In a previous question I enquired, in part, in re the general accuracy of this sort of compiled genealogy to which @janmurphy gave me an excellent and well-reasoned answer.

I am particularly interested in understanding whether this specific source is accurate, however, as I am looking for a pivot to further research. I assume this happens for a lot of us: you need a starting point, and picking the best possible one will enable better accuracy/less wasted time/ more cohesion in completing a 3x3 (ie I'm not looking for a short cut!).

It's difficult for me to read this book as it has been formatted/scanned to be online-- there is a weird/inconsistent replacement of n with x, for example, and I am having difficulty searching for sources as I don't have a good understanding of how these books are generally laid out vis a vis sources. Any suggestions on what to look for in this type of book, and does anyone know if this particular book is accurate, or should be ignored?

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    I'm not sure that this question is a good fit for our focussed Q&A format. For someone to say whether "this particular book is accurate, or should be ignored" would be expressing their opinion of that particular book. I think all of the advice in the answer from @JanMurphy to your other question will apply here. I think it would be better to edit your question to have it instead ask how to find and evaluate the evidence for a particular "fact" cited in that book. Since your question has no answers (yet), you should feel free to revise it heavily.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented May 22, 2015 at 23:21
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    With regard to your difficulty reading the book, are you looking at the OCR transcription? If so, you need to look at the actual scan of the pages
    – Harry V.
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 0:52
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    @vervet The book is available on the Internet Archive in several formats, including a scan of the pages themselves. The site has changed recently, and as far as I can see, the controls for manipulating the images of the scanned book are not as easy to use as the previous version of the site.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 2:55
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    I know, that is what my link is to. If @k1ate is looking at the scans, then I don't understand why "It's difficult for me to read this book as it has been formatted/scanned to be online-- there is a weird/inconsistent replacement of n with x"
    – Harry V.
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 2:59
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    @vervet thanks for the link-- I was in fact looking at the OCR transcription and not the actual pages. I hadn't turned up the scans in searching previously, but I'll add it to my rule of thumb/to-do list to search for specifically next time.
    – k1ate
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 15:57

1 Answer 1


Honestly there is no such thing as "generally accurate" in genealogy. Within a compiled genealogy you can find examples of accurate and inaccurate information. For example, information on generations closest to the author might be very accurate, based on first hand knowledge. More remote generations might be based on original source records, family stories, or even pure speculation. There is really no adequate substitute for evaluating the specific piece of evidence you are examining.

  • I would suggest an edit for your last sentence -- substitute "information" for "evidence". It isn't 'evidence' until we are applying it to a specific research question.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 20:51

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