Sunday, April 2, 2023

Relatives at RootsTech 2023 and a return to the FamilySearch Family Tree (Days 1 and 2)

Two years ago during the month of March I shared a daily series of blog posts (linked to from The Genealogy Squad Facebook group) about my efforts to fix my ancestors' entries in the FamilySearch Family Tree.

This time, I'm going to take advantage of the extension of time that Relatives at RootsTech 2023 is available (now continuing until June 1). Each day I'm going to go through one of my closest relatives and verify the paths from us to our common relative.
I have over 12,000 Relatives listed, 98% of which are supposedly related to me through my maternal grandfather's mother, Jane Belle Bodie. I've done a lot of work on the Bodie family over the past 30 years, taking it back to the immigrant 17th-century Virginia ancestor and forward in time to countless descendants. So it shouldn't be too surprising that I would have a lot of Relatives on those lines.
So I went through my 2 closest Relatives (both 3rd cousins once removed) to see if I could verify their relationship to me. But in both cases, it didn't work out.
In one case, the Relative was listed as descended from a Benjamin Elonzo Smith who was given as the son of Wade Allen Crouch and Mary Edna Bodie. There were several problems. First, the records either indicated that the first name was Bennett or Ben, never Benjamin. But second, and more importantly, the Find a Grave entry transcribed his death record which gave the names of his actual parents (a father named Smith and a different mother). And third, my related couple had a daughter who was born a few months before Mr. Smith, so he could not have been their child either. I detached Benjamin from my relatives, attached him to new parents, and notified the Find a Grave manager that they should fix his first name.
In the other case, the Relative's grandfather appeared to have the right name, but while her actual grandfather was born in 1910 and died in 1993, my relative was born in 1912 and died in 1980. It appears that two men with the same name (and relatively close birth years) were confused. So I contacted the Relative to suggest that they connect their mother to the right man.
While not an encouraging start, I expect that things won't be so bad on the next ones.

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