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Old 01-09-2015, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,502 posts, read 26,116,900 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by residinghere2007 View Post
The one that gets on my nerves the most is when the government officials put the wrong demographics in things. One of my ancestors was listed as white on the birth registry for 1891 when he was not white. Due to that and me looking for colored or mullato, I had to look through the microfilm instead of finding it online at our local library and had to go through about 3 years worth of births and I found him in marked as white when he definately was not. I have had this happen a few times for various relatives. They also mixed up some names - like making the first name the middle name for one of my great great grandfathers. His name was James Edward but he was listed as Edward James in some official documents. This was confusing because he had a son named Edward James and initially I thought those documents were for him and not James Edward. They also messed up the father of the white labeled child when he died. His name was Elias, and he was listed as Elia and I couldn't find his burial records due to that. In the cemetery records he is listed as Eli. So lots of variations going on way back when. They also listed his last name in 3 different spellings on those 3 different records.
Isn't genealogy fun?

Don't get me started on names. The only brick wall in my tree that I can take personal credit for knocking down was breached because I figured out that every record available on that person had mangled her name in some way.

Do remember, though, that people often varied whether they used their first or middle name and often switched them. It may seem arbitrary to us, but it may have been just personal preference. Spelling was not standardized, either.

Now I know not to ignore search results at Ancestry.com just because a name is not spelled the way I expect it to be. Check them all out!
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Old 01-15-2015, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Australia
8,012 posts, read 2,714,905 times
Reputation: 38437
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobiashen View Post
Oh, man, I can really relate to these posts! My aunt (father's side) died of cancer in 1956 at age 42, and I was named after her when I was born in 1964. The family was just pleased as punch that I carried on her name, but boy, whenever I tried to find out anything about her, I was "shusshed." ALL I could ever get anyone to say was, "___ was just different."

Okay, so different in what way? What does that mean? Despite all my questions, that family may as well have sewn their lips shut, because if I even so much as said her name among a group of them, there would be this weird silence.

So, though I never knew what they meant, I bet nearly 100 percent she had some form of mental illness because I have clinical depression and two of my second cousins, once removed, have more serious issues that have required lengthy hospitalizations and/or care facilities.

But at the time, it just drove me crazy. I got interested in family history around age 14, and no one -- NO ONE -- would answer me. They'd either ignore the question or just shrug it off. I'm stiil on it, but running out of "live sources." I've sent emails to first cousins I barely know because of a big age difference (my father was born in 1917 and the youngest of seven); I've tried everything I can think of.

I guess "different," even in the late 1950s, meant "mental illness" of some kind and just was not talked about. She never married, always lived at the family home, did not go to college but always held a regular, full-time job, and...of course I know nothing else!
I know I'm replying to an old post, but the poster is still active on C-D, so may see this. I'm wondering if "different" may have meant that the aunt was... shock horror... a lesbian!

I also have an ancestor who said she was 17 when she married but was actually 15. The husband said he was 19 but was actually 17. The next census showed the couple with several children including one who was born two years before their marriage. So Momma would have been 13! Funnily enough, although they tried to hide their ages at marriage, they disclosed on a census taken when they were 23 and 25 that they had been married 8 years.
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Old 01-15-2015, 06:40 PM
 
5,177 posts, read 3,001,131 times
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My girlfriend and I were talking about this last night. We could think of many reasons. In her case she had the majority of the last few generation's information because her mother had a disability and couldn't work in the kitchen during family get-togethers so she, at an early age, would join the aunts and great-aunts to help with the meals and that's how she gathered information about the family the other cousins didn't have.

In my case I was the baby of the baby so, while there was a lot that had taken place on the family stage before I showed up, I had information that my older cousins didn't have because they were large families and busy. By the time I came along I would often be babysat by aunts and great-aunts whose children were all in school and the whom would have time to sit down and look through picture albums with me and tell me stories of the families.

I once mentioned my grandmother playing guitar and the piano and none of the cousins even knew she had. She hadn't had time while they were growing up to do so!

Once I told DH his mother always wondered if the baby who died before he was born was a boy or a girl and he had no idea that there had been a baby who died. It had never been mentioned in his family of all brothers but she had always hoped for a girl.

"How did you know that?" he asked. "Oh, you know, while you guys sat and watched the football game we women sat in the kitchen and talked. Often the men in the families go out and do something and the women sit around and talk. I think it's common for women to be the historians of their families.

Only wish I'd thought to ask more questions while they were alive!
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:01 PM
 
2,319 posts, read 1,982,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kobber View Post
I know I'm replying to an old post, but the poster is still active on C-D, so may see this. I'm wondering if "different" may have meant that the aunt was... shock horror... a lesbian!
That's actually a good point, and I can't believe I haven't thought of it before. Among this "different" aunt's five sisters, two never married and lived together for the rest of their lives, and a third one married at age 48 and died nine years later.

All I ever heard about her after I finally gagged "different" out of them was that she was "moody," which made me go straight to mental illness, because I'm familiar with that :/ -- but it certainly could have been sexual. Food for thought!
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,502 posts, read 26,116,900 times
Reputation: 26477
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobiashen View Post
That's actually a good point, and I can't believe I haven't thought of it before. Among this "different" aunt's five sisters, two never married and lived together for the rest of their lives, and a third one married at age 48 and died nine years later.

All I ever heard about her after I finally gagged "different" out of them was that she was "moody," which made me go straight to mental illness, because I'm familiar with that :/ -- but it certainly could have been sexual. Food for thought!
I have a great aunt who never married. One of my aunts not long ago made the comment, "Of course it was not discussed back then, but ... "
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:22 PM
 
4,626 posts, read 7,203,593 times
Reputation: 4735
Heck.. I asked and asked and asked................and got wrong information!!!!!!!!!!!

Dad said his mother's father was born in Rehoboth, MA.

Grandma's mother stated he was born in CT.

In truth, he was born in Cranston, RI.

I finally got it all straightened out when I found my great grandfather's brother's family via Ancestry.com

And then there was the matter of the unknown personages buried in one of our family's plots. Nobody left to ask except my 90 year old auntie who for years had tended the planting of flowers at this plot. Who's Lillian, Auntie?" I'd ask. "And who's Elizabeth?" I'd ask.

Auntie's answer..........."How the devil should I know".

You'd think with her grandfather, great grandmother, great auntie, great-great auntie and great-great uncle - all of whom she knew much about... buried there - she know something. Nope.

Once I made the family connection through Ancestry - I could put the pieces together. Elizabeth was the mother of Robert - the first to be buried at a young age. She outlived her son by decades. Lillian was a cousin - who died young, and since her parents didn't have a plot.. and there was plenty of room in our's...........that's where she was buried.

Then that opened another question - where was Elizabeth's husband............and what was his name?

Jeremiah - buried in what is now The Bronx - died of his wounds suffered in the Civil War.

In short, I was able to connect the dots by researching not my direct ancestors, but their extended family.
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,502 posts, read 26,116,900 times
Reputation: 26477
Quote:
Originally Posted by ocngypz View Post
Heck.. I asked and asked and asked................and got wrong information!!!!!!!!!!!

Dad said his mother's father was born in Rehoboth, MA.

Grandma's mother stated he was born in CT.

In truth, he was born in Cranston, RI.

I finally got it all straightened out when I found my great grandfather's brother's family via Ancestry.com

And then there was the matter of the unknown personages buried in one of our family's plots. Nobody left to ask except my 90 year old auntie who for years had tended the planting of flowers at this plot. Who's Lillian, Auntie?" I'd ask. "And who's Elizabeth?" I'd ask.

Auntie's answer..........."How the devil should I know".

You'd think with her grandfather, great grandmother, great auntie, great-great auntie and great-great uncle - all of whom she knew much about... buried there - she know something. Nope.

Once I made the family connection through Ancestry - I could put the pieces together. Elizabeth was the mother of Robert - the first to be buried at a young age. She outlived her son by decades. Lillian was a cousin - who died young, and since her parents didn't have a plot.. and there was plenty of room in our's...........that's where she was buried.

Then that opened another question - where was Elizabeth's husband............and what was his name?

Jeremiah - buried in what is now The Bronx - died of his wounds suffered in the Civil War.

In short, I was able to connect the dots by researching not my direct ancestors, but their extended family.
And this, folks, is what gets people hooked on genealogy - and a great lesson on how to do it!
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:26 PM
 
94 posts, read 68,673 times
Reputation: 85
My dad knew his grandparents names, and that was about it. Now he knows much more and loves it, haha! We've had quite a few surprises, especially after DNA testing. Found out some things about ancestors that I would never have known otherwise and broke down some brick walls
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:11 AM
 
Location: zippidy doo dah
893 posts, read 1,266,709 times
Reputation: 1907
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaseMan View Post
I went through the first 30 years of my life thinking my grandmother on my father's side was of Jewish ancestry (turns out that was completely false). It happens.
It is so odd. I had just the opposite of you. I spent the first 28-30 years of my life thinking my grandfather on my mom's side was of French descent and the name was "Bien" as in "tres bien, merci" (Alsace-Lorraine was the hometown) . I didn't find out until my late twenties that my grandfather was Jewish, but the French story held. Now, at age 64, I find my mother's paternal line all came from various parts of Germany (and no where NEAR Alsace-Lorraine so not just an occupation issue); that Bien is not pronounced the French way but is "BEAN"; that basically nothing I was told about my heritage had an ounce of truth to it. All of us are scratching our heads as to who started all the myths. Kind of weird when you have pronounced your mother's maiden name and your grandparents last name incorrectly your entire life. I feel like a fraud.....

But my poor spouse, with a rich lore of Native American............. Eno village, Tuscarora Tribe, Iroquois nation.....(even I know the rendition) ....................well, he's 96% Great Britain. Maybe more; he was in such shock that he still hasn't recovered . Oddly enough, there were issues at that time about being Native American so not something you would think would get made up and with such authentic story. I tried to cheer him up that perhaps he was abducted at a young age or his parents weren't really his for some other reason but that didn't help. He feels very betrayed and doesn't even want to do any thing more with a tree because he feels his family were not exactly truthful. (which I can relate to because if someone makes up these stories, what else was not true that one was told???? I mean there IS a Santa Claus, isn't there????)

In some ways, it all is funny; in some ways it is not. I know that prior to doing my DNA , I wasn't going to be surprised if I wasn't my parents' offspring . I had found so much researching my tree that either didn't check out or that was totally different than anything I had been told. Realizing that people were institutionalized for various reasons at that time, I am wondering how many people are finding family members (not necessarily the immediate line but close) that were in and out of asylums; family members that vanish, never to be seen again though sometimes a newspaper cites their reappearance 30 years later; miracle children born 6 months premature and survive, regardless of the year..................I don't think parents have to tell their kids everything but geez, at a point in life, one would think honesty with family would take place, particularly when family members went through certain situations and figured they were the only black sheep ever to be born into such a well-born group of people.

Sigh, to anyone who starts searching, you can count on finding something to slap you upside the head. I haven't figured out how some families have so much documentation of events and others just have a lot of fires..................a n unusual number of fires. Tough to lose so much documentation . And I guess the courthouses all burned as well................
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:22 AM
 
4,113 posts, read 3,453,068 times
Reputation: 8197
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzfroggez View Post
It is so odd. I had just the opposite of you. I spent the first 28-30 years of my life thinking my grandfather on my mom's side was of French descent and the name was "Bien" as in "tres bien, merci" (Alsace-Lorraine was the hometown) . I didn't find out until my late twenties that my grandfather was Jewish, but the French story held. Now, at age 64, I find my mother's paternal line all came from various parts of Germany (and no where NEAR Alsace-Lorraine so not just an occupation issue); that Bien is not pronounced the French way but is "BEAN"; that basically nothing I was told about my heritage had an ounce of truth to it. All of us are scratching our heads as to who started all the myths. Kind of weird when you have pronounced your mother's maiden name and your grandparents last name incorrectly your entire life. I feel like a fraud.....

But my poor spouse, with a rich lore of Native American............. Eno village, Tuscarora Tribe, Iroquois nation.....(even I know the rendition) ....................well, he's 96% Great Britain. Maybe more; he was in such shock that he still hasn't recovered . Oddly enough, there were issues at that time about being Native American so not something you would think would get made up and with such authentic story. I tried to cheer him up that perhaps he was abducted at a young age or his parents weren't really his for some other reason but that didn't help. He feels very betrayed and doesn't even want to do any thing more with a tree because he feels his family were not exactly truthful. (which I can relate to because if someone makes up these stories, what else was not true that one was told???? I mean there IS a Santa Claus, isn't there????)

In some ways, it all is funny; in some ways it is not. I know that prior to doing my DNA , I wasn't going to be surprised if I wasn't my parents' offspring . I had found so much researching my tree that either didn't check out or that was totally different than anything I had been told. Realizing that people were institutionalized for various reasons at that time, I am wondering how many people are finding family members (not necessarily the immediate line but close) that were in and out of asylums; family members that vanish, never to be seen again though sometimes a newspaper cites their reappearance 30 years later; miracle children born 6 months premature and survive, regardless of the year..................I don't think parents have to tell their kids everything but geez, at a point in life, one would think honesty with family would take place, particularly when family members went through certain situations and figured they were the only black sheep ever to be born into such a well-born group of people.

Sigh, to anyone who starts searching, you can count on finding something to slap you upside the head. I haven't figured out how some families have so much documentation of events and others just have a lot of fires..................a n unusual number of fires. Tough to lose so much documentation . And I guess the courthouses all burned as well................
I think just to be certain, I would get dna testing done from another company to compare results with. It seems odd that you both would have such huge departures from family histories.
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