It’s easy enough I suppose to get a little carried away when you begin searching for long lost relatives but sometimes the sheer amount of feckin ignorance leaves me dumbfounded.
We’re back again to the English people who travelled to America in the early 1400’s. Hordes of them...all beetling across the ocean to set up home in Philadelphia of all places...it makes me want to cry in pure frustration.
Another favourite is not being able to do sums. I can’t cope with even basic numerals but can manage to grasp that if John was born in 1488 there is something very amiss if his father was born in 1567.
Why don’t these people look first instead of blindly adding more and more people to their tree whose parents were younger than their children and who set sail for pastures new over a hundred years before the Mayflower...and I know some merchants made the voyage before the Mayflower...but not as many as you see on peoples pages on Ancestry.
The dates can be awkward...they weren’t always accurately written down...and to be honest a few years either way doesn’t matter...but a hundred years counts as a major error. If they aren’t sure then why don’t they put ‘about’ ‘thought to be’...you can always go back and change it later.
Then there are those eejits who put Mrs. Don’t know the first name but we know she was married so we’ll call her Mrs Smith...mediaeval married women weren’t called by the prefix Mrs. They weren’t always legally married either but that’s neither here nor there.
Of course some records are plain infuriating...birth records in particular. William, son of John. And where is Williams Mother...she doesn’t count so she isn’t on the record. And if you happen to really need Williams Mothers name that absence can drive you to despair.
Once burials began to be recorded they are much the same...Widow Smith buried today. No mention of either her first name or of her husbands...but if it was a man being buried, then it would be, William Smith, of this parish, buried in the forenoon on today’s date. Except it would be written in a cramped hand squashed up against everyone else who was buried in the forenoon.
In case you’ve ever had a passing thought about how small the average churchyard is and then done a reckoning of how many people in that parish have been buried since 1400 for instance...they were stacked up one atop another. So if you wanted to dig up your 10th great grandfather you’d have to move an awful lot of other people before you reached him...
Agnes...see yesterdays blog for Agnes...she would have been buried in the interior of the church because she was a person of some importance. I haven’t looked yet, but there might be a record of where her grave is...
So trawling Ancestry can be a minefield of horrible glaring mistakes on the part of those Americans who didn’t think to look up for information about when America was colonised and who never achieved top marks when it came to a maths test...it is a shame because that misinformation simply throws their family trees into turmoil and doesn’t mean anything either.
Can’t blame them for not including the mothers on the baptism registers of course...it was the mind-set of the church at the time.
Onwards and upwards...