Monday, April 4, 2011

Headaches and Heartaches

Misinformation can cause you a lot of headaches and heartaches when you are in the process of doing genealogy work.  Granted, your prior generations may have started working on your family tree, but if they have not documented their resources, there is a very strong chance that they have gathered information from relatives, family bibles, hearsay or family tales as well as genuine document sources. But if they have not made any notations of where their information has been gathered from, please do not take it as the gospel truth! Take the time to go back and recheck your information and add documentation.

One of my pet peeves is seeing information that has been put onto what I consider reputable source websites by people posting their family information which has not been verified and proven.  Just because you have found a tree that looks like it matches your family’s information and has additional information that you now want to add to your tree, don’t just do so without being sure that it is indeed your family’s roots.

I hate to point fingers, but I have found incorrect information at both sites where you have paid to have a subscription to access information as well as at free websites where people have posted information. These are well known websites and we tend to rely on them as being accurate. It is important to remember that they do not verify the information that has been submitted to them.

If you find what appears to be matching information for your family, make an attempt to reach the poster of the information so that the two of you can share references and other family information to validate everything as true. Chances are you are going to find relatives and establish some long lasting relationships in the process.

I want to share with you a very obvious mistake on a family tree that hopefully you will see as quickly as I did when I saw it. I will make mention that I have contacted the website and asked if there is any way they can put me in touch with the author of this family tree so that we can discuss this information.

History of the Olmstead/Olmsted Family

The Olmsted family originated in England
My records start with Richard, born about 1430 and mentioned in the Domesday Book, Essex Co, England 1086. Olmsted Hall meaning “Place of the Elms” is a moated structure and now belongs to Queens College, Cambridge.

Next listed is James Olmstead born in about 1520 married to Alice. My records have no last name for her but on line I found her last name could be Sorrell or Hawkins. I also found 3 children listed of this marriage.

Next is James Olmstead born about 1550, who died in 1595. He married Jane Bristow on Aug 12, 1576 and they lived in Great Leighs, Co, Essex, England.
As my reference I have Olmstead Genealogy
 Jacobus, Old Fairlefied Vol I pg 451

James immigrated to America in 1632 aboard the ship “Lyon” and settled in Cambridge, MA and in 1636 some removed to Hartford. James came to America with his Uncle James Olmsted .Some online references also state there were other nephews and a niece in the party.

Since James and Jane Bristow are my direct lineage, prior researchers in our family only concentrated on our direct line and did not list all of their children. We are descended from Richard Olmsted and his wife Frances Slany/Slaney. My records indicate that she has a brother Thomas Slany of London, whom I have not definitely located yet or her parents.

My records show that Richard and Frances had the following children:
Richard baptized 1612
Mary baptized 1615
John baptized 1617
Sarah baptized 1620
Rebecca baptized unknown but married to Thomas Newell
Joseph baptized 1627

Again, References used were
Olmstead Genealogy
Jacobus, Old Fairfield, Vol. I pg 451

Here is where the fun part starts
I found a record on line where someone posted a tree for this family with all of the above information. On their tree they show the son Richard, baptized in 1612 with parents as
James and Jane Bristow. They show that the SON  was married first to Jane Bristow and then to Frances Slany . The record went on to state that Jane Bristow was born in Hatford, CT  and that she married Richard in Essex England and their children were born in Hatford CT. There were 3 children from this marriage, Richard born between 1608-1612, James born 2/16/1617 and John born 2/16/1617.

Before we go further with this record do you see the glaring blunders?  They have the son marrying his mother! They also have his mother being born in America and then marrying the son back in England.

The son, Richard, of Richard and Frances  Slany  had 3 children, their mother unknown
Yet I find records saying that Frances Slany was the mother of these children!
James an unnamed daughter and John (my line) born 1649 who married Mary Benedict and then married Elizabeth Pardee Gregory. I have found records where all of the children from both marriages were mixed in together as well as records where one of the children was listed with the wrong mother.

I have found records where Eunice is listed as the daughter of Mary as well as Elizabeth. Now I need to go back to my resource records just to be sure that what my prior researchers found is indeed correct. To see with my own eyes the printed material they used to validate who’s daughter she really is.

If there are any other Olmstead/Olmsted researchers out here reading this article, I hope you will come forward and contact me so that we can work on some research together.
There is no way I am publishing any of my information on line until I am sure it is correct, at least in my own mind, and be willing to share it with the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment