British Lung Foundation

Getting A Bit Cross...Again'd better stand well back 'cos I'm going to grumble and I tend to wave my arms about and get all over excited when I'm cross...

It's the people on Ancestry.

They don't look you see...they'll plonk any old record down without reading the details and say that Jane married John in 1866. That's grand. But Jane wasn't born until 1878. Another one is when they gaily add children to Jane and John's tree and some were born after Jane and John were pushing up the daisies...

But what gets steam coming out of my ears is when you travel way back in time to the 1500's and some eejit decides that Johannis was born in New York! Didn't they listen in history lessons when they were at school...just who do they imagine was sailing across the Big Pond in the 1400's and settling in a place that didn't even exist then...honestly...I could shake them until their teeth rattle so I could.

If they've taken the trouble and the effort to find Johannis in the first place then why don't they check other records which tell of his taxes paid and where he was'll be there...if he came from a family with wealth, he probably went to University...all they have to do is have a proper look rather than getting themselves all over excited at finding a relative with a funny name...

Then there are the Royals.

They do get their knickers in a twist if they think they're related to a proper bone fide member of the British Royal doesn't matter how remote the connection or how tenuous...Princess Diana's eighth cousin, ten times removed by marriage, will be slotted into their family tree willy-nilly... whether they fit in the timescale or not.

Part of it is seeing how far back you can English side is related to some of the old Irish kings for instance...and there are a few Icelanders and a couple of Vikings...but it isn't just about adding a minor Royal or some unfortunate who was hung, drawn and quartered... it's about who those people were. What did they wear and eat...where did they did they make their living...were they buried in a Potters Field or do they lie beneath an ornate marble effigy in a country church...

If all you wish to do is by-pass the social history of your ancestors and simply add random names and dates, then there is little wrong with that I suppose...but at least check and re-check those dates and places and names otherwise you might as well not bother at all.

10 Replies

Hi vashti

now U watch yourself with all the arm waving there. xx

I am a member on ancestry .

I have only researched and gained facts back to 1800's working on only one parent at time.

Myself personally. I always double check facts order certs\copies of shipping. Records census's . etc

I don't see the point of researching if not to confirm by facts?

Is that the same with yourself?

I think those who don't check facts and just adding here and there without reason or fact.

Spoils it for those who need a factual date to work off.

Hope that makes sense .

I must say I admire ur Determination. I did manage to pdf my family history and tree and back up records .

I stopped this at 100 pages as when trying to print and stick together. Was a puzzle itself lol .

Your family tree must be hundreds. Of pages .



Ha...I have 15,000 people on just my tree not counting all those on the Irish side or those like my step-daughters...or Himself's...imagine sending out cards at Christmas to that lot!


I'd m pay good money to see you in a tizzy


Oh Vashti, you know that's not true!? All initial entries are put on there by volunteers and as Ancestry is run by the Church of the Latter Day Saints, all the indexers are American. They have trouble reading Old English/Latin and they do not understand how our country is formed. They do make wild guesses at counties, and I have spent many hours correcting some of those The extended trees that are already on the site are only extended by the family they belong to - not Ancestry, so I cannot see why that would bother you so much, it's their error and their family after all!. Any information that can be found on this site, is taken from existing records and just copied onto the site for YOUR convenience, they don't "guess" at it. The person to blame for errors in dates etc., is the person who wrote the original , and they've probably been dead for hundreds of years! If you know WHERE to look, you can find what people did, how they lived and dies etc., Another thing that you have to remember is that years ago, people were never sure how old they were, and made wild guesses at it. They had no way of seeing original records and most weren't even registered in the first place. As for dates, the new year began on 25th March until 1752 when the calendar was changed to make it the 1st January. So if your trying to figure out dates before then, you should consider adding an extra year.

Just one last thing - I've traced my family back to 668 A.D. GENUINLEY ! How? Because I'm one of those "eejits" that sits here 24/7 translating all those almost unreadable records into modern day language for your convenience, so please try to have more patience - it's not an easy job. XX

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Oh Nikkers...I think something was 'lost in translation'...I didn't mean the Ancestry people were to blame in any way at is those who have a family tree who add people and dates without checking them first that I have a problem with...they could simply leave a blank until they've confirmed...

Actually I know about the New Year changing...sometimes called Old and New Time in Irish records...

There is no way I'd belittle the work of the researchers...especially as I'm a researcher myself and know full well how incredibly difficult some of the records are to interpret.

There was no intention of upsetting or distressing anyone when I wrote this article...just me flying off the handle after finding yet another remote cousin who was born in America in the 1400's...

Please accept my apologies.



Apology accepted Vashti. I know what you mean about the way people just "add" things to their trees. But let's be honest, If they're happy to live in Cloud Cuckoo Land - let them! If I come across a glaring error on any of the sites which I work for, I do try to correct it. I've even written to people and pointed out why, and how something in their tree is wrong! One lady recently wrote back to me (after I pointed out that some ancestor couldn't be the son of X, because X would have only been 2 years old at the time) and said "Oh, I didn't really notice the dates, but the name fitted so I thought it was right!" Duh! That's how silly some people's trees are, but you should ignore it. I'd have had a nervous breakdown years ago if I took it all to heart too seriously. Happy Christmas to you and yours. XXX


vashti and Nikkers,

I'm another one of those 'eejits' that noses around in other peoples histories. Ancestry on the whole does a pretty good job of collating the information that we put in. I'm very mindful of the fact that you only get good info out if good info is put in. One thing that gets my goat is Y. A village in the Somme, France. People put Y as short for 'yes', meaning the person is dead, and the software translates that as dying at Y, the Somme.

There are other good sources. If you have links into the aristocracy, then is good. Like Nikkers, I have links in Europe that go back to early Christian times.

Good luck to both of you with your hunting.

breathe easy



Probably won't mention Ancestry ever


Frankly the idea of finding out the truth of my ancestors fills me with horror - if what they have produced down the line is anything to go by (like me f'rinstance)! Horse thieves, vagabonds and con artists probably abound - I think I'll let them rest in peace! Kidding. It's a fascinating subject and once you're hooked that's it, so seeing that 70% of my waking life seems to be spent on-line fighting good causes it'll have to wait.

I don't know whether there was a settlement as far back as the 1500s but the Dutch, when they settled it called it New Amsterdam I believe - or am I imagining that? It was much later that it became New York.


Get away with you...everyone has skeletons...that's part of the interest! I have one poor man who was hung ,drawn and quartered on a trumped up charge of treason...

What kind of good causes please? If you don't mind the telling that is...


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