It got me thinking though about “Genealogy Equality.” In the Declaration of Independence it states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal….” Well we know for sure that all genealogists are CREATED equal but they certainly don’t stay that way do they?
For the most part, a genealogist starts out like all of us – with an itch to find out more about our ancestors. Some have a historical bent, others a story bent, and others are trying to ensure that the who’s who of their ancestors is exactly correct.
All that is cool. But I have been reading a lot of folks complaining again and again ad nauseum recently about unsourced or poorly sourced family trees that are on many of the One World tree sites – Ancestry, WikiTree, My Heritage, Geni, etc. And the complaining never seems to end. It goes on and on and on.
Let me propose an analogy. I think you would agree that professional NBA players are at the top of their profession, right? And then there are millions of everyday men who play basketball on the weekends in school yards and some of them are potbellied balding 45 year olds who can't dunk and are just trying to get a bit of a workout and have some fun with their buddies.
Have you ever heard NBA players complain about those 45 year old balding guys and how unskilled they are?
I didn't think so.
Then why the heck are the more experienced genealogists complaining about the lack of skills of less experienced folks? I read about this all the time and it puzzles me.
What does a crappy tree have to do with you? It’s not like you would ever consider merging a crappy tree with your exquisite tree. You have done your research; you have applied the GPS; you have written your citations. Heck, Thomas Jones and Elizabeth Shown Mills have looked at your research and documentation and are beaming with pride.
By the way - that guy on the weekend? – he is saying “Please shut up and just let me have some fun, even though I can't dunk or execute a cross-over dribble very well." And he is whispering softly – “I am trying to cite my sources better – I really am.”