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Thursday, March 30, 2017

How to Prevent Mistakes in the Family Tree #georgiapioneers

How to Prevent Mistakes in the Family Tree

family TreeAll information on the family group sheet should be backed up with sources. Even if it is a modern entry and some family members are still alive. The confusion lies in the time-frame of each family. In other words, sometimes the era is wrong. Our ancestors did not have children when they were 80 and 90 years old. And if there is a large number of children, say over eight, the researcher should start looking for two or more wives. I descend from a prolific Thomas Camp of North Carolina who had 24 children! But it took three wives. In days past, people remarried as soon as possible, particularly if small children were still at home. Another thing to look for is a last will and testament which states that the wife had a "child in esse." There is a strong probability that the wife soon remarried and that child of the first husband exists within the family. That child may have carried the name of his real father, or have been raised under the name of the second husband. The marriage dates of the wife (if you find them) should help discern the identify of this child. Please do not write in a convenient date to make the marriage date precede the birth date. This mistake occurs in families where it is difficult to acquire the exact date and the term "ca" is used instead. A good rule of thumb is to assume that the groom was married at the age of twenty years and that the first child was born one year later, with other children following about every two years. A record which shows that there are children in one family who are twenty years apart has to be examined for flaws as this could be a grandchild. The big puzzle consisting of documented information from deeds, marriages, estates, wills, census records, church records, etc. need to be reconciled. Because of commonly used names, it is so easy to mix up the generations. Also, a christening date was not the date of birth. Such ordinances occurred later, sometimes as much as a year later. Parish registers frequently contain a "mortuary" section. If it does, the exact age of the person at death was given. All persons with the same surname should be considered as "family members" until proven otherwise. It is wise to remember, that once off on the wrong tract, the entire chart becomes junk genealogy.  Macon Co. GA Genealogy and History

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