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#1 SomebodySmart


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Posted 19 December 2020 - 07:20 PM

When I was little, I didn't know genealogy was necessary. I thought it was all written down and when you grew up and moved out of the house, you got the book with your ancestry all the way back to Adam and Eve.


A great abundance of genealogical records have become available on line, and with online forums, connections have been made easy. I find new cousins all the time. The records for my ancestral town go way back, starting in 1809 with gaps in the nineteenth century but with transcriptions of sacramental records from the eighteenth century. I connect lines and find other submitters and message them. 


The new problem is that somebody can easily provide you with a large GEDCOM file with more material than you could ever verify against records. Even if you spend the rest of your life verifying, what good does that do somebody else who would have to verify all over again?


The next step will be a verification service where qualified inspectors review each document and weed out the errors. This could be the a new dimension FamilySearch with only verified material. The inspectors would get together and review the evidence, while checking for notes. They would promote your FamilySearch submissions to the next dimension, where somebody else cannot change it on you but can submit material.


Sources need to be organized better. A stamp album has illustrations showing where to place each stamp. Genealogy software needs to have spaces for birth records, marriage records and death records (arrivals, connections and departures.) Sources need to be organized for inspection.


My ancestral town in Italy has the marriage processetti for many of the years on line. A processo is a package of the documents supporting the legality of the marriage. If the death record of the bride's late husband is not available on line, a transcription in a processo from her next marriage will do, and the transcription can be added as a death source even if the record is available, but if the actual record image is available then that should occupy the top spot for the record of that death. Some death records give the names of the parents and the word "fu" in front of a parent's name means that the parent is deceased, and technically that is a death source, but it is nowhere near the value of the actual death record.


People who want their work verified by the inspectors could pay for the service by serving as inspectors of somebody else's work. Organizing the sources and adding notes to help inspectors figure it out will speed the verification. If I were to serve as an inspector, I would need frequent breaks from the tedious work.


One big issue is that so much genealogy data is dependent on sources that are not readily available in the public domain. Another is paper. After living so many years, earning a living and raising children, you ancestor deserves a few sheets of archival bond paper stored in a safe place, copies stored elsewhere.