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… won’t change my mind

Arrogant.

A snob.

Elitist.

Close-minded.

Not considering the interests of the community.

And… worst of the worst… no fun at all!

name callingThese are just a few of the names hurled at The Legal Genealogist for daring to diss the app We’re Related.1

On the grounds that, well, no, actually, we’re not, and the app saying so doesn’t make it so.

And for the sin of having declared that the Emperor has no clothes (or that most of us are really not related to the people the app says we’re related to), I’m told I need to lighten up. Go with the flow.

Here we are, a year after I wrote about this blasted app, and people are still yelling at me. Just yesterday, “come down off the high horse and just have fun with it” is the latest.2

Because, after all, it’s just entertainment, isn’t it?

Sigh… not to me.

Yeah, I know… I’m just so old-school when it comes to goofy things like preferring the Genealogical Proof Standard to a commercial app… so much a fuddy-duddy not to be entertained.

Not if it’s just plain dead damned wrong.

You see, all of the relationships suggested by the app come from online family trees. And essentially none of them, for any of my lines, is correct.

I don’t descend from any well-documented royal family. I don’t even descend from any of the many well-documented New England families. If you do, and the suggested match does too, you may find the app at least marginally accurate and, so, entertaining.

But if you don’t… well… I cannot for the life of me imagine why anyone would think it was “entertaining” or “engaging” or “fun” to give people the “thrill” of supposed genealogical information that is just plain dead damned wrong.

The app is almost hopelessly wrong in a huge number of these supposed relationships. The father of my third great grandfather Martin Baker is not Private, and his father is not Private either. I can’t see anything “entertaining” or “engaging” or “fun” to see line after line that go through one, two or three people named Private.

And the number of people I’m supposedly related to through descent from Alexander Baker of Boston is staggering — despite the fact that DNA has definitively disproved any link at all to between the Boston Bakers and my Virginia Baker line. It’s not “entertaining” or “engaging” or “fun” to see those suggested in the app either.

And what’s particularly “entertaining” or “engaging” or “fun” about things that simply can’t be so? I guarantee you, my Virginian Thomas Baker didn’t have three mothers. My fifth great grandmother Elizabeth Hopper didn’t have two mothers. My sixth great grandmother Dorothy Davenport didn’t have two maternal grandmothers.

So… once again… if you’re finding information about your lines that’s even giving you a hint in the app, more power to you. If you find it amusing or fun, go for it.

But don’t ask me to “come down off the high horse and just have fun” with an app that doesn’t even follow the laws of biology.

Name calling isn’t going to change my mind: no, actually, we’re not related.


SOURCES

  1. See Judy G. Russell, “No, actually, we’re not related,” The Legal Genealogist, posted 20 Oct 2016 (http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : accessed 1 Dec 2017).
  2. See ibid., comments.
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