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Research Philosophy
Many family historians and genealogists "complete" their family trees fairly early in their research project. In many cases this is because the only information seems to fit all the available data.

With the increasing popularity of the internet for family research, "doing" a genealogy seems like a piece of cake.

Over the years, I have been in touch with hundreds of family historians researching their Brebner/Bremner families. These contacts go back well before the advent of internet and easy access to BMD and census certificates, and now that proving various family claims is easier than ever before, it's essential that every serious genealogist should go back and verify all early links. One can easily be led astray, especially in Scottish genealogy, when so many surnames are similar, when so many husbands remarried (often several times) after wives deaths, when so many children were born out of wedlock, and when so many of the informants at deaths simply had no reliable information on which to base their information.

My goal throughout this project has been to compile as much accurate information about the Brebner/Bremner families as possible. That means that I sometimes rely on submissions, however well meant, that often don't stand up under the scrutiny of certificate proof.

Unfortunately, when I point out questionable data to some family historians, they bury their collective heads in the sand. While I understand this reaction; they have, after all, spent years compiling the data, and often shared it with family members who accept the material as gospel, there is a reticence to change any suspect information. I believe that it's important to update all genealogies, and particularly those that are available on the web, where new and often younger family historians look for their family roots.

Another issue that often raises its head is the publication of data about living persons on the web. Inasmuch as most of this information is readily available to any unscrupulous person, closing that door of web-security is futile... that horse left the barn long ago. I think that it's also important to differentiate between "identity theft", a relatively rare occurence and its far more prevalent cousin, "credit card theft". Dick Eastman in his daily blog makes a number of good points on the role (or lack thereof) of genealogy in identity theft.

Having said that, if you have any valid objection to the inclusion of recent information that cannot be found elsewhere, I will remove the details. In the past twenty years I have had only two requests to remove data. Far more common is the request to update genealogies with newborn descendants into the family!

I am always open to any corrections or suggestions about any Brebner/Bremner ancestry. If it's not right... please tell me so that I can update and correct any information on the site!

John Brebner

E-mail John Brebner   © 2011 John A. Brebner