Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Few Little Things About Genealogy...

I used to be hot and heavy in to genealogy. This was prior to public access to the Internet. I had written to distant relatives on my sons' family and mine. Many folks were considerate enough to write down family lines for me. I was so excited to receive this information! Unfortunately, not all people are as accurate in their information as we may wish. I was able to see a "family tree" that someone in my sons' family had written up for their big family reunion. WOW, that was great; great until I started reading it and realized that my sons were given my former husband's 2nd wife as their mother. That's not right,  I was there when they were born (ha ha)! Often, as I looked at old census records I noticed that many of the first names I was given for relatives were NICKNAMES and not "legal" first names. So, what I am trying to say, if one does research or documenting of historic topics, it is best to be accurate. If you are responsible for giving information for an obituary, it is nice to mention special people that aren't blood relatives, but for researchers using the obituary years down the road it is not reasonable to know that the "daughter" or "son" mentioned is actually a very special friend with no familial relationship. I have pulled out my research because one of my sons has an interest. I only have his paternal line back 4 or 5 generations and we're set to try and go back farther. I have learned the hard way to document my sources and if something doesn't sound right to me then I will also make notes on that. Who knows, maybe one of my descendants 100 years from now may pick up my notes and expand on what I've done.

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