Having trouble sorting inconsistencies in the family of John Tomlinson

+1 vote

I've managed to trace my family back to one John Tomlinson of Henry County, Indiana through his son James, grandson Zadock, and so on. My sources are fairly solid and include a combination of birth, death, and marriage records as well as the wills of John Tomlinson and his son James in additional to direction provided by more circumstantial location and date information.

Here's where I'm encountering a problem, the sources I have compiled are directly contrary to what I'm seeing in already established trees elsewhere, which is muddying my search for additional sources and making connections difficult.

With John Tomlinson this is mainly with his wife, children, and parents. I have found a copy of his will that establishes a wife, Elizabeth Tomlinson, two daughters, Nancy Howard and Elizabeth Whitworth, and six sons, Joseph, James, William, John, Sothey, and Zadock.

I've traced Elizabeth Whitworth through a copy of George Hazzard's History of Henry County as well as a number of additional records, I've traced Nancy Howard as well - though when going to add her I encountered the linked to profile with conflicting information. I have James Tomlinson as well, but have yet to get to the other five sons.

My predicament is this: I am fairly confident in my own research and sources, but I recognize that there are significant gaps and missing information which is somewhat expected for the time period. But I feel that to move forward I need make sure my research is solid.

WikiTree profile: John Tomlinson
in Genealogy Help by Brad Tomlinson G2G Rookie (230 points)
If I am understanding your correctly, you feel that your research was done carefully and are quite confident with your conclusions. I would agree just by looking at the number of sources you have already included. Then, you have discovered that other people have done similar trees that are in conflict with what you have done. How am I doing?

I have often found the same sort of thing on Ancestry, Family Search and the like. You can question your methods, but you know how you work already. Take a close look at these other trees and see if they make sense. Often, they do not. I have seen completely ridiculous conclusions, such as an American family of German descent, apparently traveling to England to have a daughter. Could it happen? Of course! But did it? Really? Nah.

Just double-check your conclusions to make sure you haven't confused two similar families. One clue is location. Sometimes families are missed on the census. In your family it appears that everyone was born in NC and then moved to Indiana. Families tended to stay put after a big move like this - or push forward and go further west. I would find it suspect if they moved back East.

What I am saying is, if you are confident in your research, go ahead and enter it on WikiTree. If a mistake is made, it can be fixed. We alter relationships, etc. all the time, if needed.
You've hit the proverbial nail on the head. I am fairly confident in my research, to a point. I'm fairly confident that the trees I've come across have mixed/matched people from at least two, if not three, branches of the Tomlinson family. The inconsistencies are many and very obvious in places.

The part that's shaking my confidence is that my conclusions have left me without any matching birth, marriage, death, and/or burial records for John and the wife, Elizabeth, named in his will. I've been pulling out every source I can think of trying to find one or more of any of those records for either of them, and so far I'm coming up empty.

1 Answer

+3 votes
As long as you have appropriate sources, not from trees, then I would not be worried about trees elsewhere.

If those trees refer you to actual sources then check them. Remember a name like John Tomlinson is likely to be fairly common.
by Marion Poole G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)

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