I have a story to tell.
I had a family member who spend alot of time researching the family tree line of my paternal maternal line.(This was over 12 years ago). They were given mis-information. The information came from a death certificate. In which the deceased last maiden name was hard to read. That one piece of info is leaked into online trees. I see it every time I pull to search for that family line. There are hundreds of trees with that incorrect piece of information. It is even in Familysearch.org.
From one person using only one document not verifying it. Adding it to their tree and never fixing it.
Lets go back to the Death Cert. I found the death certificate looked at it. Saw that it was hard to read the name. I made sure to check it against other sources. So I could know the correct maiden name. This was a process. Months in the making. Worth every day to know the information for that GGranmother is correct.
As you discovery information on your ancestors you may at times find yourself provided with information passed on to you by another Family Historian.
Now you have some choices to make. As well as questions to ask your self.
1. Is the information sourced?
2. Where do I find the source?
3.Can I easily verify the source?
4.How do I know its the correct information?
5. Add it to my tree before I verify the source?
My answers to these questions is as follows:
1. Even if its sourced you must backtrack yourself. Meaning find that source documentation. Review the source document, how valid is the source document? Who provided the information for the source document? I know it's alot of questions to answer. I can guarantee if you do this extra leg work. When you Vett you family tree, you can stand by it with surety.
2. Depending on where the documentation is coming from. Go back to the original information given to you. Can you ask them where they got the information? If so ask them. If you get the run around you just know they most likely do not have accurate documentation but they put it in there like fact anyway.
Just like When I see a public tree on-line and ask the provider of the information where did they get the information from, over and over again I'm told from the internet, ancestry.com, etc... They never bothered to verify anything. So now other folks can come along and pick up the misinformation as if its accurate info. Then they continue the missteps of those to follow.
3. No source is ever easy to verify. It does take time. Family History Genealogy is not a quick process although some, very few, things might come easy.
4. Find three sources for the same piece of information.
5. If your tree is Public Never!!!
If your tree is set to private how are you noting that the information still needs verification?
Happy Ancestor Hunting