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WARNING- Check Your Sources!

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Location
Sussex
#1
Dear Fellow Researchers,

I would just like to offer a warning for those starting out researching their ancestors.

Over the last 4/5 months I have invested a lot of time and money researching my family.

I joined an online website, purchased around 12 certificates and spent hours compiling my family tree with everything including, births,baptisms,marriages,children,census entries,occupations,deaths and burials etc. For 8 generations totaling 192+ people (including up to date/living)

I hit a brick wall when I couldn't find out where my Grandparents had died and was getting frustrated as you can imagine.

My savior in the first instance was my dear wife who purchased a new ancestry magazine which I found to be very good so I wrote to the editor to tell her so and cheekily asked if they could help me sort out my problem.

Imagine my surprise when I was (a) contacted by both the editor Laura BERRY and the Chief Editor Nick BARRETT (how's that for service eh!) and (b) I was told that the Grandparents (and consequently the 155 people who preceded him ) we not related to me at all!

I was very p'd off as you can imagine and just wanted to warn you guys to check all your sources even if,as I had,you are given documents from family members.

My particular document was my "fathers" birth certificate given to me by his ex-wife-my mother,who one would think would know her own husbands date of birth...!

At least my story in going to be used in the magazine as a warning to others. (my 15mins of fame ?)

I recommend this magazine as it is completely different to the others in layout and content and I can vouch personally for the experts and staff. (and for the cynics out there-NO I don't work for them, I'm just genuinely grateful for their help so I think they deserve a mention)

The mag is Your Family History, they do have a website but I'm not sure if I can post a link here.

If you contact them you could always say Martin B referred you.
(thanks,can't think of how to thank them other then recommending them)

Good Luck with any future research and PLEASE don't make the mistake I did.

Regards, Martin
 

p.risboy

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In Ireland, but born Bucks.
#2
Hi Martin,

Some of us have been there done that, I would think. But as you say...."Check you own sources".

Thanks for the warning. So beware newbies, me included.redf)

Steve.:)
 

duckweed

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#3
What a shock for you. I know it would seem that relatives would know but memories are sometimes innacurate and sometimes there has been a relative who had deliberately misled.
Its a bit like Family search the Mormon site. You have to start somewhere and its good to use relatives info and family search but always back up what you are told with hard evidence, certificates, photocopies of original documents etc.

I had a long discussion with someone who swore blind that my relative came from Retford. It was only when I got the marriage certificate I could prove as I had always thought that she didn't. I've had tales of a relative who tragically died at a young age who turned out to have lived to a ripe old age.
 

nainmaddie

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Exeter
#4
Hi bootnecksbs

We have all made mistakes in the past, and hopefully we learn from them.

I was lucky and had a fantastic teacher in our Family History class locally some many years ago. Double check everything was his motto, and do not take the IGI as gospel but check all parish records locally. Needless to say , this was before the days of the Internet.

I made 2 basic errors when I started and hope that was the end of it

Good luck in your searches

Nainmaddie
 

Karen Strother

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Perth
#5
Hi
My mother told me her grandad was from Ireland and had a middle name (which family had inscribed on his gravestone) and I spent lots of money and time looking for him. When I finally found him he was born in Salford and had NO middle name at all. Certificates all proved this - his marriage and all his children had no middle name on the certs at all. Now my mum is distressed about the head stone but what to do?
Even family cannot be sure sometimes...........................
 

JulesSmith

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Portsmouth
#7
I like this thread as it highlights the exact problem I have. My grandfather died in 1968 and when my grandmother died she had in her possesion a birth certificate for David Charles *****, but their marriage cert shows him as David Michael *****. I have started researching but have no positive proof that David Charles is correct. I can't find another birth around 1905 +/- 2 of 1905 which seems to tie in with his age when he died.

I am still searching fo rthe positive proof but the doors keep slamming shut in my face! At least I am aware of the posibility of having the wrong info and I'm keeping an open mind about it.

We don't know of any of his siblings as he was put into a boys home at an early age... and no, the admission records don't exist anymore!

I'm still searching though :)
 

ianto73

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#8
Jules, good luck, I have a similar problem in that my grandfather doesn't seem to have been born with the name on the wedding certificate. Now I know the reason why "children should be seen and not heard", they didn't want us to know these astounding facts.
 

duckweed

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#9
Was he baptised by the home eg nearby church? A lot of children were baptised as soons as they were put into an institution. If he had siblings they could have been all baptised there on the same day. A long shot I know.
 
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Leeds, born Hull
#10
Hi
. Now my mum is distressed about the head stone but what to do?
Even family cannot be sure sometimes...........................
Hi Karen
Tell your mother not to worry. He probably used and was known by that name, even though he may not have been christened with it. He is probably quite happy that his gravestone names him as he would have wished

dave
 

DaveHam9

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#11
Hello,

Yes, check the sources yourself and don't believe any tree handed down to you. I joked to my father about a year ago after I found the error that he had a NEW great grandmother :2fun:

Regards,

Dave
 

pramclub

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Location
Swindon
Website
easter.byethost22.com
#12
When my father started about 40 years ago, he sent for his own birth certificate and was most offended to see he's celebrated it on the wrong day all his life! "Some mother - not knowing her own son's birthday!" he grumbled often.

But as it was only a day out, we've concluded that they were a day late registering, and changed the birth date to avoid possible prosecution.

Trouble is, now I can never remember which day it is. "Some daughter - not knowing her own father's birthday!"
 

JulesSmith

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Portsmouth
#13
Was he baptised by the home eg nearby church? A lot of children were baptised as soons as they were put into an institution. If he had siblings they could have been all baptised there on the same day. A long shot I know.
I haven't found any sort of baptism yet. His family were catholics, and I believe the records are not available from the usual sources. My dad seems to think he went into the home at around 3 years old. He had curvature (*spelling) of the spine and went into St.Vincents home for crippled boys, I've been in touch with St. Vincent's and the archivists etc. and the only mention of him didn't have a middle name. But the good thing is that I now have proof that he was in the home.

According to the birth cert I have, he was born in Kensington, so I guess I have to approach churches in that area? Not really sure what I'm supposed to do and who to ask.
 

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