Bertha DAMERELL (my great grandmother) died of pneumonia. The story goes that several of her children were ill, and she got up to tend to them in the night, even though she was ill herself...and died shortly thereafter.
Or is this all rather muddled? She was only 51 when she died (the same age as me!), and her death certificate does indeed say that she died of pneumonia, but something just doesn't feel right.
This is an example of how stories that are passed down from generation to generation are not always 100% correct. Several times I have been told a family legend, and then when I have done the names-and-dates research I have found that the dates mean that Person A just couldn't have married then, as they were only five years old, or Person B was dead by the time they were supposed to have completed the task described in the legend...
However, I never discount family stories. Often, they are not complete fabrications, but do have a grain of truth in them, and these grains put together form a clue. Clues put together can often create a research avenue - and then you find the bare-bones truth. For instance: there was the family story of great-great-grandfather being kicked in the head by a horse, and his daughters had to be taken out of convent school because the business was ruined. Actually, they ended up in the workhouse for another reason entirely, along with the sons - but I would never have thought of looking there, if I hadn't had the exciting story of the horse and the convent school - besides which, I had thought he only had one daughter...
Or how about the ancestor who changed his age and ran away to sea? Except he didn't: the General Register Office method of dividing a year into quarters meant that he was registered in a different quarter to his birth - and later he became a coastguard in Ireland...
So my advice to anybody new to research is: take everything with a pinch of salt, but don't discard the salt cellar.
You may NOT use the contents of this site for commercial purposes without explicit written permission from the author and blog owner. Commercial purposes includes blogs with ads and income generating features, and/or blogs or sites using feed content as a replacement for original content. Full content usage is not permitted.
You Might Also Be Interested In
Rootstech is a family history conference (one of the biggest there is). It is held in North America (usually in Salt Lake, Utah) during ...
Once again, in honour of National Women’s History Month , Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blog...
I first met "Secretary Hand" when I was transcribing a 1700 census for Ottery St Mary (the transcription can be viewed here at ...
Have you ever written a letter to a man and addressed it to "Fred Bloggs, Esq"? Did you ever wonder how he came to be c...
Today's "Way Back Wednesday" post is about my gggg grandparents. All I know about them are their names and the date they marr...
- ► 2015 (28)
- ► 2014 (54)
- ► 2013 (73)
- ► 2012 (59)
- ▼ May (5)