I’m not Using that Date

An online tree indicates that an aunt of mine was married in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio, in 1869. The only source that tree has for this date are two other online trees. There is no additional information to indicate how the information was obtained–no minister or justice of the peace name, no church, address, etc. A search of extant Hamilton County marriage records did not locate the marriage.

The only way I know that my aunt married is because her husband’s name is listed when she inherits from her brother’s estate a few years later. That estate record is my evidence for the marriage and I’m using the date they are mentioned in the court record as a “married by” date.

 

12 thoughts on “I’m not Using that Date

  1. Dee Edson

    I see lots of these in the online trees. I write it down in pencil, hoping to find some actual supporting evidence. I look at it as a possible clue (for names, locations, etc.) for my own further diggings.

    Reply
    1. Nina

      I, too, see way too many unsourced facts on ancestry trees and I do like Dee does and treat it as a clue, write it down and try to find an actual document or source for the information. I, also, send a message to the tree owner to ask if they have a source and 9 times out of 10 they never respond.

      Sometimes, I add the mystery information to my tree to aid the ancestry search engines. If I do, I typically put a custom event on the person’s profile warning others that the info is unsourced and added only for search purposes. This is slightly off topic but I love the custom event feature on ancestry. I use it to put all sorts of info and notes on my tree to create a better timeline, more detail and/or reminders for myself. I treat my ancestry.com tree as a working tree.

      Reply
  2. Joan Ross

    i ended up having my g grandmother married to her son on the family tree. Husband and sons names are about the same, birth year wrong. For the life of me I can’t find a way to delete it.

    Reply
  3. Tom

    It is frustrating to connect to a family tree in Ancestry or some other online genealogy programs only to find that the tree only lists their source(s) as some other family tree which also does not list a source. Or even worse, they try to make a connection to your family tree but the only way to contact the person whose tree is listed is to subscribe (more $$) to their service. I refuse to post my family tree to Ancestry and other programs because I don’t want others to “blindly” accept what I post – I would prefer to communicate with others in my family tree on a one on one basis. Therefore, as the others commented above, I only use these posted family trees as possibly clues as to where to concentrate my further research.

    Reply
    1. michaeljohnneill Post author

      This is one reason why I prefer to blog about things I’ve found as a way to share them instead of using the trees. The format is less restrictive and often I can post a document I’ve found, a transcription (or extract) and what I think it’s told me. Anyone can view the blog so fee-based subscriptions aren’t an issue. It’s not a ways to necessarily permanently share, but it does help to spread what I’ve found.

      Reply
  4. Karen T

    I, too, post an online tree at World Connect. I do not post my sources but I do post my email address. Everything I post on that tree is supported by the best information sources that I have been able to find. I want to know who is looking at my tree and will very happily share my sources and other information with anyone who takes the trouble to contact me. Don’t automatically assume that an online unsourced tree is truly unsourced. Perhaps, like me, they just want to know who is looking. [A side note, sadly, I seldom get information back when I do share!]

    Reply
    1. michaeljohnneill Post author

      I understand that philosophy and usually when someone’s posted a tree in that way, one can validate and confirm dates they’ve posted although as you mention contacting them is a good idea. The tree in question had sources for some things (particularly census, but a few others). The sources for the marriage date were other trees.

      Reply
  5. Leonard McCown

    Part of the problem with some of these is the use of by, bef, or aft in a genealogy program and these words are stripped when you do a GEDCOM, or the person copying it does not copy it. I have several of these in my database that come from deeds, estate records, etc.

    Reply

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