I have a tendency of working mainly on my Dad’s side of the family. I had a horrible relationship with my Mother due to her mental problems. I believe this is the reason I do not feel compelled to really dig deep into my “Smith/McGowan” side. When I first started using Ancestry.com for my main Family Trees site I was still new in the Genealogy world. I was one of those people who thought the information I found in an ancestors file was correct, so I spent months adding any and all data I found to my trees. I added thousands of names all the way back to 500’s.
When I became a Professional Genealogist, I learned about documentation and citing source information and I realized the mistake I made by doing that. I have literally spent the last several years cleaning up my trees in between jobs. I felt pretty confident that I had done a great job. That is until yesterday.
I got one of those “shaky leaf’s” attached to an ancestor on my Mothers’ side. It led to another one, then another one and soon I was making an unsettling discovery. Apparently, I had grossly neglected cleaning up this side of the family! I spent many hours deleting name after name! As I was doing this I found that not only had I added unsubstantiated ancestors but also people who were not even related to me. I have read lots of posts about these but I had never seen any before. Here are 4 that I found.
James Everett Shoaf
husband of 2nd cousin of wife of 3rd cousin 2x removed
William B Howard
husband of aunt of wife of 3rd cousin 2x removed
husband of 1st cousin 1x removed of wife of 3rd cousin 2x removed
wife of nephew of wife of brother-in-law of 2nd cousin 3x removed
I must admit, I had a good laugh when I read these. Although I enjoyed the humor in this I really wish I would have known about not adding information that have no proof or sources cited to my trees. It was a good lesson to learn and I gladly pass it on to anyone who will listen.
Have you ever added someone to your tree with making sure they belonged?
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.