Genealogical Information on the Internet

The resources available on the Internet for genealogists are truly amazing.  Conscientious individuals and reputable organizations have posted millions of pages of family and local history that can make the search for your roots much easier and more productive. 

However, information you find on the Internet is only as good as the research behind it.  Along with honest errors and omissions, there are also postings and entire websites in which the submitter/webmaster intentionally provides bogus information.  You may well ask, "Why would anyone do that?"  The straightforward answer seems to be,  "Because they can."  

It is important to verify the information you find on the Internet against original sources like census records, land records, or church records.  If you simply accept information you find on a web page as credible, especially if you include it in a submission to a website like genealogy.com, ancestry.com, or familysearch.org, you could inadvertently be helping to give bad information the appearance of verified fact. 

It takes far less time to verify names, dates and places than it does to find them, and wrong turns and dead ends are a regular part of "genea-snooping."  The Internet is an invaluable research tool; just remember that a web page has no special authority nor is the validity of its content guaranteed. 

The National Genealogical Society has developed research standards to help you evaluate and use information found on the Internet.  You can review these standards by Clicking Here.