Plus Edition Article

(+) Is Your Genealogy Data Insane?

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

Are you confident of the accuracy of your genealogy data? You might be amazed at how many databases I see that include mothers giving birth at the age of three, marriages at age twelve, or deaths at the age of 135. Sometimes you even find a person with a birth date prior to those of his parents. Download almost any GEDCOM file from the Internet and I suspect you can find similar problems.

Such errors are easy to create. Sometimes selecting the wrong person in original records can cause such errors. Copying someone else’s errors can cause other errors. Mistakes also occur because you had a keystroke error when entering the data; attempting to type 1835 on the keyboard can easily result in 1845 being pressed on the keys.

(+) Is It Unverified Data and Will It Always be Unverified?

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

Warning: this article contains personal opinions.

I have been fascinated with the comments posted on this newsletter over the years concerning “unverified information on the Internet” and comments about linking to family trees without verification. I agree with some of the comments and disagree with some others. I thought I would add my two cents’ worth.

First of all, I believe in verification of every bit of information I obtain. I don’t care if a fact came from the Internet, from a book, or even from an original record. I still want to verify every bit of information I read. (Most original records are correct but you will find occasional errors even in the original records.) I always look to see who reported the information or who wrote the book I am reading. Even if I recognize the author as being a leading genealogy expert, I still want to verify the claim independently. I don’t believe anyone!

So you think I would be against unsourced, unverified information on the Internet? Wrong!

(+) When Your Descendants Become Curious About Their Ancestors

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

You probably have enjoyed collecting bits and pieces of information about your ancestors and their lives. Is it possible that one of your future descendants will want to do the same for you and for your present relatives? If so, should you help your future genealogist-descendant by making sure the information about your life and the lives of your relatives will be available in the future?

For years, genealogists, historians, and others have preserved information on paper. Sometimes it is in the form of books while a less formal method is to collect paper documents and keep them in a file. Paper has served us well for centuries and probably will not disappear anytime soon. However, paper isn’t as useful or expected to last as long as it once was. Perhaps we should seek alternative solutions.

From e-journals and e-books to emails, blogs and more, electronic content is proliferating fast, and organizations worldwide are racing to preserve information for next generations before technological obsolescence, or even data loss, creep in.

(+) Make Telephone Calls Back Home from Other Countries at Little or No Cost

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

Anyone who has traveled overseas can tell you that placing telephone calls back home can be very expensive when calling from a hotel room or from a cell phone used in a foreign country or with almost any other method. However, there are numerous low-cost or even free alternatives for anyone who carries a smartphone or a tablet computer or a laptop computer.

I am writing this article in a hotel room in Jerusalem, Israel. Earlier today, I made several calls back to the United States. The audio quality was very good to excellent, despite the fact the hotel’s wi-fi system is rather slow. On one call, I talked for more than 45 minutes. The total cost to me? $6.95 a month for a service I use that allows 500 minutes of calls to anywhere in the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, regardless of where I am located. (I have never used anywhere near 500 minutes in one month.) It also allows for calls to any other country in the world at very low per-minute rates.


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