Dick Eastman in his newsletter on 27 June 2010 reminded us of the need to see the appropriate role of the Internet in genealogy:
“Julie Miller writes a genealogy column in the Broomfield Enterprise, a newspaper and web site published in Broomfield, Colorado. I would suggest that Julie’s latest column should be required reading for all new genealogists.
Julie writes, “The Internet has drastically changed how genealogy research is done. The amount of information posted on the Internet is increasing at an amazing pace every day. The ads might say you can find your complete family history by searching a Web site, but even though the Internet has billions and billions of pages filled with information, not everything is on the Internet.”
A few paragraphs later, she writes, “Although these sites have millions of records, they represent only a fraction of the records that have been preserved over the centuries of human record keeping. If only the Internet is used to collect information, the majority of family history will be missed or recorded incorrectly.”
Experienced genealogists have already learned this but thousands of newcomers keep asking, “Isn’t everything on the Internet?” Julie Miller’s column sets the facts straight. You can save yourself a lot of time, effort, and frustration if you read Julie Miller’s article at http://www.broomfieldenterprise.com/ci_15379828 “
The article in the paper concludes:
“The misconception that all genealogy information can be found on the Internet continues to persist. Some Internet sites proclaim that everything needed for genealogy research is on their site. Many of these sites are official looking and appear to be run by experts. Do not be fooled into believing the claims.
The Internet is definitely a powerful tool for genealogical research. Checking online for information is part of a good research strategy. Just don`t expect to find everything there.”
Thank you Dick and Julie – good advice!