I was on Facebook today and saw where a friend from high school had posted a picture of her mother. It was her birthday and she was turning 90. The first thing I did was go to my tree and add her birthday. There are two reasons for this lady being in my Union Parish tree. The family lived in Farmerville for many years and her second husband was my dad’s cousin.
Most of you will not be surprised that I was compelled to start working on their family. In the process I noticed I had the second husband as deceased with a date and location of his funeral and burial. That seemed odd because there was no date or place of his death. The next step was to check the hints and other trees. Every tree I saw had the same exact information as my tree. I then checked Find A Grave. The man’s entire family is buried in the same cemetery as the one I had him being in, however, he is not listed. It was now time to check the obituaries. He was not in the ones on this site or the funeral home site. At this point it was obvious I had made a big mistake.
I was already on a funeral home obituaries page with his last name so that seemed like a good place to start. The first two were ladies but the third one was the man’s brother. You probably have already guessed it but I will tell you anyway, I had put this man’s death information on his brother and there was no death, funeral or burial on him.
I immediately corrected my tree while I had the obituary open but what about all those other people who obviously copied the information from me? Do you think they will ever go back and check to see if I changed anything? For the life of me I don’t understand why someone would copy the funeral and burial information and not wonder why I had him still living. Why would they just trust someone else’s work?
So, the lesson for today is: It is OK to use other people’s trees for HINTS but never record the information as gospel without proving it yourself.