TOP 10 MISTAKES

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Top 10 Most Common Genealogy Mistakes

Misspelling Genealogy
2
7%
Not Talking To Relatives Soon Enough
16
53%
Trusting Print/Internet Resources
1
3%
Starting Research at Someone Famous
0
No votes
Focusing Completely on Names and Dates
0
No votes
Using Generic Family Histories and Crests
2
7%
Trusting Family Legends
6
20%
Using Exact Spelling when Searching
1
3%
Not Documenting Sources
2
7%
Going Straight to Country of Origin
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 30

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rfornal
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TOP 10 MISTAKES

Postby rfornal » 11 Sep 2006, 02:47

I'd like to open some discussion and get input on what the Top 10 Most Common Genealogy Mistakes are ...

Select the one you believe is the most common ...

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Re: TOP 10 MISTAKES

Postby JamesBianco » 11 Sep 2006, 04:06

great thread Robert, my choice?

Trusting family legends.

If I had a dime for every person that believed a later disproven family legend I'd be a millionaire. The most common are:

1. Native American ancestry : while there are certainly people who can claim a native american in their ancestry, more often than not it is a myth which has been passed down from generation to generation. I have seen at least a few cases where the legend predated 1900. Now after 100 years it must be true!

2. Royal or Noble ancestry: Around the turn of the century, families profiting from the Industrial revolution sought out the "services" of several rather shady "genealogists" to prove their family history as long and noble as the European landed gentry they so wished to impress. Countless volumes of rubbish were published in a short period of time. These books, much like the myths I mentioned above, gain creditibility with each passing decade. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists has been a great starting point in diferentiating between that which is fiction, and those early colonial families who in fact do posess a noble heritage.

People are often hard headed when family folklore is disproven, even disbelieving actual documentation over what great-grandmother told them as a child. I can see how in a way, but still it is frustrating at times.

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Re: TOP 10 MISTAKES

Postby rfornal » 11 Sep 2006, 04:29

I went with not talking with the relatives soon enough.

In my family line, there were two people with near photographic memory that had been drilled in the family history since birth ... their parents took them out the the cemetary every sunday for a walk and more stories of their lineage.

By the time I got around to being more interested, one had passed away and the other had started developing alzheimers and passed away himself soon thereafter. My grandmother who knew the stories, but couldn't give the details that her brothers could would tell me, "that story was right but all the names were wrong."

So much was lost ... probably forever ...

The stories ... legends ... are easier to disprove if you know what they are to begin with.

:)

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Re: TOP 10 MISTAKES

Postby mfjp » 11 Sep 2006, 06:00

me too...

I went with not talking with the relatives soon enough....

My own step-mother/blood aunt who raised me from when I was 18 mo old... had a fetish for calling me names of her ancestors when she got mad at me... she also knew all the names of the brigantes who made quite the stir in Abbruzzi...

It wasn't till after she died I had started to do some research... and discovered.. hey these people were real !!! Including Chiavone...

She would have been a wonderful person to research with...

Maria :P

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Re: TOP 10 MISTAKES

Postby vj » 11 Sep 2006, 06:13

I also went with family lore.
(yup, #1 applies to my family)
Valarie :wink:

My favorite author on the subject Sharon De Bartolo Carmack,
some excerpts:
The Cherokee Indian Princess Myth
It's always a Cherokee princess, almost never Navajo or Apache or Pueblo or Lumbee.
The Three Brothers Myth
It's always three brothers who immigrated to America, never two or four or five or six
The Stowaway Myth
For some reason, it is so much more romantic to have an ancestor who came to America as a stowaway rather than a paying passenger
The Claim-to-Fame Myth
Everyone who has the surname Bradford or Alden is related to William Bradford and John Alden of Mayflower fame, right?
The Wrong Ethnic Identity Myth
All Germans are Hessians who fought in the American Revolution. All French are Huguenots
The Ellis Island Baptism Myth
This is the myth that an immigrant ancestor's surname was changed by officials during processing at Ellis Island.

the entire article here: http://www.genealogy.com/90_carmack.html

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Re: TOP 10 MISTAKES

Postby nuccia » 11 Sep 2006, 07:07

What a great topic!!!

In our family the problem was (and to some degree still is) thast no one talked about "the bad stuff"...sometimes they didn't even talk about the good stuff either until they wanted you to do something..Then it was..

"When I was growing up we did things like this and we weren't given a choice".....

Of course, sex before marriage was unheard of and yet we now find out many of our relatives had children out of wedlock or were forced into marriage because of unexpected pregnancies. And the affairs that went on in these small towns...and everyone knew it was going on but kept quiet. Sometimes mistresses would even have lunch together with the wives of the man...how weird is that. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Of course now that I'm older and am married with my own children, and I have the proof, everyone just shrugs and says.."It was different back then".

Unless of course you're my father...he still denies everything wasn't perfect...the only difference is that he laughs about and pipes up.

Go figure...

Oh...and one other thing...Not everyone helped with the Titanic just because they came over around the same time. I can't begin to tell you how many people swear they had a relative that was part of helping the survivors. They have no proof and there's no documentation, but hey, someone said they were there so it must be true. :roll: :roll:

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Re: TOP 10 MISTAKES

Postby JamesBianco » 11 Sep 2006, 08:06

nuccia wrote:
Oh...and one other thing...Not everyone helped with the Titanic just because they came over around the same time. I can't begin to tell you how many people swear they had a relative that was part of helping the survivors. They have no proof and there's no documentation, but hey, someone said they were there so it must be true. :roll: :roll:


You aint kiddin'!! I forgot about Titanic. Nevemind helping, you should read the people who show up on the Encyclopedia Titanica forum wanting to find more information on their great grandmother who was on board! She also usually was a stow away (the reason the appropriate record can't be found) or using an assumed name. The experts over there have a field day.

:lol:

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Re: TOP 10 MISTAKES

Postby rfornal » 11 Sep 2006, 08:13

Now, there I have to differ slightly:

In our family the problem was (and to some degree still is) thast no one talked about "the bad stuff"...


The relatives on my father's side seemed to relish "the bad stuff," for instance, "the horse theif who was strung up." Thankfully, it gave me some information and amazingly, for the most part, they got the stories right ...

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Re: TOP 10 MISTAKES

Postby wldspirit » 11 Sep 2006, 08:32

"Not talking to relatives soon enough"........I knew when I was 14 that one day I wanted to map out our family history......history being one of my favorite subjects......the key word being one day......so while I did listen to family stories, and occasionaly eavesdropped on stories I was never meant to know.....I didn't pay alot of attention to the details....always thought there would be time............my grandfather died last year and I hadn't seen him in three years. He would always ask me "When you coming to Florida to see me kid, ya know I'm not gonna live forever" and I would say "one day I'll get down there gramps"......but one day never came. All of that missed opportunity to sit and reminisce.....

Moral of the story........Never put off tommorow what you can do today........
Lisa

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Re: TOP 10 MISTAKES

Postby elba » 11 Sep 2006, 18:31

I supose many of us suffer from the often less than honest accounts of past relatives. I've got a grandmother who, to all intents and purposes, was either a sad widow or a 'wanton harlot'..... Yes indeed - my Naughty Nonna Nina's accounts to her daughter (my mother) about her roots would make even your eyes water. :roll: :roll: :roll:
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Re: TOP 10 MISTAKES

Postby cerg » 11 Sep 2006, 18:48

Hello Everyone!

I went with " Trusting Family Legends"

For as long as I came remember and people in the family still tell the story today, that my Great Grandfather came to this Country on teh Carpathia and if he would not have jumped ship in New York than he would have still been on the ship when they went to rescue the Titanic. I always believed this story, I figured why would somebody make up a story about almost being there to help in the rescue. Well, I guess that my Great Grandfather felt it was a good story. The rest of the family believes so too. I do believe that he may have came here on the Carpathia, but a year after the Titanic sunk. He may not have even been on the Carpathia at all. The only proof I have that he was is a Record of Arrival. The manifest has been searched and he was not located. I am not looking forward to telling the family that this big family story is not true!

I would also have to agree with Nuccia and Bob. On my mother's side of the family NOBODY will talk about anything. My mom has an Aunt that we have both tried talking to about the family history, all she will tell us is " Bill did not want the talking about the family, it should just be put to rest" Bill was her husband that passed away 7 years ago! Now I understand respesting the wishes of your husband living or not, but all we were asking her for was some names and dates.

I also think that another big mistake would be not being a part of this forum. Everyone here was so much knowledge on so many different subjects!!! Great researchers for a great forum!!

James, did you see the guy who was 104 years old and claiming that he was a crewmember on the Carpathia? He was even interviewed by a newspaper, later they found out that he was never on the ship.

Kristina

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Re: TOP 10 MISTAKES

Postby joyse » 12 Sep 2006, 01:32

oops! I just saw the poll at the top and put in what MY biggest mistake had been. Then I read the question!!!

My answer was not asking the relatives sooner.

Joy

:roll: :roll: :roll:

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Re: TOP 10 MISTAKES

Postby rfornal » 12 Sep 2006, 02:06

The conversation is as important as answering the poll ... Thanks for taking the time to respond!

My biggest mistake is also what I've seen is the most common

... I've just been thinking that maybe I needed to add something like not having clear enough goals ...

:)

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Re: TOP 10 MISTAKES

Postby vj » 12 Sep 2006, 02:26

If you added it, I would change my vote!
Valarie :)

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Re: TOP 10 MISTAKES

Postby rfornal » 12 Sep 2006, 02:38

Not sure how to add it or if I can change a vote, but thanks for the comment ...

[hr]

... another thought that fits in Not Including Your Story ...

We all generally include our basic information, but how many of us include our story (as well as the story of our research) for future generations. I think I'd rather include my story instead of the questionable stories I hear about some of my family members.


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