Monday, May 2, 2011

Musings On A Munday Ancestry.com Shaking Leaves

Ancestry.com and their “shaking leaves” are they a help or a hindrance?

I’ve heard comments made that are negative towards the Ancestry.com television commercials that basically say “click on this little leaf and voila, there is your family tree all done for you”. While I understand that is an extremely simplistic introduction to family history research, it is an introduction, isn’t it?

Would you rather not have the shaking leaves? Do you really want to clutter up the process with pop-up disclaimers stating: DO NOT TAKE THIS INFORMATION AS FACT, check your sources, cite those sources, yada yada yada? I don’t.

I get the gripes, but I also know that I started using Ancestry.com without any notion of what I was doing or how I was supposed to do it. I think I figured it out pretty quickly and others will too. Sooner or later some family member, that the tree is shared with, is going to ask the question “how was our great-grandmother born before her mother was?” In the end I think it will all work out. I'm glad to have the shaking leaves.