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Old 07-16-2013, 07:16 PM
 
11,427 posts, read 19,438,504 times
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Been there, Tracy.... my father in law. Now -- in his defense, his father died when he and his brother were young, and I think the tall tales told might have been stories from his mother to keep dear father alive in the boys memories..

He insisted his grandfather Alex came over with his wife Hannah and came through Ellis Island.

Nope -- when I got to researching (after Pop's death) I found that his grandfather was here during he Ellis Island years. Born in Ohio. And Hannah? Part of pre-revolutionary war line.

The part about being related to President McKinley was true -- he was a first cousin a few removed.

BUT -- there was a kernel of truth. An Alex WAS the first over here. In 1803, he was here and his wife Mary gave birth to a son David in Bedford County PA.

When I get things all nice and cleared up in my tree, I'll start on Hubby's tree again to find the kissing cousins link -- I just have a hunch we're very distantly related.....
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:11 PM
 
7,282 posts, read 8,382,550 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVcook View Post
Trust me...we've ALL had them in one way or another...

And really Mack Knife???...just because someone is venting their frustrations is no reason to be so snarky...sheesh!

RVcook
Did you bother to read what the OP started with? Frustration? Oh come on.

Okay then.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:28 PM
 
Location: 2016 Clown Car...fka: Wisconsin
738 posts, read 770,129 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
Did you bother to read what the OP started with? Frustration? Oh come on.

Okay then.
Yes...I did read it, and it is my observation that this is a quite common frustration among serious genealogy/family researchers when they pour tremendous effort into dotting the "i"s and crossing the "t"s only to find out at some future date, that all their work is flawed because of one, (dare I say...) fabricated error. Yep...really frustrating!

'Experts' tell newbies that they should start with their families and the stories that are shared through the generations and so newbies place all their faith into the 'knowledge' that holds these vast storehouses of information. And the stories are told...again, and again, and again. And with each successive telling, they become embellished, validated and in the end...conveniently true for the family.

To the person telling the story, it seems like a harmless thing...after all, it's only a story. But explain that to the researcher who has been trying to break down a brick wall for over 10 years...ordering countless documents...viewing roll after roll of microfilm and paying annual subscription rates to pay-for sites in an effort to pull together substantiating evidence of proof. And then...nothing; no validity, no truth...nothing. Yep...really frustrating!

You are obviously fortunate never to have experienced this level of frustration.

RVcook
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Chambersburg PA
1,739 posts, read 1,689,684 times
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My dad's German family came over around 1720. We still ate Sauerkraut etc. Some families hold onto things longer, nothing wrong with that :-)
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:23 AM
 
5,945 posts, read 12,719,242 times
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I was told a story by a relative about how one of my great-aunts was a school teacher in a little Baptist Indian school in Vireton, Oklahoma in the early 1900's. There was a really awful tornado that swept through (remains one of the worst in American history) and the way the story was being passed-down (from one person, to the next person, to me...) the story went that my great-aunt was able to shelter and protect all her little schoolchildren, she saved them all and was a hero.

Actually, she was one of the only survivors. I found news clippings and stories through Ancestry.com and cemetery records... it's really sad. I haven't been able to find out if all the children died, but from the articles it seems so. When they found my great-aunt, they thought she was dead, too, but they took her to the hospital and she survived.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:14 AM
 
11,686 posts, read 13,078,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
....Has anyone else believed in false family lore, only to have it create unnecessary brick-walls in your family tree research? Do you sometimes want to strangle your family members as a result?
My mother was the arch-control freak and prevaricator of all parents. Everything was edited to her liking, and that certainly included our family history. Fortunately she had three older sisters, who after my mother moved to Florida became forthcoming with their stories. And quite fortunately I became the possessor of the her grandfather's bible with its very complete family pages, and then I was off and running.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:34 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,216 posts, read 12,805,062 times
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None of our family lores which have proved false were that detailed - they were just stuff like "we're related to the guy that Pike's Peak is named after". Not true.

The other one was that we were related to Queen Wilhelmina of Holland, which isn't true, but there's actually a reason for this and the story is now a part of our family history. Apparently, my 3rd great grandfather William Mills was told by a lawyer that he was descended from Anneke Jans Bogardus (google her name, you'll get a lot of results), who herself was descended from Netherlands royalty. During William's life, there was a bunch of law suits going on by the descendants of Anneke claiming that the land on which now sits Trinity Church in NYC should legally belong to them. This lawyer supposedly drew up William's genealogy showing how he was descended from Anneke so he could claim compensation from this church in these law suits. Unfortunately, the courts ruled against Anneke's descendants and the pedigree the lawyer had done is lost. I can not even confirm that William was indeed a descendant of Anneke - he might have been, he might not have been - I can't rule out the possibility that this lawyer was just falsifying the documents to make some cash from these law suits. However, the important bit is that Anneke's link to royalty has pretty much been debunked. So even if we are descendants of Anneke, we are not related to Queen Wilhelmina.

However, it was passed down many generations that we were Netherlands royalty - apparently my great grandfather used to say he only married my great grandmother because he thought she was a princess. My dad makes that joke about my mom now too. And my grandmother said that when she was a little girl, she would have daydreams that that Holland tunnel in NY actually went to Holland and that she would be the first one through it after it was built and she'd be welcomed in Holland as a royal princess. My grandmother had an active imagination, even as an adult.

So even if it's all BS, the lore has been a part of our family for so long that it kind of now is a part of our family history, even if it's not a part of our genealogy.

No one has ever just randomly made up names though.
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Old 07-17-2013, 04:51 AM
 
Location: In a chartreuse microbus
3,844 posts, read 5,104,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post

...


Has anyone else believed in false family lore, only to have it create unnecessary brick-walls in your family tree research? Do you sometimes want to strangle your family members as a result?
I had a relative tell us kids that he only had an eighth grade education. Years later, I found an old yearbook at the library that had his junior year photo in it. Maybe he meant he just stopped paying attention after the eighth grade.

Didn't make me want to strangle him, but then, I wasn't looking for pertinent family history. I just wonder why he would discredit himself that way.

FWIW, I never liked sauerkraut as a kid either. Sorry about your wild goose chase.
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:57 AM
 
9,209 posts, read 18,043,938 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
Did you bother to read what the OP started with? Frustration? Oh come on.

Okay then.
You obviously don't understand the subtlety of a tongue-in-cheek rant. You must be loads of fun. do you rent yourself out for parties?
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Old 07-17-2013, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
8,216 posts, read 12,805,062 times
Reputation: 10451
Quote:
Originally Posted by RVcook View Post
'Experts' tell newbies that they should start with their families and the stories that are shared through the generations and so newbies place all their faith into the 'knowledge' that holds these vast storehouses of information. And the stories are told...again, and again, and again. And with each successive telling, they become embellished, validated and in the end...conveniently true for the family.
Well, it is still the best place to start but I do always remind beginners that family stories can be wrong too.
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