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I have not previously "chimed in" on any of this, but now do have a few things
to offer. Suzanne, there is absolutely no need to apologize to anyone. There are
accidental errors of varying sizes in every single family tree that has ever been. All
anyone can ask is that we all be as accurate as we can be and that we keep an open mind to
the fact that when new information comes in sometimes a lot of hard work is proven to have
been travelled down the wrong road.
As someone who regularly assists the public in genealogical research, including
working with those preparing society applications, I can shed some light on how "all
those experts" accepted your earlier applications that now appear to contain errors.
First, we are talking about a time when almost no part of America kept government records
of birth and death, and a time before census records recorded the name of each household
member. Even the marriage, probate, and land records do not all survive from this time.
You were correct earlier when you mentioned that societies have become somewhat stricter
in the "proofs" (please notice the quote marks, any experienced genealogist will
consider very little as a final unquestionable proven fact) that they will accept, but as
a practical matter they cannot demand records which never existed. "Proofs" from
this era are really more like hints or probabilities of the true facts than of anything
that should be regarded as the final w!
The family connections you posted earlier sounded plausible, and would have been
accepted by any society in the absence of more information. They have no way of knowing
that there were several men of the same name in the correct time and place (a far more
common occurrence than most realize), and that information from 2 or more have been
combined, leading to an assignment to the wrong parents. This is an honest mistake that
happens all the time and really cannot be "caught" by the societies, but only by
a dedicated researcher with knowledge of a particular family and experience working with
it. You are fortunate that several such researchers can be found on this board.
Again, you have done nothing wrong, this happens regularly to all genealogists. If
you believe that you have published a family tree containing major errors, it would be
helpful to others in the future if you could find and edit such trees when you have the
time. There is certainly no obligation to do so, but it would be a nice gesture and very
helpful for future genealogists. Best wishes.
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