Born, Died, and Reproduced–Otherwise, Well…

If someone is your ancestor, they were born (hard to avoid that), they reproduced (married or not), and eventually died (hard to avoid that as well). Everything else is somewhat negotiable–within reason.

Everything else you “think” that is true about them may not be true. This gets especially true as your research extends back in time and what a person “knows” often is based more on what we assume as opposed to things we have evidence for.

They might not have attended the same church their children did. People change churches for a variety of reasons.

They may have spelled their name differently than their descendants do or did. They might not have really cared how it was spelled.

They might not have been a member of the ethnic group their children thought they were. Ethnic prejudice might have caused them to indicate they were from somewhere other than where they were actually from.

Every detail Grandma gave you about her heritage might have been 100% correct. Or it could have been 100% false. The reality is usually somewhere in between.



2 thoughts on “Born, Died, and Reproduced–Otherwise, Well…

  1. Jo Lucas

    This past summer we made a ‘genealogy’ trip of sorts to hubby’s ancestral beginnings. While visiting with cousins not seen in about 25 years I inquired as to the spelling of an ancestor’s first name. These cousins would have known personally the person of which I inquired. Each time I came across the name while researching this line the first name was spelled differently, although close enough to be confident it was the same person. Persons in the group feigned amazement at the difference and claimed to never have noticed. Later that same day, in the court house records, I came across an Affidavit of Name enumerating various spellings of the same name I had inquired about and attested to by a member of the same family group. Just another one of those finds that makes you go hmmmmmmm…

    PS Hubby carries the same given name as the one inquired of so now there are at least three with the same spelling as we also hung it on our son :0}


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