Check It Out Before You Shout It Out

Just because you read something posted anonymously in an online genealogy forum does not mean that is is correct. Just because it always happened that way in your family does not mean it happened that way for everyone else.

In the last few days, I’ve seen the following pieces of helpful information “shared” by someone:

  • “information can be copyrighted.” No it cannot. Written prose can be copyrighted. Statement of fact cannot be copyrighted. If they could, I would copyright “2+2=4,” charge people every time it was used, and retire.
  • Every family used Bible names only. Nope–ask the parents of Erasmus Trautvetter.
  • Every woman named Susannah used Sukey. Nope–Susannah (Rucker) Tinsley did not.
  • You have to publish an obituary today when someone dies. Nope–my grandmother who died in 2008 did not have one. There was not even an estate notice in the newspaper–unless I overlooked it–because her estate did not go through probate.

Check information out before you share.

Just because something is true in your family does not mean it is true in every family.

Be careful making generalizations involving the words “all,” “every,” and “always.” Exceptions abound.

Check it out before you shout it out. You may learn something in the process. I know that when I double check and verify I often learn things in the process.

And that’s good for your genealogy.


6 thoughts on “Check It Out Before You Shout It Out

  1. Loretta Mock

    Are you related to Susannah (Rucker) Tinsley? If so, how? I recently discovered family thtough DNA. A great aunt married into a Rucker-Tinsley family.

    1. michaeljohnneill Post author

      I’m assuming you are talking about the one who is the daughter of Isaac and Mildred (Hawkins) Plunkett of Amherst County, Virginia, and the one who moved to Kentucky with husband James around 1800. She’s a direct line ancestor of mine. Was this on AncestryDNA? I’ve got a “pool” of several matches there that I can’t figure out and the Ruckers are one family I think they may stem from. I descend from her son Enoch.


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