Terrell Waters mess

+3 votes

In Barack Obama's ancestry, there is a couple William Terrell x Susannah Waters that is part of a Terrell line that connects the president to the English noble Tyrrell family, who are also ancestors of mine.

This Terrell - Tyrrell line is not on WikiTree yet, but I'm trying to complete it using verifiable genealogies on other sites, parts of which I have in my local database in Gramps already.

While trying to merge adopted Terrell's, which may all be descendants of the Tyrrell's mentioned above, I found several instances of the couple mentioned above, where sometimes the wife is Martha Susanna Waters. Where enough parameters like parents matched, I actually performed the matches where possible.

Some days later I found that some suggested matches showed similar names for (grand)parents and children, and on closer inspection I found that something must have gone wrong somewhere, because William Terrell and Susannah Waters show up in two different branches of a tree, which can happen because of inbreeding, but which is weird in this particular tree, because they are two generations apart.

I have no idea whether I caused this particular anomality myself, but I sure feel like needing help to correct it. Any ideas?


WikiTree profile: Pleasant Terrell
in Genealogy Help by anonymous G2G6 Mach 2 (20.2k points)
I am so glad you are doing this tree, not least because I am proud of my relationship with Cousin Barack.

Having said which this is not  very messy, judging by so many  trees I have looked at

Wel done you.

Thank you. Would it be possible to share what we have, relation wise, so that we can check what still needs to be done, Obama wise? I can put my calculated line in a space somewhere, and like to see yours too.

The Tyrrell part is documented quite well, i.e. as far as old books about the Tyrrell's (of Thornton) can be trusted, but the Terrell part is difficult for me, because I have no access to US sources, other than the ones on FamilySearch.

Where possible, I try to verify everything I read on Geni.com about the relations that they calculate there, and one of the sites I use for that is genealogics.org. William Terrell's page is here, and has a source reference.


I will see if I can find it

Thanks. I created an Obama relatives space that I plan to use as a wiki notepad here. I'll past the relationship calculated by Geni there, and try to keep track of the profiles that we have on WikiTree.

The space is Public now, not Open, because I like to figure out how it can best be used, before I invite other members there.

The president's line to the Tyrrell's of Thornton is complete, except for two pending merges, listed in the relationship path.

2 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer
Hi Enno, I am not at all familiar with this line, and this comment is only by way of encouragement and in fellow feeling!

Over the years have ended up with such tangles, my way through with differing degrees of success, is to review every piece of information I have, putting aside all preconceptions like 'this must be right!' and using good old paper and pencil (and eraser!) sit at my kitchen table with all spread out in front of me and pains-takingly put all back together again in a hardcopy style tree, keeping on questioning yours and others assumptions as you do so.

Once I have every scrap of info in hard copy, I do find when detangling it helps to step away from the laptop for a bit as all that switching back and forth between tabs and sources gets very confusing and can lead to mistakes, as in this case maybe, sounds like missing or inadventanly jumping generations.

Of course others may have more 'hi-tech' advice

Good luck
by Wendy Hampton G2G6 Mach 2 (24.0k points)
selected by anonymous
I like the idea to step away, and use a piece of paper to detangle things. And sometimes, I just paste everything I have in my word processor, so that I can make changes there.

For this, I chose to use a space instead of that word processor. Hope it works.

Since I got no reaction from related Terrell's yet, and the Terrell part of the president's ancestry is almost solved, I suggest that they create their own space some time.
+2 votes
There is a Suzanna Waters and a MARTHA Suzanna Waters.  Both in the same line.  I do not have the information with me, but, email me and I will dig it out for you.

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