I’m not overly knowledgeable about cars and passed the mechanic’s detailed discussion of my vehicle issues to a friend with more smarts about vehicles than me. Did my friend get a complete and accurate description of the problem from me?

Probably not.

I wasn’t the best conduit for the information.

The same applies to family stories that have been passed down. There could have been details that did not make complete sense to the hearer/reteller of the story and their retelling of that story may have been impacted by that lack of knowledge.

Incorrect details can be unintentional on the part of the teller and may not change the essence of the story. But they can cause our research to go astray if we are unwilling to admit that a relative may have given us some incorrect details.



One response

  1. It’s like playing “Telephone” when we were in school. String of kids. Start a phrase spoken to kid at one end of the lineup. He speaks to the next kid. The phrase is changed just a little in the retelling to the kid next to her and so on down the line. By the time the phrase gets to the kid at the end. It can be totally different. Imagine adding time between the tellings, possibly years…

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