One of the worst mistakes I occasionally see is where cousins, of the
same name, are assigned the same wives, families, parents, etc. of their
same named cousin. This can be very confusing and lead to what appears to
be some very strange family alliances.
A perfect example of this is in the family of George JORDAN I (ABT
1657-1718) and his wife, Mary BROWNE (ABT 1665-BEF 1704), of Southwark
Parish, Surry County, VA. Some do not realize "old George" had more than
one son. <grin> In fact, he had five sons by my count and several
daughters. Naming patterns being what they were back then, you can almost
bet that most of these sons named one of their sons after their father,
George. So, what we end up with is lots of Georges in this JORDAN family.
One of the errors I picked up with a little digging was the duplicate
marriage that some show for George JORDAN, III (ABt 1720-1792) who married
Patience WARREN, daughter of Benjamin WARREN and Rebecca WILKINS of
Brunswick County, GA. Some researchers also show a second marriage for
George III to a Hannah SMITH.
I have nothing against George III marrying more than once but it was not
this George. It was his first cousin, George, son of Arthur JORDAN, George
II's (ABT 1685-1761) brother. This Arthur also married a Sarah LNU like his
brother, George II, who married Sarah HUNT.
I have nothing against the research of others, I use their research all
the time. However, there are lots of errors in some of this material.
This is why I am constantly updating my files with the correct information
as I find it. When you have close to 30,000 people in your PAF -- that's a
lot of work. However, it is very critical when you are hitting against a
brick wall to know the family with which your family is collateral and who
these families are collateral with because in all likelihood -- your bunch
will come out of this overall extended family, somewhere.
The problem comes in when you are working with a scenario that is not
how you expect it to be because of incorrect data you have included in this
scenario due to the research errors of others. This is what you have to
minimize if you want to understand how your family interacted with other
families during that period.
Just remember this -- assignment mistakes are generally not made late --
within the past 100-150 years. The mistakes I see are early (before 1800)
but these mistakes in assignment can have lasting effects on later
assignments. It is like driving down the road and taking a wrong turn.
Instead of ending up in Atlanta, GA -- you end up in Birmingham, AL. The
real mistakes come in when researchers try to make Birmingham into Atlanta
and they do it all the time.
This all goes back to Clarke's First Rule of Genealogical Research --
"any assignment has to make sense." If it does not make sense it is
probably incorrect, no matter what Aunt Sally or Uncle Bill told you or for
that matter -- what some family genealogy book stated on page 212.
Always remember this about family genealogy books. The reason they are
published in the first place is so you will buy them at their usual
exorbitant price and better yet -- if you will buy "version two," at a much
more exorbitant price, which supposedly corrects all of the errors the
author conveniently included in "version one." <grin>
Researchers in Georgia, which includes a lot of DANIEL folks, put a lot
of faith in Folks Huxford's, "Pioneers of Wiregrass Georgia," abbreviated
POWG in most source material, but Judge Huxford made many mistakes in his
published works but most of these mistakes were not of his own making
because this was compiled genealogy and not researched information. When I
say "compiled genealogy," I mean -- provided by the family. What Judge
Huxford did not know or did not note in his books is that most families
generally do not have a good understanding of their family ancestry past
their great-grandfather, if that. This is why we find so many assignment
errors in POWG.
Any family genealogy book is just one thing -- a starting point, not an
ending point. If you take it as the latter and not the former, you will,
just like many others, end up in Birmingham and not Atlanta.......
John R. Clarke
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