Let’s consider the linkage powers of the New FamilySearch (NFS) as it painstakingly nears the final phase of its release.
Basically, in a single view of an ancestor, New FamilySearch =
Ancestral File + Pedigree Resource File + International Genealogical Index + LDS Membership Files
With this view of an ancestor, generally seen as a link in a pedigree, NFS will now accommodate the source citations that were not affordable or practical in the CD-ROM and Web versions of Ancestral File (36 million linked names) and the Pedigree Resource File (over 100 million linked names). Another attempt is being made to foster cooperation between active researchers. The core to NFS success in the potential for collaboration in these areas it outlines:
“ • Evaluate the accuracy of the information.
• Make corrections if needed.
• Add notes and sources.
• Dispute incorrect information.”
Can NFS or GenealogyWise or any of the multiplying educational websites (or conferences and local workshops and textbooks) truly teach the worldwide array of genealogists to evaluate genealogical and historical information? Questions bubble to a boil:
Who can tutor family historians to make corrections to this mass of data?
Who can persuade the millions of hobbyists and non-genealogists to employ notes and sources, and who can then demonstrate to them how to share appropriate citations?
Who can certify that anyone making a dispute is deserving of making any changes?
Who can arbitrate for me when one distant kin tries to add a dozen secondary sources to override the one and only original parish record which documents a christening?
Who will be prepared with the best evidence to challenge the Legacy Contributor –the original person who submitted to the Ancestral File or Pedigree Resource File?
Who can I count on?