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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 798  
Subject: Puzzling out the errors Date: 11/15/2012 12:52 AM
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I've just started working on my genealogy. My mother had done a huge amount of work on hers, and after her death my brother and sister handed me the information she had gathered and asked me to continue doing the work. I've been using Ancestry.com to fill in some of the gaps. I've made a lot of progress, but I've also realized I was working too fast and needed to slow down a bit and check my resources.

And I'm amazed at what some people will put in without thinking about it. The other day I found a couple who died on the same day. It was also their wedding day, so that doesn't explain the seven kids born up to twelve years later.

And I hit another good one today. I'd had to do a lot of research for someone. Getting information involved a lot more than just clicking on someone else's work. But when I finally figured out most of the dates (I'm dubious about the given date of her death) I discovered that someone else had listed the woman's second marriage as being her first marriage.

Look, I know that people often married their children off at a young age, but they sure weren't marrying off two-year olds in Massachusetts Bay Colony.

So I've been wondering; what portion of doing genealogy research involves fixing other people's errors? I keep writing comments when I find a problem, in the hope that later researchers will be saved from spending an hour using the wrong information. Do the rest of you have some sort of system for pointing out problems?

Nancy
I know this board has been sleepy, but perhaps some revival is in order. Is anyone out there?
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Author: Myownigloo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 715 of 798
Subject: Re: Puzzling out the errors Date: 11/15/2012 1:54 PM
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I'm in! Let's wake up this sleepy board!

MOI

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 716 of 798
Subject: Re: Puzzling out the errors Date: 11/15/2012 1:59 PM
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Hi Nancy. This is a common problem. The quality of genealogy posted on the internet varies widely. That is why you need to carefully review it and verify it before you accept it as fact.

Of course if what is posted is correct, it is often possible to get documentation of some sort. A birth certificate, census data, published obits, etc.

I have friends who get very frustrated because misinformation, once posted or published, can come back again and again as others find it and record it as fact. That is why it becomes important to document what you have and be able to come up with evidence that it is correct.

Clues from the internet on where to look for more information can be very helpful, but do not accept posted genealogies as fact until verified.

In my family, someone had guessed based on limited information where my gr-gr-gr-grandfather was born. The info was off by abt 20 miles and had no documentation, but I found it had been copied into over 60 on line genealogies on Ancestry. I posted a note on the surname board to try to stop the misinformation, but it will be out there for years to come until everyone gets the word.

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 717 of 798
Subject: Re: Puzzling out the errors Date: 11/15/2012 2:03 PM
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Let's wake up this sleepy board!

I think we have at least half a dozen people who monitor this board, and will respond to any posting if it's something they know something about.

Those with topics to discuss are certainly welcome to post them.

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Author: tori26 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 718 of 798
Subject: Re: Puzzling out the errors Date: 11/15/2012 2:12 PM
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Nancy,
I too have found lots of errors in Ancestry.com. I also have found many errors in Find-a-Grave which is where I put many people with copies of headstones or Volunteer to photograph stones in my area.

My own tree is private and I try to find as many sources as I possibly can for each person. I have connected with other people's trees only to go back and carefully delete most of the information out of my tree or used their info to help me learn more about people I might not have had in my tree.

I do however, play with small genealogies when working with some Find A Grave entries. Recently I started entering Alfred A Dimock into the Evergreen Cemetery in Portland, Maine. Now Dimock is a family name and I believe he is related to my great grandmother distantly.

However in the same lot was his 1st wife, his 2nd wife, his first wife's parents and an aunt as well as a daughter and a son. I set up a public genealogy and sourced the stuff like mad and am adding in the grave stone photos into the family tree as well.

I have several relatives whose trees I can see or are public that are working on the same lines, I have gone to them with corrected information because I see they connected with a tree that wasn't sourced and now have the wrong info. Sometimes they want to know and sometimes I get the feeling that they don't care. Which I don't understand since I want my information to be as correct as possible, whether I'm adding persons into Find A Grave, adding photos to entries all ready in Find A Grave or adding information into Ancestry.com

Linda

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 719 of 798
Subject: Re: Puzzling out the errors Date: 11/15/2012 2:28 PM
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At least with Findagrave, a single individual is responsible for the posting. If you find an error, you ask the person to correct it and usually they will make the correction or at least remove the erroneous info.

With Ancestry, it is far more difficult because misinformation gets copied to many other posted trees. Correcting all of them can take much time.

Ancestry does allow you to correct errors in their census files. If it was incorrectly indexed, or the census taker spelled the name wrong, Ancestry allows you to make the correction and then your correction shows up in their searches. Eventually most census records will be corrected. (But what happens if two different families claim someone as an ancestor and insist on different spellings? Ancestry will show them both I suspect.)

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 720 of 798
Subject: Re: Puzzling out the errors Date: 11/15/2012 4:40 PM
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This is a common problem. The quality of genealogy posted on the internet varies widely. That is why you need to carefully review it and verify it before you accept it as fact.

Of course if what is posted is correct, it is often possible to get documentation of some sort. A birth certificate, census data, published obits, etc.

I have friends who get very frustrated because misinformation, once posted or published, can come back again and again as others find it and record it as fact. That is why it becomes important to document what you have and be able to come up with evidence that it is correct.


I'm glad to know there are other people who are concerned with getting correct information, and not just filling up the blanks as fast as they can. I just had another one, too. A women died on a particular day (her husband died that day, correctly noted). However, this woman apparently remarried a year after her death.

<sigh>

I made a guesstimated death date (based on when her first husband's will went to probate, which was 6 years after he died) with comments explaining my decision. But I don't understand how it is that no one at all caught that.

I need to start making a list of questions for a trip to the Boston library. They apparently have a very good genealogy section, but you need to know what you're looking for.

Nancy
271 member connections, and not one person spotted the problem!

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 721 of 798
Subject: Re: Puzzling out the errors Date: 11/16/2012 1:57 AM
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They're also still doing the Hettinger bit. Someone who worked on the family genealogy at some point did a copy and paste wrong, with the result that I have all these New England based people, most of whom never left their birthplace, and who lived in the 1700s, dying in a place called Hettinger North Dakota, which was established in 1907.

Some people really don't look at what they're doing.

Nancy

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Author: tori26 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 722 of 798
Subject: Re: Puzzling out the errors Date: 11/16/2012 9:22 AM
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Nancy,
my favorite so far is the fellow who married his wife, had a child and died all on the same day.

He then married a 2nd wife had two more children.

I thought he was quite the fellow! LOL!

People make the connections in Ancestry.com but just never go back and really look at what they are doing.

Linda

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Author: tori26 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 723 of 798
Subject: Re: Puzzling out the errors Date: 11/16/2012 9:33 AM
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Tuesday morning I started a small genealogy for someone so I could put more information into Find A Grave about him.

When I set up his name and a wife ( I knew there were 2 as I had photos of their stones) just not which wife was first. The 6 Public trees that I looked at showed all children (8 in all ) under the one wife and never showed the 2nd wife.

Turns out with a little digging and collecting of Maine birth records, Maine marriage records, Maine death records and census records, I could connect all the children (5 to wife #1) and (3 to wife #2) plus connect the first wife's parents and aunt also buried in the same lot.

Interestingly enough, it took a couple hours to dig and straighten out what the family dynamic was and made me realize that some people simply copy information and NEVER go back and check the sources or in many cases even add a source.

My Mom who has been doing Genealogy for almost 50 years has constantly said. Source, Source, Source, if you can find one source, okay, a 2nd source better a third source better yet....

Linda

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 724 of 798
Subject: Re: Puzzling out the errors Date: 11/16/2012 10:57 AM
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One of the more <sarcasm alert> charming<end sarcasm alert> situations is where someone named his children John, James, Jonathan, Jeremiah, Moses, Morris, Maurice, plus some other names like Abigail, Benjamin, Theodate and Obed. Searchers are spending time with magnifying glasses trying to work out who was at home the night the census taker came round.

Nancy
Really. It's like the guy knew this would cause problems later and did it deliberately. The only one I know offhand that is worse is George Foreman.

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 725 of 798
Subject: Re: Puzzling out the errors Date: 11/16/2012 12:14 PM
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And then there is the plumber who told the census taker he was a Doctor of Sanitation.

I know a census taker who tells stories about what it was like getting information from people who did not want to co-operate. Most people give the information freely, but others can be challenging and may even give misinformation.

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Author: tori26 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 727 of 798
Subject: Re: Puzzling out the errors Date: 11/16/2012 12:56 PM
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may even give misinformation.

no way.... just because the lady didn't want to say how old she was. LOL!

run into that quite often.

Linda

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 729 of 798
Subject: Re: Puzzling out the errors Date: 11/16/2012 2:47 PM
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And then there is the plumber who told the census taker he was a Doctor of Sanitation.

I know a census taker who tells stories about what it was like getting information from people who did not want to co-operate. Most people give the information freely, but others can be challenging and may even give misinformation.


On the 1940 census my mother is listed as the maid. She was 23 at the time and still living with her parents. She worked in the little restaurant they had, she pumped gas at the gas station, she cleaned the tourist cabins her parents owned, so it wasn't a "sitting around with her feet up" situation.

But I can just hear her saying it. The census taker talks to her parents and gets their information, talks to her older brother and gets his information and the information for his 3 year old, then turns to Mom, gets her age and relationship information, then asks, "and what do you do?"

And her response was, almost undoubtedly, "oh, I'm just the maid around here."

Mom had a sense of humor that was so dry that most people didn't get it.

Nancy

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Author: tori26 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 730 of 798
Subject: Re: Puzzling out the errors Date: 11/16/2012 3:31 PM
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have seen many times in Census records, the daughter is listed as the domestic servant. Mother is "Keeping House".


Wasn't that something to look forward to, domestic servant for your family then when you got married you went to "Keeping House.".

Linda

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 731 of 798
Subject: Re: Puzzling out the errors Date: 11/16/2012 6:15 PM
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One of the most interesting jobs I've seen while looking up information wasn't in my family, but on the line just above whoever I was looking for.

"Town Pauper"

The woman lived with her sister, who had some sort of sewing job, dressmaker, milliner, seamstress, something like that, so she wasn't on the street begging for help. There was some sort of story in back of that listing, and I keep wondering what it was.

But Mom as maid because that was the listing for daughters? No. That was Mom trying to be funny.

Nancy
and sons kept getting listed as farm laborer. Not farmer, farm laborer.

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