Worthington because I think he does an excellent job teaching people how to correctly. His focus is more on the FTM side but he still manages to sneak quite a bit of sound researching technique.

    P.S. I am very flattered that you read my blog :)