I recently reconnected with a cousin, “Alice” that I haven’t seen in about 28 years. She was so excited to hear about all of the Family History I have written about and the Genealogy research I have done. During our conversation, she told me that she really didn’t know much about her maternal Grandfather’s side of the family. I told her I would see what I could find.
I started researching and within 3 days I received an email from a cousin of Alice’s. “Jessie,” told me that her maternal Grandmother was Alice’s Grandfathers sister. We exchanged photos and information. I was able to get the two cousins in touch with each other. It was a great feeling.
That is until about 2 weeks later when I went to look at Jessie’s family tree. She had not changed any of the erroneous information she had posted in her tree. You see, Alices Grandfather “Sam” was married to my Aunt Leola, my Dad’s sister. They were married in 1924 and they had two children, Charles in 1925 and Irene in 1930, Leola died in 1932 from Typhoid Fever. Sam then married Lea in about 1935 and they had two sons. In Jessie’s tree, she only had Sam married to Lea and they had 4 children, those of Leola’s as well as Leas.
When I contacted her about it I was told that “I can’t correct that! No one in the family knows that Uncle Sam had been married more than once. It would be a big scandal!” So she was leaving her tree as it was. I can only hope that she changes her mind about this in the future. Now both “Alice” and “Jessie” are at odds because of the wrong information and feel like I have been “placed in the middle” trying to smooth the situation out. However, I did tell them to talk to each other before they contact me. I haven’t heard from “Jessie” since then.
I guess I have a hard time with anyone wanting to purposely keep the wrong information in their tree. No matter what the reason. To me, Truth is Truth whether you like it or not. I also don’t understand how this situation could be a scandal. I think it is a great disservice to future generations to not know the whole truth.
I might be a little strange but I believe the unexpected in a Family Tree is what makes it more interesting. All the twists and turns, the surprises, the rebels, and the saints give my tree character.
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.