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There was one of those little waving leafs on an ancestor this morning, so I took a look. And while I was looking it finally dawned on me that the person I was looking at could not possibly be the mother of several of the children listed as being hers, mainly because she'd been dead for several years before they were born. So I carefully changed their mother's name and linked them to the right person.

Then I happened to take a closer look at the older children of that first mother, and realized she couldn't be their mother either, because she was much too young to be their mother. (That still left her with several children of her own). So I checked records and finally decided that the three older children must have been the father's siblings rather than his children.

But I was also checking to see if any of the record books had the correct information, and some did.

Then I got to the last child to be mentioned, and I discovered that even the New Hampshire Marriages book has the wrong parents listed. But if the birthdate is right, everyone has to be wrong.

I switched him over to the new parents, but I'm going to have to write a lengthy comment regarding his parentage.

Has this ever happened to you?

Nancy
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Hey Nancy, long time since "talking with you" on one or two of the other boards.

I've been doing this genealogy hunt for a few years, and sometimes I'm on the computer all day and part of the night....hunting, comparing, sending queries, etc.

And then months will go by and I do nothing......have lost interest at times...

Just recently decided to put my tree on Ancestry....one reason is because I thought I could help "correct" the facts....don't think it has helped at all.....

I write comments and see that nothing changes.....lazy people, I say.

But I have "met" some wonderful folks through the message boards on county sites, Genforum, etc.

As to the wrong info in state Marriage books.....guess this could happen...the worst for me is when an official death certificate has a date for birth and death different than the tombstone! (But of course, the death cert. info is given by a next of kin.....and way back, some of the kin did not know exact dates, or even who the parents of the deceased were.)

I will probably start back up in January finishing inputting my info onto Ancestry.....if I can get the "drive" to do so!!

"rosie"
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The oldest records are often church records. Yes, the clerks sometimes made mistakes.

Official govt records are a bit more reliable, but what happens if a girl lies about her age on her marriage license? Does she get caught? Or does it get recorded as she gave it?

In Missouri, they issuing birth certificates in about 1920, but they had no obvious use (as most people recognized their children and named them in their wills or probate records). So people regarded birth certificates as optional until abt 1930.

Then came Social Security, the first law that required that you prove your age. Many early recipients had no birth certificates. Instead they got letters from parents, midwife, neighbors to attest to their birth date and got delayed birth certificates issued. But it was very possible to fudge the data to collect benefits a few years early.

Yes, tombstone dates are often more reliable than census records for dates of birth, but not always. If Aunt Jane lied about her age and kept changing her birth year as she got older, what year do you put on her tombstone? The real one (if known?) or the one she liked to use?

Errors do happen. Figuring out what is obviously wrong is one part of genealogy. But getting the correct information can be challenging. Proving it almost impossible.

Isn't this a fun hobby?
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Isn't this a fun hobby?

Oh yes. I spent half of yesterday evening taking someone out of my genealogy, and the rest of the evening putting her back in.

Nancy
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