On Family Search there are two sets of parents for my one ancestor Simeon Van Winkle Post:
1) John Bell Post (born about 1801 in Georgia) and Nancey Rigsby (born about 1794 prob in Georgia) or
2) Cornelis Post (born 1796 in New Jersey) and Sarah Van Winkle (born about 1789 in New Jersey).
After looking through some census records and googling Simeon Van Winkle Post and Mary Kane I found that Cornelius Post and Sarah Van Winkle were in fact, Simeon’s parents. I went into Simeon’s summary on new.familysearch.org
Then I clicked on “Combined Records” and it gave me this screen (below). This shows all of the records that have been submitted and then combined into one individual. There were about 30 records that were combined to make this one individual.
In a previous post I discussed the problem with Simeon’s multiple wives that appeared to be incorrectly linked to him. I asked my family if they knew exactly who he was really married to. My aunt responded with a lot of really interesting and useful information. She told me that he was first married to Elizabeth Cochran (Corcoran) and raised two sons as his own (whether they were really his we don’t know). He later married my ancestor Mary Kane and they had 5 children together. My aunt also told me about a book that was written about him and some of his ancestors called Sweet Tootin’. With all of this information I went into the above combined records page and looked through each of the records. I found that there seemed to be 2 distinct individuals that had been combined as one. The other man that had been mistakenly combined with my ancestor was Simon Post born about 1823 in Alabama, he was married to the other 3 women that my ancestor Simeon was not married to. I selected all of the records that corresponded to Simon Post of Alabama and then clicked separate records. And voila!! Problem solved. Simeon is now only married to 2 women and has the correct number of children. What a great feeling to have that all sorted out!!
My grandmother and my aunt and my cousin have been working on a certain line for years (seriously, years!). It is told that Mary McKinley was the daughter of a well-off landowner in Ireland and she fell in love with one of the laborers Francis Kane. They got married and left Ireland for America. We do not know who either of their parents are, well, we didn’t know. I looked on family search the other day and, to my utter surprise, Mary McKinley has been sealed to parents Henry McKenzie and Mary and now has 10 siblings. I was ecstatic to see this but I am dying to know how they found this information. And is it legit?? Every person in the family besides Mary was born and died in Georgia, whereas Mary was born in Ireland and died in Wisconsin. And Mary is the only one with the last McKinley and the rest are chrsitened McKenzie (or a variation of it)…it is very close….could it be that she changed her name when she came to America? Or is this even her real family?? It doesn’t look like this family is even her family, but why, then were they connected on family search? The search continues…
New.familysearch.org is the new frontier for family history and genealogy. Recently it was opened to everyone and not just members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Anyone can go to new.familysearch.org, create a profile, start searching for their ancestors and construct their family tree– all online. It is an amazing tool! It is so easy to use, easy to navigate and the online support team is incredibly helpful with tutorials and videos. There is just one little problem–it is too easy. Many people have just uploaded entire gedcom files with all 10,000 names without double checking to make sure it is all correct or if those names even need to be added thus duplicating names and dates that have already been duplicated 3 or 4 times. It is a BIG mess!
The other day I logged on and started clicking around looking through my family tree admiring all of the pretty names and dates going back in some lines to the 1500s. I was thinking there was really nothing for me to do…it had all been done already. Then I clicked on my grandmother’s name to see her birthday and such. She was an amazing person and as I looked at her birth date, marriage date and death date (she passed last summer), I started to reminisce and remember some special things about her. I clicked on “spouses and children” to see her beloved husband who died just 18 years into their marriage and left her with 9 children and 1 on the way. As I thought of how hard that must have been and how amazingly she handled it all, I noticed something strange. There was another man in the “Other Spouses” section. I clicked on the name and then found out that that man was her husband’s brother. Oh dear. A marriage date between my grandmother and her brother-in-law had been erroneously added by someone. In family search only the person who adds the marriage date can edit the marriage date and every date that is added has its contributor attached to it with a link to their email address. I emailed the person who added this marriage date and we had a brief and delightful email conversation. I found out that this person had inherited a gedcom file and had uploaded it without looking at it. When I told her about the erroneous marriage date, she immediately went in and fixed it. Phew! That little problem was solved!
This got me looking around and I found several little mistakes and misinformation. One ancestor showed 5 women married to him under “Spouses and Children”. One of them lived and died before he was even born so that isn’t right. Another woman is shown to be married to him even though all the children from that marriage are duplicated in another marriage. It is so confusing I can’t even explain it but it needs to be sorted out. I emailed my family about this and my aunt told me that she knew for certain that this ancestor, my great-great grandfather was only married to 2 women. So the other 3 women? I don’t know. Someone has connected their ancestors to the wrong man, I guess I will be emailing them to find out where they got their info.
So even though your tree may appear to be completed, there is A LOT to do still!
I have decided to include the names of the ancestors I shared above to hopefully get it sorted out.
According to new family search Simeon Van Winkle Post was married to Julia A Pitman on 18 Feb 1868 and they had 3 children: Elizana (born 1869), Edney (1871), Simeon (1877). He was married to Elizabeth (Libby) Corcoran in 1843 in Alabama and they had William G. (1842), Charles G. (1844), John Plez (1851) and George B. (1859). On new family search you can dispute relationships if you think they are not correct and John Plez and George B have those little dispute icons next to them. My aunt told me that Simeon was first married to an Elizabeth Cochran (perhaps Corcoran) but they weren’t sure if Charles and William were his children or not but he raised them as though they were. So it appears that Libby and the children William G. and Charles G. are legit. Next it shows him married to Elizabeth (Betsy) Terry (1730-1797–so this marriage could not have been possible if she lived and died before he was even born!) and their children: John Plez (1851), George B. (1859), Elizana (1869), Edney (1871), Simeon (1877). Sooooo…..there is something clearly wrong here but I don’t quite know how to fix it. And then there is my ancestor Mary Kane who married Simeon on 24 Dec 1873 and they had 5 children: Mary Louisa (1875), Eleanor (1877) (this is my great-grandmother), Sarah Cornelia (1881), Pearl (1885), and Joseph (1888). I have some work to do…
Family Search is so amazing. If you go to the homepage of family search and then click “Learn”, there is an abundance of online courses, articles, and tools to help you in your search for your ancestors. Yesterday I watched a presentation called “If I’d Only Known”. It was really insightful. The biggest thing I learned was to take detailed notes and keep them organized by using pedigree charts, spread sheets and outlines. Another big thing was to document sources. When you find something interesting write down the source, the date and its significance. It is important to keep a running record of your research with detailed notes. These notes will help you keep everything straight and remind you of past discoveries so you don’t just go in circles. Happy Researching!!
PS Evernote would be very useful for family history. It is an online note taking tool. You have an account and you can save websites, photos, notes, any images or audio to your account and then that account can be accessed from anywhere–phone, pc, laptop, library, anything that can connect to the internet. You can tag everything you save to your evernote and then search it to easily find info. Check it out.
After my experience with Thomas Stirland and Rosina Schenck I went to familysearch.com and found the death certificate of Thomas and Rosina’s son William Charles Stirland. William died of TB on January 8, 1920 at the age of 27 in Providence, Utah. The record indicated that he contracted the illness in Australia. I had no idea they kept record of that sort of thing. Here is the image:
The doctor that signed the death certificate is something, something Budge. My mom told me when I was little that her favorite cousin was Mary Budge…I wonder if there is a relation between this doctor and Mary Budge. There most likely is since Mary and mom grew up together in northern Utah and southern Idaho. These are the types of things I wish I could call my mom about.
I also found out that Thomas and Rosina’s son John Thomas (Jack) Stirland died less than a month after William in 1920 at the at of 32. John served in World War I from 1918 to 1919 and was a farmer. He was married to Bessie Burton. He died of pneumonia caused by influenza.