How did they prove Family?

Discussion in 'Sussex' started by Ma-dotcom, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Many people have been able to lay claim to relatives born in the 1700s & 1600s.
    Just how do they go about proving this?

    I ask because recently having counted up 9 distinct & separate SMITH families in my tree one of whom is a 5th Gt.G'Mother in Sussex. Her dtr Ruth was born in 1752 to George Wenham & Elizabeth.

    On Sussex F.H. Group site I have found three poss. births for Elizabeth- one of which -1726 - has a Mother with same name as her dtr. not a lot of them about.
    Still I cannot decide definitely that is the correct birth. -All Willingdon.
    She may have been born elsewhere. Same prob with her husband George.He may have been an out of towner.

    So just how do people decide on which are their family?

    Not asking for research of names help, more a HOW do they do it?
    So many same names doesn't help with children naming patterns.

    Just a little more frustration to add to the pile.

    Just by the way, Elizabeth is my 9th SMITH, of whom I wasn't aware until I joined SFHG possibly jinxed/ helped myself with this comment back in Nov. ;)
    Code:
    https://genealogy-specialists.com/threads/wither-they-wander-through-sussex.8779/page-2
    #26 "Perhaps I shall go away & research 'Smith' or Jones'...Wendy"
     

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  2. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    Good question Wendy and one I've been meaning to ask. Though mine are not Smith I still would love to hear eveyone's thoughts and ideas.:)
     
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  3. Flook

    Flook A True Gentleman. Rest in Peace.

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    I must say that I look at this 'problem' from a slightly different angle in that I decided years ago that if I couldn't provide an acceptable level of proof that there was a connection between 2 people then I would stop the tree at that point. That doesn't stop me trying to find a connection of course, but I never claim one when I can't prove it.

    I have 2 quotations at the head of each of my fairly extensive family files.

    The first is>
    "The validity of any pedigree connection between generations is merely a probability."

    The second (which I believe is the burden of proof required in by courts in Maryland in the USA) is>

    “A claimant seeking to show that he or she is a legal heir to an estate would have to provide "a fair preponderance of credible, trustworthy and satisfying evidence. The proof should be clear, precise and definite."

    They've served me quite well and remind me that sometimes you just have to call a halt:).
     
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  4. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Thanks Flook, rather what I've done until now.
    I admit to pursuing Elizabeth to help keep my mind away from other things, but the lure is there.:rolleyes:
    Perhaps I shall add a note in her space that her mother may have been Ruth as she named her dtr. [been away washing last night's dishes :( ]

    I think deep down I still hope to find a connection to my Smith Gt.G'daddy who came out to Australia sometime before 1855. Life is full of never endings.:(
     
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  5. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    Thanks from me too Flook. I don't go any further either. I guess I was just hoping there was something I'd not thought of.:rolleyes:
     
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  6. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    I've had mixed results on my two Smith lines one fantastic the other all sorts of hindrance.

    The one which is going nowhere at the moment is Rebecca Smith c1723, Rebecca Smith married Robert Boyton at Bocking, Essex, Rebecca is in my maternal line.
    Additionally Rebecca's husband's birth/baptism will need some head scratching detective work.
    One bap Robert Boyton baptised 18 Mar 1722 of Robert and Sarah at Braintree.
    Another Robert Boyton bap 18 May 1722 of Sarah Boyton at Braintree.

    Just to muddy the water a Robert Boyton married Ann Mascall 1722 at Braintree. :headbang:

    However the other line I have taken back to a Thomas Smith c1641, he married Sarah Pamphelon in 1666 at Widdington, Essex, this Smith line was great to research, the naming patterns, dates and locations were so very helpful in proving family. This Smith line provided two ancestors to my paternal line and was my first Smith research, have to admit when my first Smith ancestor emerged I was full of trepidation it was "oh no not Smiths".
     
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  7. janetbooth

    janetbooth Top Dog Stalwart

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    I do try to find corroborative evidence to back up my SMITH theories which has proved easier in one direct SMITH line than in the other more immediate direct line - my mother's maiden name was SMITH. Unfortunately in Mum's line, once I get back to pre-registration, it proves pretty difficult. I was stuck for ages on my 2nd great grandfather John SMITH - such a wonderful name to research - for ages. I found his first marriage (my direct line) and the death of his first wife quite easily but there were several options as to the name of his father in the Peterborough parish register. I knew he had married again to a Mary post registration from census records but could I find that second marriage, could I heck - there were so many possibilities. To cut a long story short, I eventually traced his second wife by means of a nephew who was with them in one particular census record, so managed to obtain a copy of his 2nd marriage certificate - which was in a Register Office so hadn't shown up on parish records - and found his father was a Richard SMITH which then enabled me to get back another generation but now I am totally stuck once more. My other direct SMITH line in Gloucestershire, via the paternal side, has proved much easier as they were relatively wealthy and left Wills, along with most of the families they married into, so I have got back to the early 1600's on that line.

    My Family Tree Maker program also has the facility to include research notes, so even if I am not 100% sure of the line, I can include my reasoning and theories, which I have found an absolute boon especially when I periodically revisit lines I am stuck on.

    Janet
     
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  8. gillyflower

    gillyflower Always caring about others

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    I don't have any smith's - thank goodness. Bad enough with Brown's & Kelly from Ireland. However it is a very tricky subject. A genealogy course I went on suggested if ALL avenues of research had been thoroughly checked to go for the one you think it is. I find this impossible to do - as I would be always worrying about whether it was the right family. If I run out of proof I too will put it to one side & come back to it later. I may or may not - (as usually happens) find anything new - but I keep on trying. :headbang::headbang::)
     
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  9. Bonzo Dog

    Bonzo Dog Still the Mad Scientist?

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    What strange advice. These situations are what I refer to as Enya Points, from one of her songs, It's either this or that way, it's one way or the other, and are not restricted to the Smiths, Jones, Taylors etc of this world. They are often impossible to resolve simply because necessary information such as mothers names was never entered in church registers in the first place, and other potentially useful documentation such as Wills and MI's can't be found.

    I know that one several times great grandfather is named Robert, but he is one of 2 possibles. A Will shows he did not marry an Anne and he didn't die in 1742. He may have married a Rebecca, but I can't find his Will or an MI to resolve this. The other currently unanswerable question concerns the name of his father, is it Robert or William? :headbang:
     
  10. janetbooth

    janetbooth Top Dog Stalwart

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    And what is considered primary source information, such as parish register entries, can be incorrect too. I have a 5 x great grandfather John FRANKLIN who had twins John & Lydia. They were baptised as children of John & Ann FRANKLIN, which is correct, but their burials a couple of days later show their parents to be Edward & Ann FRANKLIN. Luckily Lydia is not a particularly common forename, especially in a relative small place such as Blockley, so the mistake was easily noticed but if her name had been Mary ....

    Janet
     
  11. crazycatlady22

    crazycatlady22 Well-Known Member

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    I have some very unusual family names but after many years of searching I cannot prove for certain any ancestors past the late 1780's or so. I keep searching but with not much success.
     
  12. Bonzo Dog

    Bonzo Dog Still the Mad Scientist?

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    Can't recall which parish but 2 marriages took place on the same day. In the Bishop's transcript the brides names are reversed to how they appear in the register.

    Have to say that my first sighting of register images (Middleton, Warwickshire) came as a bit of a shock. I was expecting carefully written records, instead I saw things like this:

    Screen Shot 2017-12-20 at 18.12.46.png
    And some pages were even worse!!
     
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  13. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Often they were written as Bapt- Marriages- Burials spread across a fairly small page. Fun to sort out.
    So many of mine had varying names-wrongly at times a brother of Father's name instead of the chap intended. Females only wrong in that they changed it later or added to it.

    I'm still not sure if an Uncle was Edward or Edwin, it changed from birth through censuses to burial.
     
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  14. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    It's a wonder we get anywhere,:rolleyes::D
     
  15. Bonzo Dog

    Bonzo Dog Still the Mad Scientist?

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    Once again a Will was instrumental in positively identifying a 6X great grandfather who had added Rupert to the John he was baptised with at some point after his 2 children were born. He made bequests to his wife and his children, and they were the only children born to a mother and father named Jane and John.
     
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