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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Four Rules To Help You Do Your Family History Research

Oops I just got my hand spanked.  I had read a great article on rules to help you with your family tree research.  I guess I thought by giving full credit to the writer and linking to her I was praising her work and sending people to her writing and blog. I was wrong. I broke a copyright rule and got spanked by her. So I have rewritten my posting and taking her out all together.  So watch out guys even though I wanted to show how this helped me do my research I broke the copyright laws.

I love and hate Internet Research sites. So much of the information is just copied from tree to tree with wrong material being added and then it just multiples.
I love ancestry and have belonged for over a year. I love being able to find the census forms, possible family pictures and hooking up to possible relatives. But when I see my family trees in others trees and family members are just jumbled up with no thought I want to scream.

My last example was
1. My great grandma Katherine Gallagher Esler who is married to Appleton Esler. They married and had two children together Merle and Wayne.
2. Appleton was married at least once before and had two children these children are now Katherine's step children. This is Tillie and Russell
3. Katherine had my grandma Grace before she married Appleton.  Time period was early 1890's she did not marry the father whose name is Andrew.  My grandma is the half sister to Appleton and Katherine's children and step sister to Appleton's first two children. 
I will find trees that combine all children under Appleton and Katherine and that is bad enough, but what really got to me is to see the woman named Sarah who married the father ( Andrew ) of my grandma Grace now married to Appleton.
Appleton and Sarah never married and I am sure they never met. How some one happens to connect these two different families is amazing. All you have to do is click on Sarah's name and up comes Andrew.
I contacted this person to tell them of their error but who knows if they will ever even read my message and correct this stupid error that will be passed on and on.

Here are five rules to help with my family researching

Rule 1: Do Not Assume  Example is while working on one of my family lines recently, my research has the parents born in New York but as I am looking at different census one year had the mother born in Conn all other census reports say New York.  Either the census reporter wrote down the wrong name or who gave the information gave the wrong place of birth. Just because it is written does not make it true.  

Rule 2: Do Your Own Research  Go beyond the internet or just one census report or the death certificate or even the tombstone pictured on the internet. Use these as clues but look further find city directories these are a great source.  Search for family members who may have that missing information.
I am searching for the above Andrew in the first part of my blog story.  He never married Katherine after or before Grace was born.  All I have is a picture of Andrew.  I think I have found the right Andrew in the census but I am NOT posting this picture there on Ancestry.  What if it is the wrong one.
What I have found is a picture of Mary the sister of Andrew.  I have printed it and compared side by side. I see a resemblance but is it wishful thinking.  I have emailed the ancestor member who put up the picture of Mary to see if she might have a picture of Andrew. A picture of Andrew that matches my picture. Oh how I wish she would get back to me, but she  has not been there for over 6 months so I am not holding out much faith there.  But I can wait and wait and maybe some day I will hear back with an answer of Yes or No I have a picture.  In the mean time I will find others who have Mary and Andrew or their other siblings in the tree.  I will share these two pictures in a posting real soon and see what you think.  Is the nose similar, how about the lips. Are they related or not?

Rule 3: Treat Brothers and Sisters as Equals  Some times you can find some fun and interesting relatives.  Here is one Meet My Great Aunt 3x Removed the Postmistress of Greenwood Nebraska .  This was in the 1920's I find that exciting that she was busy and making her name in Greenwood Nebraska.  She never married and lived with her parents.

Rule #4: One Source Doesn't Equal Proof  Just because it is in the census does not make it correct. Even if it is on the death certificate that does not make it a fact.  Search, search and compare.

I love google to search for information. May never find anything but I am looking.  I really use swagbucks for my search because I get points every once in awhile. After I while I will turn these points into cash at pay pal or for a gift card some where. Have you tried out swag bucks for your search

Lets all follow these 5 rules of finding our family and  if we find a mistake that we know is a mistake lets take the time to pass on the error.  It may not get changed, but at least we have attempted to correct the error.

Thanks for stopping by lets all attempt to use these rules and use everything else as a clue only. Grace

1 comment:

  1. Grace, I certainly did not mean to spank you and I didn't think my email to you was harsh in any way. I appreciate your giving credit for my Five Golden Rules for Growing Family Trees article. But reposting the entire article word for word was in violation with About.com's license to my article. Of course I appreciate your praising my article and sending people to my blog, but common etiquette is to use only "fair use" portions of any article with credit. This even includes giving credit for inspiration or an idea you may have gotten from someone else's work. For anything more than that, you are much better off asking permission. Keep up the great work on your blog!