PABRADFO-L ArchivesArchiver > PABRADFO > 1999-10 > 0939313118
From: "Mark Daly" <>
Subject: [PABRADFO] Reply to Roland Elliott
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 12:18:38 -0400
I feel it necessary to reply to Mr. Elliott in public given the public
nature of his criticism. I also believe there is a lesson for all of us. I
don't want this to sound like I'm "taking the high road" but I have been
attacked in a public place and feel it necessary to reply. For those
tempted to vote on this topic, please just let it go away. Thank you.
First, I would like to say that I was trying to point out that the online
source of the War of the Rebellion books, while nice, is not easy to use
since they scanned the pages as graphics. No OCR (optical character
recognition) was attempted so you can't search them. There is no index so
you can't find dispatches written by or about a particular regiment. You
can't determine where in the books dispatches about a particular battle
begin or end.
Several years ago, while living in Los Angeles I had the opportunity to
search through these books at the LA LDS Temple and I spent _quite_ a few
hours with them. I found a great deal of background information on several
battles in which my ancestor participated. This helped me determine where
he was and what his regiment may have been doing when he was wounded. So, I
am familiar with the contents of these books.
I was not complaining about the resource, simply pointing out that it was
not easy to use.
Second, and probably more importantly, you suggested I don't do my own
research. Or to quote: "did you ever consider doing a little work on your
own". This statement is damaging to my credibility as a genealogist and
disrespects me as a person. It suggests that I take others' work and do
I have been researching my ancestry for eight years now and have done
extensive records and onsite research. I have been to Salt Lake several
times, the National Archives several times, I have spent countless hours at
libraries and historical societies, conducted many interview, and I have
been to many of the places my ancestors lived to do onsite research. In the
past, when my work schedule permitted, I volunteered at a library in the
genealogy section. I have also corresponded with many other researchers and
historians in an attempt to sort out confusing families through primary
evidence and consensus on the meaning of guesswork, when necessary.
I am very dedicated to the quality of my research. I take this search very
You do not know me. You do not know my family. You to not know my work or
work ethic. And you certainly do not have any right to suggest to the
researchers on this list that I am some sort of thief hoping to steal from
their work. That borders on lible.
If you had attacked me in private I could have ignored your message or we
could have cleared up the misunderstanding privately. In fact, if you feel
we should discuss it further send me a private email and we can discuss it
that way or I can give you my phone number to clear the air. But to attack
my credibility because I said the source is less than ideal makes no sense.
Where did you make the connection between the two?
Genealogy is about cooperation and sharing, not public attacks. That's the
old Internet which I, for one, am glad is going away. I clearly remember
the "bad old days" when your comment would have created a flame war for
days. I participated in very few flame wars because I decided they weren't
constructive; they didn't get anyone further along.
Third, did I sound like I was complaining? When I re-read my comments I
thought it was a simple statement, adding to your comments. I thought I was
adding a little clarity. I see no griping or whining there. I simply
pointed out a limitation. If that's whining then we're all in big trouble.
Finally, I was not criticizing you or the fact that you brought this
relatively new online source to light here. I think it's great when someone
shares a new site. The Internet is too big and changing too fast for me or
any other individual to know all the resources available. New sites are
added every day and it's wonderful to learn about a new research tool.
I was simply pointing out the scanned images weren't going to be easy to
use. Unless you know the book and page number, or have real fast access to
download image after image, this source will be hard -- if not
frustrating -- to use.
I had been notified of the Cornell site some weeks ago by another list and
checked it out. When I found it was just scanned images my excitement died
down. I would love to spend some more time with these books and if they're
online that makes my search easier. But there are so many of these books
that an index is critical.
Enough said. Its unfortunate if you got the impression I was complaining.
It is beyond me that you somehow decided that I am a lazy whiner who doesn't
do any work on my own. I must say that I was flabbergasted and confused by
your statement. The language you used made it more than a simple statement;
it made it an attack on my credibility as a researcher.
It's very difficult to know how your message will be taken when you can't
see the person's facial expression or hear the inflexion in their voice.
And, it's hard to remember that. With that in mind I want this whole note
to to be taken as a serious reply to a serious attack on my standing in this
community. I am not shouting and I am not whining; I am responding quite
simply to an attack with what I hope is a clear, stern response.
Mr. Elliott, please do not attack me, or anyone else, in the future without
a good solid argument. I enjoy a good debate as well as the next person --
I learn so much from them -- but flaming people is a waste of time, and
reflects on you. The online community is not like your neighborhood where
everyone knows you and how you are with other people. It's also much
easier, it seems, to be more caustic to someone through email than in
|[PABRADFO] Reply to Roland Elliott by "Mark Daly" <>|