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Old 04-18-2018, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Coast of Somewhere Beautiful
2,387 posts, read 4,811,957 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alandros View Post
...which now people reference and think just because it's old it's somehow a valid source
Careful, I resemble that remark. A tough lesson to learn the hard way...
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Old 04-18-2018, 06:51 PM
 
3,203 posts, read 1,953,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
Yes, me too. Sometimes you look at those trees and they're all identical, as if they all copied from the same source. And then, of course, the trees that go back to the 9th century or so. It IS possible, but if they're going to do that, I'd really like some sources, that's all. It's not about how far back you can get. You want it to be correct.
Those trees are every bit as accurate as the genealogies in the Old Testament . And I HAVE seen genealogies that literally (and earnestly!) go back to Adam & Eve.

I'm sure the old 'look up 200 year old deeds and wills at the county courthouse yourself" works fine in New England when your family has always lived within 50 miles of where they settled in the 1600's.

Unfortunately, most of us not only have ancestors spread out over thousands of miles and multiple continents, but many of the physical records are either in deep storage or no longer exist at all. Sometimes the choice comes down to taking a leap of faith that some genealogical fact is correct, or accepting that you can NEVER find an answer with the resources still available; an unbreakable wall.

Really, isn't the whole point of genealogy to allow you a kinship with the past and with living people who may share a common history some time in the past? Not just to catalog dead people?

I know most will disagree with this, but if you have done what you can, does it REALLY matter if you have the correct Johannes and Katarina Schmidt from Hanover, Germany married in 1611? It's the study of your roots and the feeling of connection that's important. It's not a contest that you 'lose' by accepting that the past is more complicated than the paper trail can prove.
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Old 04-18-2018, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Cumberland
5,265 posts, read 8,485,082 times
Reputation: 3707
Quote:
Originally Posted by rugrats2001 View Post
Those trees are every bit as accurate as the genealogies in the Old Testament . And I HAVE seen genealogies that literally (and earnestly!) go back to Adam & Eve.

I'm sure the old 'look up 200 year old deeds and wills at the county courthouse yourself" works fine in New England when your family has always lived within 50 miles of where they settled in the 1600's.

Unfortunately, most of us not only have ancestors spread out over thousands of miles and multiple continents, but many of the physical records are either in deep storage or no longer exist at all. Sometimes the choice comes down to taking a leap of faith that some genealogical fact is correct, or accepting that you can NEVER find an answer with the resources still available; an unbreakable wall.

Really, isn't the whole point of genealogy to allow you a kinship with the past and with living people who may share a common history some time in the past? Not just to catalog dead people?

I know most will disagree with this, but if you have done what you can, does it REALLY matter if you have the correct Johannes and Katarina Schmidt from Hanover, Germany married in 1611? It's the study of your roots and the feeling of connection that's important. It's not a contest that you 'lose' by accepting that the past is more complicated than the paper trail can prove.
I think the super-serious genealogy is for people who REALLY want to know the truth, period, full stop AND have the means to gather the information. I want to know which dead ancestors contributed to me being me, and since I am one of the "200 years and way less than 50 miles" people, I have that ability on most branches of my family tree.

Now, with my wife? She's Greek. I can't read it. They don't have cemeteries on her family's island (too small, they dig 'em up and put the bones in boxes after a few years,) and if there are any records, they are likely split between Turkey, Italy, and Greece. In her case it will likely be impossible to trace back beyond the memories of the living (which are pretty good, btw) and even then the oral memories are greatly aided by the naming traditions, which are not always accurate because of novel names, child deaths, etc. I love doing genealogy and family history with her family, but we do it understanding we will end up with a rough sketch, not a finished Vermeer.
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Old 04-18-2018, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
9,269 posts, read 14,335,220 times
Reputation: 12085
I'm sure a lot of people just don't have the time and/or money to do proper research. I try not to let it get to me. What bothers me more is people who may have the time and money to do proper research, but stubbornly refuse. Once got in an argument with someone who insisted their tree went back to BC. I pointed out even professionals can't genealogically link the middle ages to antiquity with any surety, and this person had only been doing this for 2 months. Several people backed me up, but nope, this person just would NOT hear of it.
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Old 04-18-2018, 09:15 PM
 
Location: The High Desert
8,198 posts, read 4,482,911 times
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I have five 3-ring binders full of paper trail but I haven't looked at them in five years. There is so much available online that my discoveries have long ago outpaced anything I could do previously. Yesterday I found (online) four previously unknown siblings to my grandmother who had four siblings we knew about. I figured there were five kids total but there were at least nine. Only three lived to raise their own families.
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Old 04-19-2018, 09:30 AM
 
Location: VT; previously MD & NJ
4,305 posts, read 2,034,135 times
Reputation: 9807
Quote:
Originally Posted by rugrats2001 View Post
Those trees are every bit as accurate as the genealogies in the Old Testament . And I HAVE seen genealogies that literally (and earnestly!) go back to Adam & Eve.

I'm sure the old 'look up 200 year old deeds and wills at the county courthouse yourself" works fine in New England when your family has always lived within 50 miles of where they settled in the 1600's.

Unfortunately, most of us not only have ancestors spread out over thousands of miles and multiple continents, but many of the physical records are either in deep storage or no longer exist at all. Sometimes the choice comes down to taking a leap of faith that some genealogical fact is correct, or accepting that you can NEVER find an answer with the resources still available; an unbreakable wall.

Really, isn't the whole point of genealogy to allow you a kinship with the past and with living people who may share a common history some time in the past? Not just to catalog dead people?

I know most will disagree with this, but if you have done what you can, does it REALLY matter if you have the correct Johannes and Katarina Schmidt from Hanover, Germany married in 1611? It's the study of your roots and the feeling of connection that's important. It's not a contest that you 'lose' by accepting that the past is more complicated than the paper trail can prove.
I agree with the above. It's ok to do the best you can, and accept that you may never know this or that particular fact. Maybe the family tree programs need an option to mark a particular entry as a "maybe," perhaps showing it in a different color.
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Old 04-19-2018, 10:31 AM
bg7
 
7,697 posts, read 8,615,237 times
Reputation: 15152
Quote:
Originally Posted by rugrats2001 View Post
Those trees are every bit as accurate as the genealogies in the Old Testament . And I HAVE seen genealogies that literally (and earnestly!) go back to Adam & Eve.

I'm sure the old 'look up 200 year old deeds and wills at the county courthouse yourself" works fine in New England when your family has always lived within 50 miles of where they settled in the 1600's.

Unfortunately, most of us not only have ancestors spread out over thousands of miles and multiple continents, but many of the physical records are either in deep storage or no longer exist at all. Sometimes the choice comes down to taking a leap of faith that some genealogical fact is correct, or accepting that you can NEVER find an answer with the resources still available; an unbreakable wall.

Really, isn't the whole point of genealogy to allow you a kinship with the past and with living people who may share a common history some time in the past? Not just to catalog dead people?

I know most will disagree with this, but if you have done what you can, does it REALLY matter if you have the correct Johannes and Katarina Schmidt from Hanover, Germany married in 1611? It's the study of your roots and the feeling of connection that's important. It's not a contest that you 'lose' by accepting that the past is more complicated than the paper trail can prove.


I have a tree that was relatively easy on one side for me to verify back to the 1540s in England. On my other parent's side it was straightforward back to 1770s and then it joined up with another family who had paid a professional genealogist to research back, including many visits to Kirks in Scotland, and deeds and probate records, and in the National Archives of Scotland, who was able to verify back to the 1200's - even finding out how my parent's family name, which is a profession, was awarded to the first member of the family to hold the name. It was independently confirmed by nearly the same story in 1700s' books (Google books, text-searchable presently) in England written by people who had the geneaology hobby back in the day. Some countries (and I'm thinking of England and Scotland, specifically) have a wealth of different types of records, more and more of which are digitized every year, and even the hobby of geneaology itself is centuries old there. Of course, there are still many dead ends but as the tree spreads out the further you go back there are more chances to get at least one person very far back. And it is interesting to know about them beyond simply their names - we had wheelwrights, blacksmiths and watchmakers in our family in the 1700s. I even know what my great x5 grandfather & grandmother on my mum's side looked like - on account of them being wealthy enough at the time to have their portraits painted, and which have been scanned up onto the web by the lucky side of the family that got to inherit them via a chain. To be clear - he looked grumpy and her warm and friendly.

Last edited by bg7; 04-19-2018 at 10:40 AM..
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Old 04-19-2018, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Coast of Somewhere Beautiful
2,387 posts, read 4,811,957 times
Reputation: 5996
Quote:
Originally Posted by bg7 View Post
I have a tree that was relatively easy on one side for me to verify back to the 1540s in England...
Isn't that a great feeling! My paternal side is well documented back to Scotland in the late 1600's.

And then one day, I decided to take a Y-DNA test. Oh my, the curves life can throw at us.
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Old 04-20-2018, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
9,269 posts, read 14,335,220 times
Reputation: 12085
Quote:
Originally Posted by bg7 View Post
I have a tree that was relatively easy on one side for me to verify back to the 1540s in England. On my other parent's side it was straightforward back to 1770s and then it joined up with another family who had paid a professional genealogist to research back, including many visits to Kirks in Scotland, and deeds and probate records, and in the National Archives of Scotland, who was able to verify back to the 1200's - even finding out how my parent's family name, which is a profession, was awarded to the first member of the family to hold the name. It was independently confirmed by nearly the same story in 1700s' books (Google books, text-searchable presently) in England written by people who had the geneaology hobby back in the day. Some countries (and I'm thinking of England and Scotland, specifically) have a wealth of different types of records, more and more of which are digitized every year, and even the hobby of geneaology itself is centuries old there. Of course, there are still many dead ends but as the tree spreads out the further you go back there are more chances to get at least one person very far back. And it is interesting to know about them beyond simply their names - we had wheelwrights, blacksmiths and watchmakers in our family in the 1700s. I even know what my great x5 grandfather & grandmother on my mum's side looked like - on account of them being wealthy enough at the time to have their portraits painted, and which have been scanned up onto the web by the lucky side of the family that got to inherit them via a chain. To be clear - he looked grumpy and her warm and friendly.
Lineage books are not always 100% reliable either. Often, they are working off of primary sources like church records, but the book itself is a secondary source and therefore much more subject to error. Just like family trees, you're relying on the research of the author(s) of the book and therefore the info is only as good as their research is. Don't get me wrong, I still use lineage books, but I am careful what I take from them.
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Old 04-23-2018, 04:06 AM
 
877 posts, read 894,996 times
Reputation: 1227
Quote:
Originally Posted by rugrats2001 View Post
Those trees are every bit as accurate as the genealogies in the Old Testament . And I HAVE seen genealogies that literally (and earnestly!) go back to Adam & Eve.

I'm sure the old 'look up 200 year old deeds and wills at the county courthouse yourself" works fine in New England when your family has always lived within 50 miles of where they settled in the 1600's.

Unfortunately, most of us not only have ancestors spread out over thousands of miles and multiple continents, but many of the physical records are either in deep storage or no longer exist at all. Sometimes the choice comes down to taking a leap of faith that some genealogical fact is correct, or accepting that you can NEVER find an answer with the resources still available; an unbreakable wall.

Really, isn't the whole point of genealogy to allow you a kinship with the past and with living people who may share a common history some time in the past? Not just to catalog dead people?

I know most will disagree with this, but if you have done what you can, does it REALLY matter if you have the correct Johannes and Katarina Schmidt from Hanover, Germany married in 1611? It's the study of your roots and the feeling of connection that's important. It's not a contest that you 'lose' by accepting that the past is more complicated than the paper trail can prove.
Though I agree with the sentiment that bad genealogies have been around for a long time (it's been highly popular to create genealogies to connect you to significant people for as long as genealogies have been written), the problem I see with this statement

"I know most will disagree with this, but if you have done what you can, does it REALLY matter if you have the correct Johannes and Katarina Schmidt from Hanover, Germany married in 1611? It's the study of your roots and the feeling of connection that's important."

The problem is if you have it wrong, then that connection is purely a feeling and not your roots.
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