Brickwall frustrations and fruitless record searches

+16 votes
177 views

Is there any way we can retroactively punish our ancestors for not leaving a clear and complete paper trail? I mean, aside from not creating their profiles? angrysmiley

asked in The Tree House by Pip Sheppard G2G6 Pilot (904k points)
Can we include punishment of those clerks whose writing was illegible? I have just been ploughing my way through a baptism register for the 1600s which seem to have been prepared by a spider who jumped in the inkwell.
Now that’s a unique way to put it! And, yes, let’s include the whole bunch!
How about the bane of my existence; nicknames?

Can we retroactively punish parents for that?
An excercise in futility,try writing with a quill.It is a messy mess,and paper

was of poor quality.
I agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5 Answers

+12 votes
 
Best answer
I would like to just have everyone "today" document their parents and grandparents.   I work with DAR to help people trace their family, and it absolutely amazes me how many people do not know their grandmother's maiden name......
answered by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (461k points)
selected by Allison Schaub
well, that isn't so unusual. I asked my mum about the maiden name of her grandma. She told me a name. I put it in my tree (not here, somewhere else). Months later we browse through the file with her naturalization papers. There is a marriage document of her parents, naming their parents. And the result? The maiden name of her grandma was different than what she had told me... GRRRRRRRR!
+10 votes
I would like to add to the list all those who created/recorded vital records that mention the name of a person's father but not the name of their mother.

Also all the people who put "don't know" for the maiden name of their own mother, their spouse's mother, or their parents' mothers.
answered by Thomas Fuller G2G6 Mach 2 (29.9k points)
Good ones, Thomas. I’m keeping a list to create an omnibus bill for the General Assembly of WikiTree.
How about the marriage records (which I have seen) which say things like "James Stanton married his wife"
I haven't seen those, but they definitely qualify.
And those like my great grandmother who apparently was trying to hide. We have a newspaper article and know when, where, and how she died “a German woman died...” and from that we were able to find that she’s in an unmarked grave. So how many Emma were born in Germany between 1825 and 1835.
Like Ros, I have seen marriage records that only state things like "so-and-so stood bridegroom on New Year's Eve". Not forgetting the old widow and her daughter from an unreadable village who were buried the same year as "the old mother of Petter Jonsson". Mostly these are from the earliest church records, mid to late 1600s.
+7 votes
Also, those people who did not see fit to look after the parish registers properly, causing some of them to go missing. And a special kick up the bum to Cromwell, for the lack of records being kept during the commonwealth period.
answered by Gillian Causier G2G6 Pilot (164k points)
How about the geniuses who apparently kept only ONE COPY of the 1890 U.S. Census? After a fire, the majority of the records of that census were lost FOREVER to the great dismay of genealogists ever since.

I can't tell you how many people for who I have a 20 year records gap.
+6 votes

I've actually had dreams that I went back and snuck up to a window at dinner time to count the children.laugh Or knocked on the door and asked them to please write the names down in a Bible or anywhere - and store it in a safe place! As for those clerks that didn't fill out all the fields....grrrr!

After the dreams I woke up in the morning chuckling at the thought...

answered by Mindy Silva G2G6 Pilot (194k points)
You cannot imagine how thankful I am for my cousin who sent me the scan of the family bible which my g-grandmother started and my greataunt continued. The funniest thing when I scrolled through the scans for the first time was to see that even my birth and the marriage and death of my father is documented there.
That's wonderful Jelena! My MIL has a family bible and genealogy charts that she didn't realize until recently contained a 'family secret.' When she started having doubts about the parentage of an ancestor she went back and looked - and grandma had documented it in the family records. I wish my family had documented more...
+4 votes

If it were possible to retroactively punish our ancestors for not creating a paper trail, then it would probably be possible for them to retaliate by not creating us!!!devil  I'll take the status quo.

answered by Kerry Larson G2G6 Mach 7 (78.1k points)
Ooo, hadn’t thought of that. “Alright, you young whipper snapper! Watch this!”
LoL!!

Swedes haven't really been into the family bible thing - the church has kept track of us pretty well for eight or nine generations, counting back from my own (so ten or eleven counting from my grandchildren).

So if we retroactively punish the absentminded, sloppy or cheapskate vicars (those using low-quality, fading, ink) that won't stop our ancestors from being born.

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