Not Dead Does Not Mean Not Dead

dead-childrenThis 1884 biography of an ancestor indicated that some of his children were dead. They may have been dead for decades or may have died just before the book was compiled. Daughter Elizabeth (Chaney) Rampley actually died in 1884 and her death serves as a reminder to take care in using published materials as “proof of alive by dates.” Individuals not listed as deceased could have died after the compilation date or could have lost touch with the family–in which case no one really knew if they were alive or not.

2 thoughts on “Not Dead Does Not Mean Not Dead

  1. Patty Gilbert

    I appreciate this information as I have recently come across an obituary that said a family member had died a certain month & year. I know it wasn’t quite right as I had seen that person susposedly at the time of death. However, they were very much alive. They did pass away about 6 weeks after I had seen them. This was quite a while back but it creeped me out, is why I remember it.

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  2. Barbara Turner

    I have a family in my tree who was quite famous in history. All books and printed material I could find on this family has the famous man dying about 1822, but were very vague on any details. I traveled to the area and did some research on my own. I found he actually died in 1820 intestate, and there were no records to be found dated 1822 concerning him or his property. It took 5 years to settle the probate and then family moved to Texas. This was not the only “facts” in the published books that were found incorrect. Perhaps it was the only information available at the time the information was compiled, but finding this proved to me that I needed to double check these published materials and the resources they cited. I wrote to and furnished copies to all the other researchers who had 1822 on their public tree, but sadly, they did not change their information.

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