Family traditions can run the gamut from comical to depressing, from reasonable to completely outrageous. Wherever they fit on the scale, they likely are not entirely correct. After all, nothing is. What I like to do with family traditions is to sort the facts they contain into facts that might have generated records and facts that probably did not generate records.
And then get to the research.



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  1. Thank you for this. I have a particularly painful family “tradition” where the facts are mostly known. I.E. Katherine “Bonny Kate” Sherrill did find herself outside the gates of Fort Watauga on the 21 Jul 1776. The Cherokee did make a surprise attack at dawn on that date. Captain John Sevier, did assist her as she scaled the palisades to get back inside the fort. Those are facts. However, the “tradition” of their romance beginning at this point is hard-pressed to prove. He was still married to my sixth great-grandmother at this moment in time, so you can see how painful this “tradition” is to me. It utterly destroys the sanctity of his first marriage, which was nineteen years in existence when she died four years later after this incident. I am at a loss as to how to counter this. 🙁

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