Friday, January 29, 2010

Family Lore

I have been researching my ancestors for many years and often come across information and stories that are full of erroneous facts and false information. In most cases, the persons relaying the information are not lying. The persons simply have facts confused. Unfortunately with the Internet, this erroneous information is found and disseminated as fact over and over again.
However, I have found that there is usually a grain of truth in what you may find on the Internet. Use that information as a starting point and validate it before accepting it as fact.
My mother told me that her grandmother was born in Dennison, Minnesota. I had no reason to believe that my mother would trick me. However, as I began researching my family, I learned that my grandmother was born in Cottage Grove, Minnesota and had never lived in Dennison. Cottage Grove is near Wisconsin and Dennison is near South Dakota.
Eventually I figured out why my mother thought that her grandmother was born in Dennison. Some of my grandmother's mother's family had moved to Dennison and my mother remembered her grandmother going to Dennison to visit her relatives.
After my father's eldest sister passed away, my cousin gave me copies of a family tree that her mother had written. She had listed the city in which my children were born as Sherman Oaks. That is where we lived, not where my children were born. She simply did not know the facts.
As you research your ancestry, be willing to look beyond the stories you've been told.
Happy family hunting!

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