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Murphy's Law for Genealogists

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

SueMaid

SueMaid Report 4 Feb 2013 22:00

I thought some of these would strike a note with family historians :-)

When at last after much hard work you have solved the mystery you have been working on for two years, your aunt says, "I could have told you that"

Copies of old newspapers have holes occurring only on the surnames.

The spelling of your European ancestor's name bears no relationship to its current spelling or pronunciation.

No one in your family tree ever did anything noteworthy, owned property, was sued or was named in wills.

You finally find your great grandparent's wedding records and discover that the brides' father was named John Smith

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 4 Feb 2013 22:05

:-D :-D

JoyBoroAngel

JoyBoroAngel Report 4 Feb 2013 22:07

poor muffy has smiths married to smiths :-( :-(

SueMaid

SueMaid Report 4 Feb 2013 22:12

OH has Williams marrying Williams :-(

Here's some more.

The 37 volume, sixteen thousand page history of your county of origin isn't indexed.

You learn that your great aunt's executor just sold her life's collection of family genealogical materials to a flea market dealer "London."

Ink fades and paper deteriorates at a rate inversely proportional to the value of the data recorded.

Wend

Wend Report 4 Feb 2013 22:13

SueM :-D

Spelling of European ancestors' names - YES!

Only noteworthy ones in my tree are from 'im indoors' side :-P

Actually, finding out that I'm quite a mongrel has been a shock :-0

SueMaid

SueMaid Report 4 Feb 2013 22:15

I have no noteworthy ancestors either, Wend :-(

Wend

Wend Report 4 Feb 2013 22:20

Aw, Sue, but we is still 2 classy laydees, eh :-D :-D :-D

SueMaid

SueMaid Report 4 Feb 2013 22:20

But of course Wend :-D

+++DetEcTive+++

+++DetEcTive+++ Report 5 Feb 2013 00:40

"I could have told you that" . Have you been eavesdropping on mother-in-law?
:-D

OneFootInTheGrave

OneFootInTheGrave Report 5 Feb 2013 06:34

The different spellings of ancestors' names is definitely a nightmare :-(

My name is Clusker and I have found numerous variations while tracing my ancestors, a few of these are, Clousker, Cluskie, Mac/McClusker, Mac/McCluskie, Mac/McClaskey, Mac/McClaskie, and Mac/McCloskey, they start of correctly in Ireland as Clusker, arrive in Canada as say McClusker then move to America where they appear as say McCloskey :-S

Many things can be confusing but this genealogy lark for me, takes the biscuit :-)

LadyScozz

LadyScozz Report 5 Feb 2013 06:47

hahaha

My Great-grandfather's name is Thomas Smith, and his father's name is......... you guessed it, John Smith.

John & his wife Margaret had 11 children, two of their daughters married Smiths, who were brothers, James & John.

At least with this lot, there wasn't a problem with the spelling of the name. The rest of my tree makes up for it.

:-D

Wend

Wend Report 5 Feb 2013 07:27

No problem with the spelling of the name Scozz? Not with my Smiths . . . . .

Smith, Smyth or Smythe - take your pick :-S

:-(

LadyScozz

LadyScozz Report 5 Feb 2013 09:16

I've just got Smiths, not the posh ones :-D I've also got Smitham & Naismith/Naysmith...... some of them were recorded as Smith, just to make research easier.

My cousin is convinced that our Clark branch are descended from monks! Lower order monks (who were allowed to marry) who were clerks to the other monks.

I know that one of my ancestors was a bishop....... that's enough! :-0

SueMaid

SueMaid Report 5 Feb 2013 09:29

I've got Johnsons and that's bad enough. I just can't understand why one branch of the family named all their boys William, Thomas Edward with a few Johns and James. Another branch decided Amos and Matthew were nice names and I've had a job deciding who were sons and who were cousins in my direct lines.

DET - I had such trouble finding my maternal great grandmother's second husband. When I finally found him my mother said "well that would be right because my Auntie Lou was a Corbett" :-0

Maryanna

Maryanna Report 5 Feb 2013 09:39

My Dad told me all his Mothers side were Irish, I have found that they started off in Scotland but by 1750 were all in India and stayed there until the early 20th c.

I don't have one Smith in my tree.

One branch liked their Samuels, another thought it would be easiest to stick with William and another lot were very partial to John.

The most fun I have had is with Coles in Devon, the nearest to Smith it seems in that part of the country.

Oh as well as the disappearing gt gt grandmother, why did my gt grandad never mention his fourteen siblings ? M

SueMaid

SueMaid Report 5 Feb 2013 09:44

My father told me that his paternal grandfather turned to some "strange" religion - he was right and I found loads of them in the NonConformist records on Ancestry but all they did was become Baptists - hardly strange :-)

Maryanna

Maryanna Report 5 Feb 2013 10:47

Oh yes, and my Dads grandfather, ( the "Irish " one ) changed his name at least three times. On varying census, when he wasn't in India, gives his place of birth as, Scotland, Ireland, there's a surprise, Somerset and London, he was born in Paddington. Each different place of birth coincides with a name change, lucky his children were more honest, as are his army records.

His father (scottish) was just as bad and seems to have found himself five wives and then called all the children' from each marriage by the same name, including my gt Grandad and his sister. Perhaps he was being Irish when he was married to their mother. Although some died he had two sons and three daughters with the same names at one point. M

+++DetEcTive+++

+++DetEcTive+++ Report 5 Feb 2013 10:49

If he was spending time with each family, he didn't need to worry about calling them the wrong names ;-)

Maryanna

Maryanna Report 5 Feb 2013 10:56

More than likely Det, unfortunately too many if his genes rubbed off onto my Dad !!!!!


M ;-)

JustJohn

JustJohn Report 5 Feb 2013 11:50

I wish sometimes I could go back to early 19th century and attend some of these baptisms - particularly for all my JONES lines.

When the Vicar said "Mr & Mrs Jones, what is the name of the baby?" I would have rushed to the front.

And, just as the mother or father formed the name "Thomas" or "John" in their mouth and were about to speak, I would have blurted out "Methusaleh" or "Boanerges" :-0 :-D :-D