The Temptation to Suppose

One must be careful sharing supposition online. The middle name of a child of an ancestor (we’ll call him “Bob”) suggested what his wife’s maiden name might have been. Extensive research on that last name in all the areas where the ancestor Bob and this wife lived revealed no trace of a connection to a family with the supposed surname.

This apparently does not prevent individuals for listing the supposed maiden name as fact on many online trees. It’s impossible and impractical to try and get the name removed from trees. The drawback is that people either copy it over again or end up grasping at straws trying to prove it.

Be careful with whom you share supposition.

Middle names of children can be clues to last names of earlier ancestors. Or they can come from other places–notable historical figures, neighbors, other family members, names a person liked, etc.