Things Not Always True about Genealogy

It is amazing what items related to genealogy that people think make their research 100% accurate when in truth, they are not. Here are some examples to be aware of.

If some date, name or location is in print, it is not necessary the correct or accurate date, name or location. It can be due to misinterpreted records or reliance on other inaccurate sources. Also, the clerk writing done information as for a marriage licence can make a mistake, misspelling a name or writing down the wrong date. The best thing is to use various resources to double and triple the information, see if it all matches.

How many times have you heard of someone having a Cherokee princess or Native Indian as an ancestor? Stories of Indian ancestry—often, Cherokee—are common in the United States. There is some truth. The Cherokee and other Indians did intermarry with white settlers. Some Cherokee families (just over 7 percent by the mid-1830s) owned black slaves. First, the Cherokee never had royalty, nor did any American Indian tribe, so no Cherokee princess. Having a DNA test will really show if there is any Indian blood in your family.

Many people wrongly assume, if they come across people with the same surname, they must be related. Instead, trace your family tree and the famous person’s family tree (which already may be well-documented) and look for a connection. That happened with my family lineage, for decades it was said the family was directly related to General William T. Sherman. After checking my own Sherman line and then the General Sherman’s line, no way. The families were from different parts of the country plus found the original spelling on my Sherman family — it was ‘Scherman’.

An excellent resource is to see if you have a Family History Center in your community. Take with you what information you have gathered that you think is correct but needs checking. It is well worth the time spent at the Family History Center.

Photo: Native Cherokee Indians

Related Blogs:

Family Stories

Ancestors Traveling

Websites for Research

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