I will be honest. When I’m stuck on a person or family and am seeming to make no headway, I will look and see if their name appears in any of the online trees on the various sites. Submitted trees are only as accurate as the compiler, the information they used, and their research methodology. Some compilers are careful about their research and others are not.
However, when using these trees, I:
- never copy the information into my tree-ever;
- search the tree for sources (besides other trees);
- use the dates/places/relationships given to suggest sources that might confirm that information;
- remember the conclusions could be invalid and only spend so much time trying to confirm them;
- try and contact the submitter;
- never copy the information into my tree-ever (that’s worth including twice).