1) On Dear Randy: Is Find A Grave a Reliable source? (posted 20 November 2012):
* Rorey Cathcart said: "Sure I consider FindAGrave a source like any other. How much weight and credibility I give any memorial on it is where the analysis comes in. When I use the site I try to limit my takings only to what I can see on the screen of the gravemarker itself. And then I try to source the information through different means.
"Like you Randy, FindAGrave or my own trip to the cemetery, is sometimes the *only* evidence of someone's existence. Especially in the case of deceased infants."
"There are often two stones for Civil War veterans, one that matches the stone for a spouse, another the familiar government issue. Thus the spectacle of Jerome S. Campbell, 1829-1901, resting between his Sarah and his veteran's stone inscribed Jorom S. Campbell, 1839-1901. The practice of obtaining markers for previously unrecognized veterans is laudable but can lead to errors. Wesley Greenman died of his injuries in 1866, but his stone says he died Dec 13 1928. Coincidentally, that was the exact date of death of his brother, veteran William Greenman, who led a long and well-documented life, and was buried in a different cemetery entirely.
"Based on comparisons of death certificates with gravestones, engravers regularly confuse burial dates for death dates. Monuments erected by the loving children long after the death seem especially prone to incorrect birth years. Some monuments are placed in a cemetery where family members are buried although the decedent is not buried there at all.
"Some of the FindAGrave memorials are detailed and helpful. Others are undocumented and suspect. Not that I don't use 'em all the time - but as suggestions, not as evidence."
- contacts can be made with memorial owners or with people leaving flowers. If someone is making memorials for a whole cemetery but your person is missing, contact them!
- collections of memorials can be organized using virtual cemeteries
"Yes, there are errors and there are incomplete or preliminary pages. Come back later to see if the memorial has been updated. Or better, provide the correct information to the memorial owner so everyone benefits."
"I have a whole list of Evidence Explained! quality sample citations in Word. When I add a source in RootsMagic, I use the FreeForm and then copy-paste the reference footnote from Word. But when I do that, some spaces aren't copied and words get glued together that should not be. Does anyone else have this problem, or better yet, a solution?"
"On the missing fact types, can you do Lists > Fact type list and edit the fact types and see if they are checked to include when publishing online? If they are, another thing to check is whether the fact has been marked as private in the person's edit screen."
"Unfortunately, I've seen it happen with a client. I would hate to see it happen to anyone else."