Every so often I write a rant about using valid sources. Since it is the beginning of a new year I thought it would be a good time for another rant!
To sum it all up in one sentence, “THE ONEWORLDTREE IS NOT A VALID GENEALOGY RESEARCH SOURCE!”
OneWorldTree, owned by Ancestry.com, is simply a huge storehouse of various types of data … some comes from actual primary sources but most (in my opinion) does not. Instead, it comes from user-submitted trees and there was no attempt to verify this data before it was published. This means that you might be copying MISINFORMATION that was submitted by: (a) a child who is writing their family tree based on hearsay and family myth, or (b) a well-meaning family member who is attempting to correct or cover embarrassing information, or (c) someone who is determined to prove that they are related to someone else even if it means fabricating data, or (d) someone like me who publishes information thought to be properly sourced which later proves to be wrong but it is too late to remove it from OneWorldTree …. and the list goes on and on ….
Even Ancestry.com has this to say about their OneWorldTree, “OneWorldTree can give you hints about your family history but not necessarily facts. There are a number of sources consolidated in OneWorldTree and it’s impossible to know if there were errors in member-submitted family trees.”
Please don’t misunderstand the intent of this rant. OneWorldTree is okay to use as long as you recognize that IT CAN ONLY PROVIDE YOU WITH HINTS BUT NOT NECESSARILY FACTS!!!