In a recent discussion with a fellow cousin, the conversation inevitably turned towards various websites that were not dislaying the a) same; b) correct; c) newest - information about our Caperton line as their research has determined. The concerns by my cousin reminded me how long I have been doing this "Web Thing". It reminded me of when I first started Caperton.info (nearly 10 years ago) and how important it was for me to have the most absolute current and accurate data about the Caperton name. The problem was that just about every Caperton site that I went to had "Different" information and it was just about impossible to figure out who was right, particulalry when it involved lines I really knew nothing about!
It also reminded me of how important it still is to always strive to have the most absolute current and accurate data about the Caperton name, and I confess that I have probably not been as faithful to my goals as I was when I started. I still believe that if you are placing genealogy information on the web it needs to be either factual or CLEARLY identified as your own interpretation of the information you have. If it is factual, it is always important to document your sources. You always want others to be able to re-trace your footsteps. If, as in the case of many of the Origins pages here at the Society, you are publishing your hypothesis, then make sure that is clear in the article you write. This will allow others who read your work to have a clear understanding of the factual nature of information. A date is helpful as well. Life on the Web seems to go on forever and if there is a publication date on your work, then others that may find it for the first time 10 years later will be able to compare it to more recent work.
The other half of the conversation revolved around how to deal with websites that contain outdated information. This one is a bit trickier. When it comes to other sites, I can only offer to try to point out to the webmaster of that site, the information you believe is incorrect and what you believe it should be. After that it is pretty much up to the webmaster! I have seen over the years more than one site that has basically been abandoned. It is a lot of work to maintain even a small site and not everyone has the time week after week, to make updates and corrections. In the case of abandond sites, where no one responds to the email you send there really is not much you can do other than realize that the site was undoubtedly published with the best of intentions.
For the Caperton Society Website, whenever you find errors or typos, let me know and I will look into it. If I am able to confirm, I will make the updates. If the facts do not bear out the requested change I will try to include (where possible) the "alternate ending" you suggest. I will admit that I go a bit slower when it comes to new information that is in conflict with long established histories. My own line of James Caperton (B-8) is a good example of this. Over the last few months we have had several breakthrus that are generating some major changes, including lines moving from B-7 to B-8 and from one son of James to a different son. The challenge comes it how to bring that info to the site. I have placed a lot of emphasis in using Henry numbers based on Bernard Capertons book, The Caperton Family, and when you start moving sublines around the numbering can get confusing pretty quickly. I am not suggesting the numbering is a reason NOT to make the changes! Rather it just seems to take a lot of brain power to implement something that intuitively should be pretty easy!
So in closing, YES it is very important to keep genealogy information current, and to that cousin out there (who knows who she is) thank you for a) caring; and b) reminding me of one of the reasons I started the website in the first place!