As the web expands there are more and more free forums where one can exchange information about one's ancestors, often associated with individual places or societies. I was interested to learn about a new generalist forum site called Top Dog Genealogy Specialists. I wish it well, although at the time of writing its Hertfordshire pages are empty - so I would not normally mention it here. However one thing caught my eye. The first page of the article "Starting Family History Research" begins:
Where not to beginA lot of people have put family trees online. Don’t assume that these are correct! It is easy to make wrong assumptions, and the internet makes it very easy for people to copy each other’s mistakes and multiply them. Good researchers should quote their sources, so you can tell where they found their information and can check it for yourself. If you can’t find a well-researched tree, you need to start from scratch.
A good pragmatic approach - as long as the emphasis on the need for sources is maintained in the forum posts. On most forum sites the majority of posts fail to give any clue to the sources they quote and can often mislead for that reason. It will be interesting to see how this site develops.
P.S. If you come across any forum sites you think are perticularly relevant to researchers into Hertfordshire Ancestors which are not mentioned on my main web site or this newsletter please comment below - as currently I don't have the time to trawl the web looking for new sites.