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Here are some comments I copied from certain genealogy-related sites, where the blanks refer to genealogy software:

“I had my sister-in-law excited about getting ___, but when she discovered that ______ doesn’t interface with NFS (New Family Search) it was a deal breaker. Now I jealously watch her as she easily transfers information to and from her genealogy program to NFS.”
“I’m all for adding Internet connectivity to _______. Of course, FamilySearch is not the only site online that offers online connectivity. At least two other major sites offer public APIs for connecting to their data …….”.
What these two, as many others, are asking for is the ability to download from the Internet directly into their genealogical database.
I believe this to be inherently wrong-headed. Here’s why:
  • • Most data on the Internet has no Source attributions nor notations;
  • • Much on the Internet is factually incorrect;
  • • Most people have their own style of writing which is not your style;
  • • Many people do not include data such as county, middle names, nicknames, etc;
  • • Downloading data upon data will not place that data in chronological sequence.
There are two major points I would make as a result.
First. If your work is to be your legacy, it should be in your style, not in the style of various people. Therefore, either copy the found data or dump your findings into a separate database, print it out and rewrite/retype in your style and in chronological order.
Second. Accuracy in genealogy is more important than a court of law. Just think, if you conclude you are related to George Washington based on inaccurate data, your descendants will believe and perpetuate that myth until someone remarks, “You’re crazy”. Not a nice legacy to leave.

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