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 WAKE UP AND SMELL THE FAMILY GENEALOGY

A number of people have recently asked me how to do family research. That is really a difficult thing to explain - it has to be learned. The best way to learn it is to do it right. Some people log on to the Internet and capture a lot of names with no documentation and then think that they have done research.

One time a lady wrote to me about a family that she had posted on the Internet using a site that had only names listed. She asked me about the genealogy of some of the people she had posted and said that she was very busy and did not have time to go to court houses and cemeteries but would welcome any research I had done - free of charge - of course. I scratched my head a time or two and then asked her why she wanted to post something that she knew nothing about and why would she ask me for my work to post under her name? I still don't understand that one. 

Genealogy is a hobby that brings great pleasure to a lot of people. It is interesting and educational and the sweat and toil can be left for the future generations to come. What more could one ask for or want in a hobby? 

PAPER TRAILS ARE DUSTY TRAILS

 

Dane Martin

Haddock descendant through Charles Haddock Jr. and his second wife Susan (Moyers/Meyers) (Rumbaugh). 

He is at the Barry County court house in Cassville, MO and is reading a marriage book.

The HOW TO DO LIST

   RESEARCHING FAMILY HISTORY

BELOW ARE KEYS THAT LEAD TO SUCCESS!

 

GIVEN NAMES AND SURNAMES

Mary "Polly" Haddock, nee Jones  - not Mary Polly Jones Haddock

Mary "Polly" (Jones) Haddock - not Mary Polly Jones Haddock - not Mary (Polly) (Jones) Haddock

Mary "Polly" (Jones) Haddock -  not Mrs. Mary Haddock 

Mary Jones - not MARY JONES

Dr. Mary Haddock, M. D. - not Dr. Mary Haddock

Rev. Dr. William Jefferson "Bill" Haddock  - not Dr. Bill Haddock

Jeffery Haddock, PHD  - not Dr. Jeffery Haddock

Mary [nee Jones?] - not Mary ? Jones

 

LOCATIONS AND DIRECTIONS ARE IMPORTANT

Benjamin Haddock lived south of here on the old Jefferson place about a mile from where Thomas Haddock lived in 1880. 

It was warm in the South - not it was warm in the south. [Also see example given above.]

***

Records should be listed as they are written in the public record. [See example given below.]

Example: Charles Haddock, Jr., had four patents in Barry County.

They were in 1852, 1853, 1857 and 1859.

In 1852 he had a patent for 40 acres that was of the SWSE of Section 10, twp 25N, Range 28W of the 5PM of Barry County, MO.

In 1853, Charles Haddock, Jr. patented 40 acres that was in the SESE of Section 10, 25N, 28W of 5th PM, Barry Co., MO.

In 1857 Charles Haddock had a patent for 80 acres in E 1/2 SE of Section 11, 25N, 28 W, 5th PM of Barry. In 1859, he had a patent for 80 acres that was13, Section 15, 21 N, 26W of the 5th PM of Barry County, MO.

 

REFERENCING ITEMS

 

  KINSHIP LISTINGS - EXAMPLES

Susan Haddock, dt of William James Haddock, lived in Kansas City, MO. Example: [Ref: Kansas City Star News article, August 5, 1921]

David Haddock was a son of Zachariah Haddock and lived in GA. Example: [Family Bible of Zachariah Haddock, from the family research files of Jackie DeFoor by way of Lucy Ledford, listed David as a son]

***

 FAMILY STORIES

Example:  Trouble came to the Russell family during the Civil War in the form of an outlaw group that was called bushwhackers. It is thought that the Union Army encouraged these men, as there were Southern sympathizers who lived in the area. Milo's son Sidney was in the Confederate Army that made Milo and Nicey a target for the bushwhackers. When there were reports of the bushwhackers being in the area, Milo would hide in the cave that was just above where the house was located. Later some people called that cave the Bowman Cave. They would take food and water to Milo by calf - back. The Russell family knew that the bushwhackers wouldn't know to follow calf hoof prints. So, Nicey and probably the girls, too, rode calves at least part of the way up to the cave to deliver Milo's meals. These men who hid out during the day, would slip home in the darkness of the night and check everything out and make sure their families were safe. [Ref: Family lore from the Haddock research files of Darla Marbut] 

***

PHOTOS

A photo can be referenced. Example:  This photo of Mary Haddock belonged to her father, Joseph Haddock, and was taken about 1914. [Ref: From the photo files of Kenneth Haddock]

***

CENSUS RECORDS SHOULD BE COMPLETE IN FORM

Census records should not be hacked apart and spread throughout a file. 

Example: 1880 Federal Population Schedules, US Census, Page 421C, Popes, Jones Co., Georgia listed Joseph Haddock, age 31, born in GA, farmer, and listed both his parents born in GA. Jane M., his wife, was age 33, born in GA, keeping house, and her father was born in VA and her mother in NC. Children listed were Joseph L., age 8, son, born in GA, at school; Eula F., age 7, daughter, born in GA, at school; Johnnie, son, age 6, born in GA; Alonzo L., son, age 4, born in GA; Lilla, a black female, born in GA and at home, and both her parents were born in GA and also Eliza, age 4, a black female, born in GA and both her parents were born in GA. [Ref: Family History Library Film 1254154, and NA Film Number T9-0154.]

In 1880 Joseph Haddock lived between Benjamin Barbee, a black man, who was age 28, a laborer of farm work, and Samuel Jarrett, a black man, age 30, who was a rail road hand. Two or three doors away was Joseph's father, Caswell Haddock, who was listed on page 421C also and who was age 67 years and a retail merchant and also who was born in Georgia.

It would also be proper, but not necessary, to list a child of a census record in addition to listing a record, like the one above, with the father. Example: In 1880, Alonzo L., was living with his parents, Joseph and Jane, in Popes, Jones Co., GA, and was 4 years old. He was born in GA.  He was listed on the Federal census of that county.

***

CEMETERY RECORDS CAN BE REFERENCED

Example: Cave Creek Cemetery, Vinson, Harmon County, Oklahoma


Haddock Mrs. F. S., 4 Mar 1859 - 23 Dec 1934, Section 2 Row 7


Haddock W. H., 29 Apr 1852 - 6 Apr 1927, Section 2 Row 7

***

RESOURCES SUCH AS BOOKS

Example:  Haddock Heritage, Second Edition, by Donna Haddock Cooper, published 2003,  page 264. 

***

COURT HOUSE RECORDS AND HOW TO LIST THEM

Example: Barry County, MO, Deed Book 6, Page 234. Not - db6, pp 234.

 

ABSTRACTING

Deeds should be listed in full if at all possible and not hacked apart - sometimes space becomes a problem and they do have to be shorted, but the land descriptions are often taken out, which would have lent valuable information in pinpointing an exact spot of residence.

***

Obituaries must be abstracted if they were published after 1928 -  but never take out the dates, cemetery name and family names that are listed. 

 

WHAT DO I COPY? 

AT THE COURT HOUSE

What to copy? Everything in the document and if possible get a photo copy. 

Whose records to copy? If possible everyone of the same surname and everyone that is related.

Get property locations and go to the place that you people once owned.

***

AT THE CEMETERY

Take a photo of every stone that belongs to a relative.

Use shaving cream on old stones so that you can read the dates. Take a squeegee and rub off the excess after you have soap the letters and numbers good.

Once you are home - study the data.

Figure out how all of the people buried there were related.  [Digital cameras are wonderful] 

Don't overlook cousins and extended relatives that are in the cemetery.

Never assume that people buried in the same cemetery were not related.

Always research the cemetery data you located with census and court house records.

Find out the location of the cemetery and how close it was to the property that your family owned.

***

VISITING RELATIVES

Ask questions and let them do the talking.  [Listen]

Visiting relatives never ends - look for people to visit that you didn't know were related.

Write down everything that you were told - even if you think it isn't true!

Find out who has the family photos and family Bible.

Collect family stories as family lore and add them to enrich the study.

Remember family stories should not be considered the same as facts.

***

AT THE LIBRARY

Go early and stay late. 

Make photo copies of all the records that you locate.

List the resource of the records along with pages, etc.

Remember that a lot of what you collect will be considered secondary resource material.

 

MILITARY RECORDS

Fought in the Civil War in MO and was in Percy's Line - not fought in Percy's line in MO

Enlisted in Captain Percy's Unit as a Federal and as a Private, the 2nd of December 1861, served three years in MO on the front lines - not just served in the Civil War in MO.

 

MOTHER AND FATHER 

MOM AND DAD

Mom is a capitalize word when it is an addressed name or a substituted name - not when it is a reference.

My mother was a wonderful woman - not my Mother was ...

Dad was a great man - not dad was a great man. 

Sons and Daughters

James was a son of Thomas Black - Not James was the son of Thomas Black unless he was the only son that Thomas Black had.

PLACES AND DATES

No date and no location is sloppy and a matter of poor record keeping. Post everything in complete form.

See examples given below:

Cassville, Barry County, MO - not Cassville, MO, not Cassville, Mo. - not Cassville, Barry Ctny, Mo.

New Site Cemetery, near Monett, Barry Co., MO - not New Site Cemetery, Barry Co., MO - or New Site Cemetery, Capps Creek Twp., Barry Co., MO

Born abt 1844 - not ca 1844 [And not 1844 unless a record states that it is that date.]

Born between 1940 - 1944 - not left blank [Children will be born within 20 to 25 years of the marriage of their parents]

James Johnson born abt 1820, wife Sarah Nelson born abt 1821, married abt 1841 [Marriage will be about 20 years after the female's birth.]  Children were James, Mary, and Sarah - born between 1841 and 1861.

James Jones born abt 1944 in Cassville, Barry County, MO - not James Jones born abt 1944.

 

 CUSTOMS OF ANOTHER TIME

In colonial records sometimes a woman was listed as Miss when she really was married - be careful not to superimpose her martial status until you know for sure what it is.

***

In the colonial days sometimes son-in-law is listed as a step-son and it was standard practice to make a referral like that in a will.

***

In colonial records a referral of friend may mean cousin. Be sure and check out all the possible ways that person can be related before discounting him as just a friend. 

***

Sometimes an uncle may be referred to as a cousin or a friend in colonial times and in older wills, be sure and check out any relationship that is mentioned in a will. 

***

Note: Probate records and inventories are often overlooked as a valuable resource.

 [These often times list relatives who were involved in the buying of goods or in the settlement of estates. Example of a sold item at an estate sale might appear such as this - One oil lamp, .02 cents, Uncle John Jones bought it. This may be a neighbor that was referred to as an uncle because he was an older gentlemen or it could have been a relative - or really an uncle.]

***

Old Styles of Handwriting

Old hand writing styles often used the letter "p" for the letter "s" - but the p looks a little different from a regular p. 

Example: Mipouri

 

GIVEN NAMES AND WHERE AND HOW THEY APPEAR

Mary is usually shorted to Polly.

Sarah is usually Sally.

Margaret is Greta, Marg, Marj, Maggie, and sometimes even Peggy or Margaretta.

Martha is usually Patsy. 

William is usually Bill.

James is sometimes Jim.

Amelia and Camilla are female's names usually used in the South.

Dicy is a female's name often seen in Georgia and North Carolina.

Alsy is the same as Alice and used sometimes in North Carolina and Georgia.

Priscilla is sometimes Celia, Selia, or Selah and is often used in the South. 

Junior is not always the son of someone with the same first name - Example: James Haddock, Jr. could be the son of Sam Haddock.

Names such as Charles, James, Phillip, and John are often English in origin.

Names such as Gertrude, Margaretta, Johan, Hilda, George, Jacob, Katrinia, Ermina, Frances - Francis, Fernando, Alburtis, Abraham, Frank, and Frederick are often German in origin.

Women's names such as Comfort, Asenath, Abigail, Katherine, Samantha, Repentance, Silent, Thankful, Experience, Hepzibal, and Bathsheba are usually New England in origin but sometimes Comfort shows up in the Quaker records.

Men's names such as Emanuel, Gideon, Ebenzier, Titus, Isaac, Giles, and Linus are usually New England in origin.

In the 1600's in New England and in the pioneer days of our country Bible names and words were very popular for given names.

In a Quaker family Phebe, Phariby, Lydia, Charity, Millicent, Lettice, Feribee, Prudence, Christian, and Sarah were all popular female names.

And for the men Quakers liked the names of Joseph, Thomas, Samuel, Isaac,  Mordacia, and Demsey.

All pioneer families seemed to use the names of Sarah, Mary, John, William, and Elizabeth.

Irish and some Scottish families used names such as Patrick, Timothy, Alexander, Michael, Nathaniel, Catherine, Hugh, Cornelius, and Mary Catherine.

The Scandinavian people liked names such as Lars, Erick, Hjelmer, Brita, Maria, Marj, Johanna, Kristina or Tina, Emil, Verner, Wilbert, Frans, Sofia, Willhelm, Kajsa, and Johan.

The president's names show up in almost all areas of the US - Example: George Washington Haddock, Andrew Jackson Haddock, Thomas Jefferson Haddock, Martin Van Buren Haddock, Benjamin Franklin Haddock, and  Warren Gemanuel Harding Haddock.

Mother nature might show up in an American Native family line. Names such as Walkingstick, Running Water and Morning Star are often seen.  In the early days and of the Eastern Tribes names that had no reflection upon nature were sometimes used. Examples: Pocahontas and Powhatton. 

Often times slave names were carried down from the original owner and might have moved along with the slave. Usually only first names were assigned, but they were often mentioned in wills and in deeds.

 

 Medical Terms 

 

Terms that are sometimes seen on death certificates or in old newspapers.

1. Apoplexy - Paralysis from stroke (Sometimes it will be spelled incorrectly - appoplexy)
2. Bilious fever - Typhoid, malaria, or hepatitis
3. Biliousness - Jaundice from liver disease
4. Black plague or death - Bubonic plague
5. Black fever - Acute infection with high fever and red skin lesions
6. Black vomit - Vomiting blood, black blood due to ulcers or yellow fever
7. Black water fever - Dark urine with high temperature
8. Bladder in throat - Diphtheria
9. Blood poisoning - Bacterial infection or septicemia
10. Bloody flux - Bloody stools
11. Bloody sweat - Sweating sickness
12. Brain fever - Meningitis
13. Bright's disease - Chronic inflammatory disease of kidneys
14. Bronze John - Yellow fever
15. Bule - Boil, tumor or swelling
16. Camp fever - Typhus or Camp diarrhea
17. Canine madness - Rabies
18. Canker - Ulceration of mouth or lips or herpes simplex
19. Cerebritis - Inflammation of cerebrum or lead poisoning
20 Child bed fever - Infection following child birth
21. Chin cough - Whooping cough
22. Cholera - Acute, severe, contagious diarrhea with intestinal lining sloughing
23. Chorea - Disease characterized by convulsions, contortions and dancing
24. Cold plague - Ague characterized by chills
25. Colic - An abdominal pain and cramping
26. Confinement - Death as the result of the confinement of childbirth. During and after?
27. Congestive chills - Malaria
28. Consumption - Tuberculosis
29. Congestive chills - Malaria with diarrhea
30. Congestive fever - Malaria
31. Corruption - Infection
32. Cramp colic - Appendicitis
33. Croup - Laryngitis, diphtheria, or sore throat
34. Cystitis - Inflammation of the bladder
35. Day fever - Fever lasting one day; sweating sickness
36. Decrepitude - Feebleness from old age
37. Dentition - Cutting of teeth
38. Diary fever - A fever that lasts one day
39. Dock fever - Yellow fever
40. Dropsy - Edema (swelling), often caused by kidney or heart disease
41. Dropsy of the Brain - Encephalitis
42. Dry Bellyache - Lead poisoning
43. Edema of lungs - Congestive heart failure, also a form of dropsy
44. Enteric fever - Typhoid fever
45. Falling sickness - Epilepsy
46. Fatty Liver - Cirrhosis of liver
47. Fits - Sudden attack or seizure of muscle activity, epilepsy
48. Flux - An excessive flow or discharge of fluid like hemorrhage or diarrhea
49. French pox - Syphilis or great pox
50. Gathering - A collection of pus
51. Green fever - Anemia
52. Grippe or grip - Influenza like symptoms
53. Grocer's itch - Skin disease caused by mites in sugar or flour
54. Heart sickness - Condition caused by loss of salt from body
55. King's evil - Tuberculosis of neck and lymph glands
56. Horrors - Delirium tremens
57. Hydrophobia - Rabies
58. Impetigo - also called summer sores. It was a contagious skin disease with by pustules
59. Jaundice - Condition caused by a liver disease
60. Lockjaw - Tetanus or infectious disease affecting the muscles of the neck and jaw.
71. Long sickness - Tuberculosis
72. Lung fever - Pneumonia
73. Lung sickness - Tuberculosis
74. Malignant sore throat - Diphtheria
75. Mania - Insanity
76. Meningitis - Inflations of brain or spinal cord
77. Milk leg - swelling of the leg after the birth of a child
78. Nephrites - Inflammation of kidneys - [I've seen Bright's Disease used as Nephrites.]
79. Palsy - Paralysis or uncontrolled movement of controlled muscles
80. Puerperal exhaustion - Death from child birth
81. Phthisis - Chronic wasting away another name for tuberculosis
82. Plague- An acute febrile highly infectious disease
83. Pleurisy - pains in the chest area
84. Pott's disease - Tuberculosis of spine
85. Puerperal exhaustion - Death from childbirth
86. Puking fever - Milk sickness
87. Putrid fever - Diphtheria
88. Quinsy - Tonsillitis
89. Rheumatism - A disorder associated with pain in joints
90. Rickets - Disease of skeletal system
91. Rose cold - Hay fever or nasal symptoms of an allergy
92. Rubella - German measles, hard measles, & red measles
93. Scarlatina - Scarlet fever
94. Scarlet fever - A disease with a red rash
95. Scarlet rash - Roseola
96. Sciatica - Rheumatism in the hips
97. Screws - Rheumatism
98. Scrum pox - Summer Sores, impetigo
99. Scurvy - Lack of vitamin C
100. Ship fever - Typhus
101. Sloes - Milk sickness
102. Small pox - Contagious disease with fever and blisters
103. Sore throat distemper - Diphtheria or quinsy
104. Spanish influenza - Epidemic influenza
105. Spotted fever - Either typhus or meningitis
106. St. Vitas dance - jerking movements involuntary
107. Stranger's fever - Yellow fever
108. Swamp sickness - Could be malaria, typhoid or encephalitis
109. Tetanus - Infectious fever with high fever, headache and dizziness
110. Thrombosis - Blood clot inside blood 111. Vessel Thrush - red spots in the mouth
112. Tick fever - Rocky mountain spotted fever
113. Trench mouth - ulcers along gum line, caused by poor nutrition & hygiene
114. Typhus - Infectious fever with high fever, headache, and dizziness
115. Viper's dance - St. Vitus Dance
116. Water on brain - Enlarged head
117. White swelling - Tuberculosis of the bone
118. Winter fever - Pneumonia
119. Womb fever - Infection of the uterus
120. Worm fit - Convulsions associated with teething or from worms
121. Yellow ganders - hepatitis
122. Yellow jacket - Yellow fever

 
 

 LISTING UNNAMED PERSONS

Unnamed and unknown sex of an infant who died before age 1 can be logged as  \\ Haddock, gender ?

***

Mrs. William Jones married James Jones Haddock sometime around 1900 -  William Jones - husband number 1 and James Jones is husband number 2, female is unnamed - listed as \\  and marriage date should be given as about 1900. 

[\\ does not show up on the printed forms of FTM but // does.]

 

LOST AND FOUND

Our ancestor's are people that once lived. They all left a paper trail - it is up to us to find the trail.

Our ancestors were never lost so they can't be found. Their names can be located in records.

[Example:  I found listed my grandmother's brothers, Lemuel and Chester Berryhill, in Barry Co., MO. They were listed as children of Jeff Berryhill in a Barry County, MO, newspaper.]

[Example: I found a will in Pitt County, North Carolina that names Dinah Taylor as a sister to my grandfather.]

[Example: I located my grandmother's family in Pitt County, North Carolina, living next door to Nasby Mills.]

 

HOW WE SAY WHAT WE SAY IS IMPORTANT

Records don't show us anything - It is incorrect to report a record like this: "Newspaper records show that Noah was the son of Charles Haddock."  Correct usage would be: "The death record that was reported in the Barry County Democrat reads that Noah was the son of Charles Haddock, Jr."

Mary was not a Jones!!!!!!!  Should read: I am certain that Mary was not Mary nee Jones! Or - I have proof that Mary's maiden name was not Jones! 

Be kind when you report errors to people. When a person uses a number of exclamation marks just to make their point, is certainly an act of unkindness.  I personally think that messages like that have been generated by ignorant people who are also rude.

I assume that you feel this is your family since ... The way a person feels has nothing to do with the facts.

 

VAGUENESS AND SUPERIMPOSED DATA

Always list as many details as possible - Never be vague and never superimpose an opinion.

[Such as - In my opinion these families had to have crossed the Delaware because there was no other river near.]

[Such as - "My great grandfather served in the war under Jackson, the only Jackson I know of is General Andrew Jackson so I suppose he must have been in Jackson's unit.]

[Such as - "No other Mary was found so I just assigned my Mary to the Jones family because I know that they had a Mary."]

[Such as - Since all of my family lived in Pitt County on the Haddock side, I don't think those in Craven County are related.]

 

 PUNCTUATION & CERTAIN WORDS

... [three dots indicates there is more of the record.] This can be used in the middle of a document where words can not be read.

-  [One dash separates data - and not two -- not three ---] 

? [One question mark is a question] It doesn't take more of them to make a point. [Example: Who was James Haddock?????] Should read: Who is James Haddock?

@ is used in e-mail addresses and not in written data.

Bible should be listed Bible and not bible.

Cemetery is not spelled cemetary. [I've even seen library listings on the web with it misspelled]

 

STATES AND LOCATIONS

 Reporting States 

States no longer have a period after the abbreviation - such as Missouri is MO not Mo.

Tennessee is no longer Tenn. it is now TN and not Tn or Tn.. 

 This caused me great difficulty because I typed most of my files before the change and it took ages to get the records changed over. I had some changed and some not changed. It was awful because I let my computer change some of them. Need I say more? 

***

Rivers Mark the Spot

Rivers usually don't change courses - study new maps to see how they run and then look at old deeds for streams and references to present day structures. This helps to get perspective and to learn about directions of a certain area.

***

Map Usage

A map is easy to use. Always know where your people lived. 

[When a researcher doesn't know the county their ancestor lived in - there's trouble in the making.]

 

NEVER NEVER LAND

10 Stupid Tricks

Trick 1. Passing information from hand to hand is not a good idea, but if you must do that - then for heaven sakes give credit to the person who did the research.

I've had people write to me and tell me what they have on the Haddock family and how far back it dates. It's sort of funny to be offered the same research that I originally did.

I think that some people believe that the Internet fairy passes out family files and as a result it's their responsibly to pass it around to as many people as possible. This one should be a trick, too.

***

Trick 2. It is impolite and rude to write to someone and say "Just send me what you have."

This happened to me one time and I was horrified, angry, and to say the least upset. I would have shared with this researcher but after I thought about it I decided not to add anything to his files.

I had material that would have helped him a great deal but I thought he might as well learn how to do some research.

***

Trick 3. The exchange of names means nothing - an exchange of information such as obituaries, deeds, wills, marriages, and census files means new records that can be verified and probably used to further the study. 

***

Trick 4. I've had people to write to me and ask me about a record or about someone that they are researching and then never even take the time to write back to thank me for what I had given them.

To me, this is the height of ignorance, and I can't image being like that myself.  Maybe the idea is to take all you can get and not to give anything back in return. 

I've also seen this happen where family photos are concerned. Sometimes, I think, maybe we should get to know people a little bit more before we let them have our valuable records. 

***

Trick 5. One should never think that they have the only record and they are keeping it for themselves and away from the rest of the family.

All the records that are available [except for family Bibles and family photos] are public and they belong to all of us. No one has ownership of them.

***

Trick 6: To think that you own the information on a cemetery stone is another good trick. That's like owning that person as your ancestor and not allowing anyone else to claim their kinship.

***

Trick 7. People who do not share family photos are selfish and in my opinion and just plain stupid.

By passing them around to your family, you are helping to preserve the record, because the more people who store them, the less likely the photo will be lost or completely forgotten about. 

Some people won't share their photos with you or anyone else, for that matter, because they think they can get money from others if only they have them.

***

Trick 8. Charging a relative for a copy of your family photo is another stupid trick! We all know that a laser copy runs less than a dollar. Don't be selfish and uncaring with your relatives.

***

Trick 9. This one is a good trick, too.

One lady said this: "I don't put much stock in research pass the 1800's. I am not sure that it is really very accurate." This statement really tells us how little some of us actually know and understand. I suppose what she should have said is that she didn't know how to do research pass the 1800's. The never in this illustration is to never judge something that you don't understand.

***

Trick 10: Only a beginner in genealogy would post an incorrect record on the Internet and then say that they are waiting to document the record.

Records should be documented then posted not vice versa.

***

And remember this even idiots do genealogy!

 

 

MISTAKES

We all make mistakes - because we are human. The first mistake a person makes is in thinking that they won't make one. If we try and be careful with our record keeping we can cut down the number of mistakes that we do make.

Reporting Mistakes

I once wrote to a lady and told her about some mistakes in the data that she had posted on her web page.

After I'd notified her about this problem several times, I became alarmed that she did not answer my mail.

It was concerning lineages and dates that she had posted incorrectly. 

Finally she wrote back and told me that she did not want me to tell her about the mistakes she'd made and to please reframe from using her site.

She said that she had no time to correct these things that were incorrect and did not want to know about them.

I thought that it was interesting that she had plenty of time to post new material but no time to correct her mistakes.

It's unfortunate that some people can't see that a person has to be born before they can die and that a marriage is not likely to have happened a hundred years after a birth.

Another case of almost the same issue came up with a man who changes the birth, marriage, and death dates of our ancestors.  I believe that this is a serious situation, and that names and dates should not be changed to something that we think that they might be or want them to be.

On the date changes, this person changes all the dates to read June 1st of whatever year he chooses to use.

It's too bad that people like that are allowed to do genealogy. I personally am angered by people who change our ancestor's names and dates that the rest of work so hard to keep straight and work so hard at keeping the record correct.

The only thing that I know to do is to keep on telling these people that their kind of genealogy simply doesn't work.

I know most of you are going to say that you don't want to be on the wrong end of an angry message. But I think that we should keep on talking and trying so that someday we'll get a higher level of genealogy represented in the research that is out there now.

Let's hope that a few of the ones we talk to will hear what we are trying to get across to them.

 

 

PRIMARY RECORDS

  • Bible Records

  • Photos of Cemetery Stones

  • Family Photos with Names 

  • Birth and Death Records

  • Land Records Listing Family Relationships 

  • Land Patents - with locations

  • Church Records - Such as Quaker Records

  • [Hinshaw's Quaker Records is a Secondary Source but might be allowed because of the accuracy of his work.]

  • Will and Probate Records

  • Marriage Records

  • Family Genealogies - Books - over 100 years old [Usually]

  • Old letters [Must be signed, dated, and state family relationships.]

  • Obituaries

  • Funeral Home Records 

  • Old Newspaper Articles [especially ones that were submitted by family] Most are Secondary.

  • Census and Mortality Schedules

  • Slave Schedules

  • Adoption Papers

  • Military Records that Lists Family Relationships

 

SECONDARY RECORDS

  • Genealogy books without documentation and recently published works

  • Hearsay Genealogy [The family story says ...]

  • Family Lore [Grandma said ...]

  • Published Records that are not documented 

  • Charts of Names - Linage Charts

  • Another Researcher's Work [without the records to back it up]

  • Files Published on the Internet [Often have no documentation]

  • Published DAR Records

  • Published Mayflower Society Records
  • Published Lineage Without an Actual Resource [naming it is not enough]

 Genealogical Works or Books Without Resources 

  • [Note: Hearsay Genealogy becomes more reliable when two separate families coming down two separate legs of a family tell the same family story and have been separated from each other by means of distance and communication for long periods of time such as a span of time like a hundred years. Sometimes American Native or American Indian lines are put together this way because there may not be any record stating that there was a marriage to document the connection.]

 

 HOW MANY RESOURCES?

Usually three different references for each item are thought to be enough to make a file final but list all that you find and good luck!

 

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Copyright 2004 - 2005 by Donna Haddock Cooper
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