The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
WARNING: This article contains personal opinions.
For decades, the standard method of genealogy research has been to peruse original records as well as compiled genealogies, looking for information about each ancestor, one fact at a time. In modern times, we typically have used IMAGES of the original records published on microfilm and, more recently, images that appear on our computer screens. We then supplement these original records with compiled genealogies from many sources, including printed books, online web sites, and even GEDCOM files online or on CD-ROM disks. Experienced genealogists also understand the importance of VERIFYING each piece of information, regardless of where it was obtained. Yes, even original hand-written records made at the time of an event may contain errors.
Compiling a genealogy typically requires hundreds or thousands of hours of work, sometimes great expenditures of money, and, when original records have not been easily available locally, additional time and money on travel.
To be kind, I will simply say that the results have been variable.