Mistakes, Myths and Other Shoddy Genealogies

It is a long road we travel when we begin our search for our long lost ancestors and it sometimes can get very lonely and very frustrating. One must be very careful and not fall into the ‘same name syndrome’ trap which happens so often., if you find yourself with a brick wall you should evaluate what you have and perhaps turn back and find another fork in that road to follow. In other words if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.

Long ago, before the internet, there were the ancestral files from the LDS Libray that were rife with errors, and they were ‘unfixable’ — they could not be changed.  You could submit a corrected version and they would keep that file but the old one was there to stay and for many people to copy the same mistakes over and over again.

Today we have dozens of versions of the old LDS ancestral files and so the mistakes in the family trees can be multiplied by the dozens of different versions. They are fixable, if you have a tree posted you can simply edit out your mistakes, if you have a website that contains errors you simply delete them.

Ancestry is a wonderful site and sometimes you might get lucky and find a rare family tree that is thoroughly sourced and documented, but oh my, the rest of them.  It is like a giant snowball rolling down the hill collecting mistakes as it goes along.

How many times have you written to someone who has ‘attached’ your gggg-grandfather to their tree with the wrong parents and sometimes with the wrong wife? Did they thank you and ‘fix’ their tree? If it was anything like my experiences the answer is probably not. I have found that I can send documented evidence; deeds, wills, census record, pictures, etc., and, well, they are just not going to give up grandpa, they’ve become attached to him and his family.

Then there are the people who have sent out the wrong information to dozens and dozens of people, or published it in their book, think they are going to admit they were wrong? Would you buy their next book if the first one was rife with errors?

We find these genealogies published online and the author may have published several books, been given numerous awards for their research, etc., but who is doing the fact checking before it is published?  Or after it is published? Do you think the morons handing out these awards without doing any fact checking are going to take back the awards? There are no *Gene Police* and no one is monitoring this shoddy genealogy.

That is what this blog is about. I will be publishing many of the ‘mistaken genealogies’ I have found, mostly dealing with Melungeon and Melungeon related families, working on others, and will try to point researchers in the right directions. If you have someone who has ‘stolen’ your grandpa or grandma let me hear from you. If you would like to join me in trying to untangle these balls of confusion, I can always use a hand.

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