JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: family trees from existing databases #general

Erika Herzog

I agree with Sally Bruckheimer that there is difficulty and danger in linking
family records with inadequate understanding and proof of relationships. The
JRI-Poland indexes are both extremely helpful and then somewhat problematic in that
sense. JRI-Poland is very clear about this, that the indexes are a starting point.

The original records, once fully translated (and not just indexed), can sometimes
provide a clearer proof of relationships, like Sally says. That is why I see the
JRI-Poland indexes as this extremely valuable and powerful tool. A tool that is a
beginning of the journey in fitting the jigsaw puzzle pieces together.

The family project I am working on for Golub-Dobrzy is just such a project. Start
with the incredible resources of JRI-Poland indexes and microfilms and PSA records
and translate and organize as much as possible into data in an online family tree
that can hopefully be used by descendants to find their family relations.

Connecting trees on commercial websites is something I am also wary of doing for
this same reason. I know I am vetting my own data as carefully and fully as
possible -- which sometimes let's face it is not very much because the information
isn't always there. How to have that same confidence with the information of
others? And to willy nilly connect data would be nightmarish to extricate.

This creates, for me, another issue of concern: I don't want to be the only one
with records, because what happens if something happens to me and then the records
would become unavailable? That is not a good option. I personally want the
records to be as available in electronic form as possible, so ownership is

Sally Bruckheimer<sallybruc@...> wrote:
The difficulty with making family trees >from JRI-PL records is that there is no
sure way of knowing whether the people are actually related in the way that you
think. Doing this without any knowledge of the families would be very dangerous -
and some people would assume that the tree that you make is truth, when it isn't.
Erika Herzog, New York, NY * ID 100768 * erika_herzog@...

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