Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Few Things I Have Learned ...

While traveling on this genealogical journey, here are a few things I have learned:

People tend to list their children from the first-born to the last-born. This holds true when writing their wills or in general conversation.

Not all cemeteries are listed on Find A Grave. For example, I have recorded and photographed several tombstones in a Wilson Family Cemetery in Crittenden County, Kentucky, but, when I tried to submit the information, there is a Wilson Cemetery listed, but not the one I recorded in the Bells Mines community.

Be aware that parts of microfilmed records may be missing.  Part of the 1880 Crittenden County census has not been microfilmed . The missing portion is Piney Precinct and includes approximately 300 families. Those who died from June 1879 through May 1880 are found on the 1880 Mortality Schedule, but not on the original census.

Giving the name of a famous person to a child does not necessarily mean the families are related. Often the name was used to honor a prominent person. Why else would I have Christopher Columbus, Henry Clay and George Washington in my Joyce family? Then there was Lycurgus Mino Joyce, my grandfather, who was named for a prominent resident of Lawrence County, Tennessee, where the Joyce family lived before the Civil War.

At least half of those family legends passed down in your family will turn out to be untrue. The untrue part will be the story of the three brothers who went in different directions. Also, don't believe the story that your ancestor was surely Indian because he/she had high cheek bones. Certain to be false is the story of your ancestor who was an Indian princess.

Be skeptical of the legend that says your ancestor lived on a fine plantation in western Kentucky. There were a lot of farms in this area, but fine plantations were few and far between.

Bottom line - find proof before you put your information into the For Sure category.

What are some of the things you have learned?


Linda McCauley said...

Great list! Here's one I learned early on - Just because something is in a published family history book doesn't make it true.

Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG said...

You are absolutely correct, Linda! I think most of us have been stung by that assumption.

Nathan said...

How very true about the story of 3 brothers going their seperate ways. We have one of those in our family, of Peter Julius Lindorff coming to Australia from Denmark, while his two brothers went to the USA. I've found his family in Denmark, but no evidence of the brothers leaving. Well, not yet anyway.