Multiple errors in family of Vilna Gaon

Started by Private User on Thursday, November 11, 2010

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Private User
11/11/2010 at 2:17 AM

There are many errors on GENI in the Gaon's family. Three wives istead of two, two daughters with the same name Khiena, children who were not children.
There are 14 mangaers of the profile - too many cooks spoilt the broth.
Users beware of the material presented here.
See my book "Eliyahu's Branches, the Descendants of the Vilna Gaon and His Family" (Avotaynu 1997) or contact me, Chaim Freedman

11/11/2010 at 4:47 AM

Chaim,
the duplicates are probably because this part of the tree is undergoing a merge and clean-up. While there are 14 managers, most of these are not terribly active and let others do the merging for them. Some historical profiles have 500+ managers. This has NO reflection on the quality of the work, just on how "popular" this ancestor is.

Most errors "creep in" when people add bad data they found on the internet into their trees, and then these are uploaded to Geni.

Having written a book on the topic, would you be interested in cleaning up this part of the shared tree? You could contact Geni Curator Private User (listed in the profile), and together set up a Project that would let you do this.

Private User
11/11/2010 at 7:52 AM

I notice that on the Vilna Gaon's place of birth Belarus is spelled "Byeorussia" and it gave me pause since I could not immediately verify the existence of the city outside a certain book without some deeper research. This led me to assertions by some that the city is one outside of Hrodno, Belarus called Sielec (not Seltz) which further led me to question the verifiability of the source. A correct and relevant genealogical entry should be able to pinpoint a location without layers of spelling errors and linguistic analogs. Other sources claim the Vilna Gaon was born in (wait for it....) Vilnius so I have to ask:

1) What is your source?
2) What location does it actually point to?

And I don't mind the free plugs for your book if you don't mind I can never afford it. :)

11/11/2010 at 8:45 AM

I own the book :) But then I am connected to the Vilna Gaon a couple of ways, through marriage only most likely through the Friedlander family, and because one of his teachers may be related to my family (Margolis).

I have several of my distant cousin Dr. Neil Rosenstein's books as well as Chaim Freedman's book, in case someone has a specific question.

Private User
11/11/2010 at 10:15 AM

I have had several replies which lead me to the conclusion that I will in future refuse cooperation with anyone wishing to alter material on my tree.
Whilst GENI has been useful in finding some clues, it has much disinformation which people may not be aware of.
I trust that I will not appear responsibel for certain people who appear erroneously linked to my trees.

11/11/2010 at 11:05 AM

My view of genealogy on the Internet is that it spreads errors like wildfire, but for those who are discerning, it's a goldmine of clues and links. It doesn't replace research and it requires skepticism, but my prediction is that it will or has advanced genealogy greatly.

You should assume that there will be errors and check with multiple, independent sources.

Private User
11/11/2010 at 12:55 PM

My questions must have lacked some specificity.

Where specifically was the Vilna Gaon born?
And how specifically may it be verified through primary or secondary sources?

11/14/2010 at 4:26 AM

Chaim,
instead of saying is "I know best, but can't be bothered to share my knowledge with anyone else. Please read the Book", you could, as I offered above, easily share your knowledge and expertise and help us all clear up this part of the tree. Geni is about working together, if you want absolute control of your tree, then this is probably not going to suite you.

11/14/2010 at 12:31 PM

@ Adam Hirschorn
According the Neil Rosenstein's book, " The Gaon of Vilna and his Cousinhood" - "Elijah Gaon of Vilna was born April 23, 1720 in Selets, Grodno Gubernia, and died on October 9, 1979 in Vilna."

I will try and upload some documentation to his profile.

Private User
11/19/2010 at 5:16 AM

This dovetails nicely with some other Belarus map work I am doing. I have changed the listing to display the appropriate current subdivisions of Oblast and Raion. Still having a hard time accepting that distance of 235 vershkovi. To be fair, I'm challenging another group who can only come up with a Bar-Ilan University CD-ROM to support a Vilnius birth.

Private User
11/21/2010 at 9:25 AM

I was asked to merge this profile
Yissachar Dov Ber Ber
I would be greatful if someone can suggest how to sort out this mess.

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