Do you trust on-line research?

William Douglas Fields (Pop) 

I have been able to trace the French side of my family to the 1300s in France. My grandfather William Douglas Fields’s legal birth surname was Deschamps. He reportedly changed it to Fields in 1955, but I haven’t found the record for this. My grandfather was born in 1911in Roslindale, MA. Of course there’s even some dispute about this. It’s possible that he was born in Roxbury or Jamaica Plain. His father, George Arthur Fields (Deschamps) was born in 1885 in Nashua, NH. His father, Louis Deschamps was born in 1842 in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec. Thanks to my cousin’s research and some on-line family trees at Ancestry.com, I’ve been able to trace the Deschamps back to Nicholas Joseph Deschamps birth in 1710 in St. Martin Ile-de-Re in France. However, through Nicholas’s wife, Judith Dorion, I can trace my family back to Hubert Comeau and his birth in 1363 in Dijon, Côte-d’Or, Bourgogne, France. Many people on Ancestry.com that have the same lineage, go back one more generation to Hubert de Comeau’s birth in 1300, however, not enough evidence really lends credence to this person. Though there is so much information and useful assistance on the internet, it’s been a great learning experience wading through the mud and the muck. It’s been interesting trying to find out what information is valid and what is likely mere conjecture. I may have taken some dates and people at face value, but I try to be as critical as possible in my research. Though I don’t only rely on documents to add to my tree, I try and follow best practices when adding information to my family’s ancestry.

Other than actual documents, are there any secondary or third hand resources that you trust in your research? Do you have any recommendations on what to rely on (or what not to rely on) when researching?

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