Ancestors with no Children and Disputed Relatives

Ancestors with no Children and Disputed Relatives

Many times we will list ancestors that never married or married but had no children.  Other times, we list disputed ancestors where there is only one source that mentions them.  Why do we list them when we know there are no future descendants?  Why would we list something that is incorrect?

People reused names.  A baby boy, John, was born to a couple.  He was born in 1620 and died the same year.  In 1621 the couple had another baby boy and named him John.  John (1621) grew up, married and had children.  So why do we list the first John?  It has been seen many times over that other researchers will make up a family line with the John that died young in order to insert their own family line into an existing one.  It could have been a simple mistake of confusing the two John’s with each other or with a cousin born about the same time who was also named John.  This cousin John now appears in two family lines.  When this error is discovered, we, and others, like to make note of this mistake so that other future researchers do not make the same mistake again.  It tends to mess up a family tree and then you end up being your own grandparent (joke).  But seriously, it does make it very hard going forward to link family members and you could end up with a duplicate family line.

This is why we don’t copy other family trees we find.  We still use them for possible hints, but we also look for their sources.  I found a family tree on a popular site that had my grandfather listed.  There was my father with his mother and what I saw upset me.  They had his half brother listed as his father.  My uncle was my grandfather.  My grandmother and her son had a child together.  They didn’t even look at the dates and see that this was impossible.   No one knows who this man is.  This is family information that was taken to the grave.  Another example is my great grandfather and his parents.  I have a pretty good idea who they are.  But I cannot find one shred of evidence tying them to him.  Most of what I know is family stories.  I don’t have a family Bible (that I know of) that I can use.  But others have connected them anyway.  Where is the proof?  Where is the evidence?  Please share.  This is why we search for multiple sources and not just one and use it as the only primary source for our information.  We find as many sources as we can to prove the facts.

We list the sources that we use on every profile on our site.  If there is not a source listed, we try to remember to note in our Research Notes that we are still researching this person or we have not posted our sources yet.  We try to post a date of the last time we updated a profile too.

If you use our site as a source, be sure to mention that all of our sources are posted on the person’s profile page.  Or use the sources we listed.  It’s ok to cite another researcher’s work, but make sure you’re citing a researcher that provides their sources.  Point the next person in the right direction.

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