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General => The Common Room => The Lighter Side => Topic started by: coombs on Monday 22 June 20 17:03 BST (UK)

Title: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Monday 22 June 20 17:03 BST (UK)
We can become quite embroiled in genealogy and become passionate about it, the way people can be about football, fishing, and other hobbies. I think we have to accept that we will not always find out everything we want to. But what are your main genealogy frustrations?

I think a big frustration for many of us is the lack of records once you get back past the mid to late 1700s, unless they were more prosperous, or even were in receipt of parish poor relief, or stayed locally and had rare names. You hit very muddy waters. Many pre 1813 parish registers only give fathers name on baptisms, and burials can be just a name and date, and marriages be just names and a date and whether by banns or license. Common surnames and the fact many witnesses to marriages were regular ones can make things very tricky. If people were more prosperous, wills are a godsend, and are probably more reliable than heraldic visitations which can have many errors.

More frustrations are:-

Primary sources that give conflicting info on the same person or family. Then again people wrote down what they were told.

Gaps in parish registers, or the fact that some parish registers only go back to the mid 1700s due to earlier ones being lost or destroyed. Bishops transcripts can help but even then the survival rate can be patchy.

Census dodgers.

Immigration records giving just a name, or even just a title and surname such as "Mr Smith" and date of arrival and not enough to properly identify a person.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: panda40 on Monday 22 June 20 17:17 BST (UK)
My frustrations are on birth certificates with mothers maiden name different from the one she married with. Out of 7 children the first 5 have alternating maiden names eg, Smith, Brown, Smith, Brown and Smith. No other marriages or reasons for this so Iím stuck in finding out who is telling the truth.
Regards
Panda
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: M_ONeill on Monday 22 June 20 17:33 BST (UK)
Honestly, most of my frustrations, such as they are, are with the three quarters of my tree that are Irish - the destruction of records that you just *know* would have got you further back, and quite easily too.

That being said, I find myself being generally much less frustrated about genealogy these days.

The records themselves; what was kept and what was lost, what was destroyed and what was saved, it all forms part of the story. I try and look at it positively and be thankful for every link I find and try not to dwell on what links may have been lost. That's just the nature of history.

In fact, on my Irish side, the lack of records has really pushed me to be a better genealogist, prompting me to get comfortable with other types of records, such as the Griffiths valuations.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: Biggles50 on Monday 22 June 20 17:48 BST (UK)
My frustrations are DNA related, why take a test and not build a tree?
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Monday 22 June 20 18:37 BST (UK)
I feel for those with Irish ancestors, and how most of the time, the father's name on the Irish immigrant's marriage cert in the UK is probably the furthest back you will get, especially if they just put "Ireland" as birthplace on censuses and not even a county, and they were called Patrick Murphy.

Another frustration is how you find a namesake baptism in a parish or surrounding area 20 or so years before your ancestor's marriage but cannot prove it is the same person.

Or ones who put "not born in county of residence" in 1841 but the Grim Reaper claimed them before 30th March 1851, which was the night the first really useful census was taken. I have such a person, and his surname is, wait for it - Smith.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: Kiltpin on Monday 22 June 20 19:54 BST (UK)
I get frustrated and a little bit peeved by people who take photographs and don't identify them.   

Newly-weds, the whole wedding party from a different wedding, a group of early teens (boys and girls) dressed in their best but no shoes or socks, formal family groups (umpteen), six men in working clothes carrying a coffin draped with the Union Flag at shoulder height, a schoolboy in uniform bandage on one knee standing behind rows and rows of polished boots. 

The list goes on and on - hundreds of photographs - all useless. 

Regards 

Chas
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: weste on Tuesday 23 June 20 08:39 BST (UK)
Dna , women using a married name instead of  maiden name , especially when no tree and ones which don't use a proper name but some can be identified!
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Tuesday 23 June 20 14:08 BST (UK)
When you find a rare surname in your tree and any records of earlier members of the surname are 2 or 3 generations back, and in the same area, meaning you are not sure how they connect to later members of the family. Such as you find your ancestor was Deliverance Bloggs married 1670 in Weymouth Dorset, so born circa 1650, but cannot find any other earlier people of the surname in Dorset until 1570 when a Deliverance Bloggs died in Weymouth, and her husband's family were landed gentry, and you cannot link the 1650 born one to the one who died 80 years earlier. Meaning you have to find the 2 or 3 generations in between to link them up. And that may not be possible.

I have a Roger Coggeshall born c1550 in the Fornham area of Suffolk near Bury St Edmunds. A Roger Coggeshall died in 1541 there, but cannot directly link him to the one born c1550, as I cannot find his baptism and parents.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: frostyknight on Tuesday 23 June 20 14:36 BST (UK)
DNA - only two other people on my paternal side appear to have tested, one of them a 1st cousin, the other a  3rd cousin with no tree, although I know where she fits in. As opposed to the 200+ matches on my maternal side.

On the same line, my great, great grandfather was born 1815 or earlier, while parish registers for the area (Westmeath) only started c1820, so I don't know if/how many siblings he had, and only know his father's name from his marriage certificate in the 1870's. (2nd marriage). I hoped DNA might give me a clue to this line. But not so far.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: mrcakey on Tuesday 23 June 20 15:04 BST (UK)
EVERYONE in my family being called George, Robert, William, Thomas or occasionally Richard. (And Jennet or Elizabeth on the female side.) Who is who?!!!!!
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: ThrelfallYorky on Tuesday 23 June 20 16:30 BST (UK)
I feel for you on that. On one line it's a mesh of siblings John, William, Thomas, and each of one seems to have given his eldest son the name of another, and the generations start to overlap.... and they all live in the same area and do similar jobs....
My female? Jennet, Ann(ie) Elizabeth or Isabel. similar practises.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Tuesday 23 June 20 18:51 BST (UK)
Oh yes the endless Johns, James', Williams, Georges and Elizabeth's, Sarah's, Mary's and Anne's. They chuck the odd Stephen or Erasmus in for good measure, or Thirza's.

Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: BillyF on Tuesday 23 June 20 19:06 BST (UK)
Oh yes the endless Johns, James', Williams, Georges and Elizabeth's, Sarah's, Mary's and Anne's. They chuck the odd Stephen or Erasmus in for good measure, or Thirza's.

Oh my goodness yes. MIne are Williams, Georges and Thomas on my English side and Alexanders, James, Robert, Sarah and Mary on my Scottish side, though funnily enough there is a Fred who`s giving me a bit of a headache at the moment.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: frostyknight on Tuesday 23 June 20 19:13 BST (UK)
Yes! Thomas, William, James, John and for the females Ellen, Mary (or Mary-Anne), Catherine and Elizabeth in each generation and in each branch of every generation. Fun! Especially all the men named Thomas. So many of those.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: Mckha489 on Wednesday 24 June 20 09:55 BST (UK)
Entries like this one for Sheriff Hales

Nov 9 1641  Two were marryed beinge none of the parish of Sheriffe Hales    GRR
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: johnhood on Wednesday 24 June 20 10:08 BST (UK)
Interesting posts. Mine is family who I have baptisms,births,census, marriage until old age and then vanish- no death records and it was not Corvid 19 that was their ending! Plus the number of times you know where they were living and "that part of census is missing".

John
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: Isabel H on Wednesday 24 June 20 10:24 BST (UK)
Same here - people who vanish without trace. No records of death or emigration to be found, no missing person reports. It's like reading a book with the last pages missing!



Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: Gillg on Wednesday 24 June 20 11:07 BST (UK)
Illegitimate children with no father's name traceable.  In my case William Fair(e)y 1776, son of Sarah.  No Bastardy Bonds exist any longer for that time, no Parish Overseers' records for chasing up the father to pay maintenance, just an entry in the baptism register.  Not certain where and when mother Sarah was born, though I have narrowed it down to possibly a girl from a nearby village, but that's just a guess.  In the small village where William was baptised (Gt Catworth, Hunts) there is another family of the same name, but try as we may the researcher for that family and I can find no link.  Even Hunts Record Office couldn't help, so I'm stuck on that branch and William is my gt-gt-gt-grandfather. :'(
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Wednesday 24 June 20 13:18 BST (UK)
My ancestor Thomas Edgington was born in 1822 in Wootton Berkshire. He was illegitimate, as was his 3 siblings. Never found any trace of his father. Another ancestor was born in 1801 in Twineham, Sussex, and was born to an unmarried mother. No trace of any possible father.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: BillyF on Wednesday 24 June 20 13:38 BST (UK)
My 2x gt grandmother had 6 illegitimate children, one with a named father - my gt grandmother.

My biggesr frustration is the whereabouts of another gt grandmother and on the 1891 census, her sister is also missing but I`m not sure if  they are together.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Thursday 25 June 20 18:53 BST (UK)
I think we should just be grateful for the records we do have as opposed to the ones we don't have, such as ones that never existed or were lost or destroyed. If you have mainly Irish ancestors, getting back past the 1820s can be a miracle. i do feel for them.

England, Scotland and Wales have quite good records that can go back centuries. Wills and inheritance matters can really help as well as PR's for before the 1750s.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: IgorStrav on Thursday 25 June 20 19:01 BST (UK)
yes I am always grateful for the sources I've found and the mysteries I've resolved either myself or with help from others.  Nothing replaces that surge of excitement when something emerges from the historical gloom into the light!

I find that it's really hard to conclude that I'LL NEVER KNOW about some things.  The sources aren't there, the census details for the streets I want are missing, I just won't ever find out.  So be it.  But hard to take..... 
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: Crumblie on Thursday 25 June 20 20:05 BST (UK)
I would agree with most of the frustrations mentioned already, I think mine are only realising now the questions I should have asked when I was a child and wishing I had listen more carefully to the answers I did get.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Thursday 25 June 20 20:14 BST (UK)
I find that it's really hard to conclude that I'LL NEVER KNOW about some things.  The sources aren't there, the census details for the streets I want are missing, I just won't ever find out.  So be it.  But hard to take.....

That is very hard to take, same as when you find the wrong line is more interesting than the right line, or that your ancestor's first wife had a father who was gateway ancestor with lines back to antiquity, but you descend from his 2nd wife, whose origins are hard to find.

I don't know why but I am keeping plugging away trying to find a gateway ancestor, something I never considered finding until recently. I think as much as I cannot stand the man, Danny Dyer's royal blood has inspired me to look for such ancestors, plus more info is coming online all the time.

I have some landed gentry in my ancestry which is something, many of them acquired their fortune and crests in the 1500s and before that are hard to find.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: M_ONeill on Thursday 25 June 20 20:21 BST (UK)
I'm kind of both fascinated and frustrated by the 'Civil War Gap' - it's my first time tracing a line back to the English Civil War. I'm fascinated because it speaks very plainly to just how much the chaos would have effected even one small set of villages in Staffordshire. The frustration naturally comes in because tracing lines through that few years becomes very difficult, despite having good records on either side.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: clairec666 on Friday 26 June 20 09:21 BST (UK)
Oh yes the endless Johns, James', Williams, Georges and Elizabeth's, Sarah's, Mary's and Anne's. They chuck the odd Stephen or Erasmus in for good measure, or Thirza's.

I'm eternally grateful for having an Israel, Barnabas and Elijah amongst my ancestors!

My biggest frustration is burial records without ages. I've found likely burials for a few of my ancestors, but can't be sure because there's all that's recorded is their name. Even worse, some of the other records on that page are beautifully detailed - e.g. "Mary, wife of Edward Gibbons, blacksmith, age 48", but my possible relatives just have a name and nothing else.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: LizzieL on Friday 26 June 20 10:23 BST (UK)
Dna , women using a married name instead of  maiden name , especially when no tree and ones which don't use a proper name but some can be identified!

Sorry, I'm one of those that use my married name as user name - I think it somehow became the same as the way my name is written on my credit card when I paid my first sub. I signed up to Ancestry long before DNA but my main tree is called by my maiden surname.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: Gillg on Friday 26 June 20 10:24 BST (UK)
My parents sometimes mentioned a Black Sheep in our family, but would never tell me who it was or what he or she had done to earn the title.  My best guess so far is my gt-grandfather, who joined the London police, but was dismissed the force after 2 years for "stealing strawberries" and had to return to his native village.  I wrote in ignorance of this to the Met for his service record and received a most apologetic letter from them with the details.  It surely wasn't my grandfather's cousin, who had an illegitimate child.  If only I'd questioned my parents further!
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: LizzieL on Friday 26 June 20 10:35 BST (UK)
A big frustration is the lack of on-line records for Berkshire, where at least a quarter of my ancestors come from.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Friday 26 June 20 12:55 BST (UK)
A big frustration is the lack of on-line records for Berkshire, where at least a quarter of my ancestors come from.

I also have ancestors from Berkshire. Suffolk also has many parishes which are not online. Sadly Ancestry is very slow now at uploading new records to their site. At least FindMyPast releases new records every Friday, some of them may be a bit obscure but often they do release bulk records which are very helpful. I admire their enthusiasm.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: Top-of-the-hill on Friday 26 June 20 18:12 BST (UK)
  Many years ago, when I started on this, ploughing through archdeacons transcripts in the cathedral library, I did really well with my local ancestors, until I came to a marriage in Elham of Mary Pay and John Coddam in 1671. No baptisms! I have left it at that, thinking "commonwealth gap", but having recently looked again at the Elham registers on line, they actually look very complete.
    Now, if there was any justice, these two would be born in Elham where both families were before and after, and I would be able to link Mary back to a yeoman family living there in the 1640s and 50s. These two families link again at a much later date in my great grandparents.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Saturday 27 June 20 16:40 BST (UK)
Genealogy can be very rewarding when you find something out but can also be very exhausting. But often once you have found a certain thing that you are looking for, and can no longer sing the U2 song to yourself  :) you feel the hunt is over. The hunt is the fun part.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: Biggles50 on Tuesday 30 June 20 12:42 BST (UK)
I have an Eli Collins b1776 Birstall, St Peter, Yorkshire.

There were options for his parents that I could not resolve at the time I started the tree, the other trees on Ancestry also stopped with him.

So I took a guess at his Father and possible Grandfather found marriages and left the tree at that to see what hints came up.

Over the years other trees adopted my guesses.

I kept revisiting but could not resolve Eliís parentage to my satisfaction.

Then came DNA and Eliís maternal Grandmother Mother Mary Bywater (one of the original guesses) comes up as a Common Ancestor of mine and to two other people who are descended from her.

I have Eliís mother as Mary Pearson, the other two DNA matches also have Mary Pearson in their trees but they have her married to someone else and hence not to Eliís father.

The frustration continues.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Tuesday 30 June 20 13:26 BST (UK)
Sometimes a blanket search is a good option. Time consuming but at times can be rewarding. The PCC wills can be great as they are indexed on Ancestry, sometimes use a surname of interest and date range and county, and see if any of your relatives are mentioned in the wills. Or even a village name, and see if any relatives are mentioned or acted as witnesses.

Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: cafetiere on Wednesday 01 July 20 18:39 BST (UK)
I can't find my great grandparents on the 1881 census. I'm not even sure if I'd find out any more information from it  that I could guess at but not being able to find them at all is really maddening.

I've also contacted someone via FB who I am sure is a 2nd cousin. I don't want to impose on her at all (but she would be interesting - lives in NYC) but, if I'm right, I think she'd have some information that would really help me. But no response (I probably wouldn't reply to me on FB either, to be fair) so can't really pursue that.

And a gg grandmother had no father's name on her wedding certificate and was born before 1837.

Oh, and I've loads of Irish relatives.  ;D
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: IgorStrav on Wednesday 01 July 20 18:47 BST (UK)
I can't find my great grandparents on the 1881 census. I'm not even sure if I'd find out any more information from it  that I could guess at but not being able to find them at all is really maddening.

I've also contacted someone via FB who I am sure is a 2nd cousin. I don't want to impose on her at all (but she would be interesting - lives in NYC) but, if I'm right, I think she'd have some information that would really help me. But no response (I probably wouldn't reply to me on FB either, to be fair) so can't really pursue that.

And a gg grandmother had no father's name on her wedding certificate and was born before 1837.

Oh, and I've loads of Irish relatives.  ;D

Oh yes.  Things you are NEVER GOING TO KNOW.  Unbearable.  ::) ::) :-\ :-\ :-\
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: Lisajb on Wednesday 01 July 20 19:03 BST (UK)
Those of my ancestors who suddenly decided to go by another name. I spent ages trying to find a Henry Woodman, when a genealogist friend took a look, and informed me that Henry was actually George.

Daisy, who, upon her marriage, added a couple of years to her age and also became Daisy May Victoria.

Donít even get me started on my husbands Irish Meagher/Maher ancestors - I had to check both versions of the name as they or the registrar varied between each child. And his GGM, who switches between OíHara and Gray/Grey for her maiden name.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: Treetotal on Wednesday 01 July 20 22:41 BST (UK)
The variation of spelling of Irish surnames....Monaghan,Monagan,Monaghan. Maher, Mayer, Meagher and Carroll, Caroll, O'Carroll....add to that, putting POB as "Ireland".
Using middle names as Christian names.
Missing WW1 army records.
Carol
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Wednesday 01 July 20 23:03 BST (UK)
When you say you are into your family tree and others say "Can you do mine?".  :o That is a frustration.  ;D I have my own genealogy to do lol, and it has taken me 20 years so far and still work in progress.

I give them some tips and starting points.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: cafetiere on Monday 20 July 20 16:49 BST (UK)
Had a bit of a breakthrough today but I seem to have a large amount of people in my tree who have no children. (There are plenty who have lots of children as well). But having no children means there aren't m/any people looking for them and just fewer records all round to give any more clues about other people.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Monday 20 July 20 18:58 BST (UK)
They say it gets harder the further back you go, which is true but it can also depend on many things. If they were not royal but worthy people who were landed gentry or just wealthy merchants, it can take you back further into the 1600s and the 1500s. Wills of London merchants in the 1500s and 1600s often mention land and relatives in other parts of the country.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: pharmaT on Friday 24 July 20 07:15 BST (UK)
People asking "why is it not finished yet?"

Baptism records where only the father is named, especially when his name is only reported as say Mr Smith with zero info to differentiate from all the other Mr Smiths.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: clairec666 on Friday 24 July 20 13:14 BST (UK)
Had a bit of a breakthrough today but I seem to have a large amount of people in my tree who have no children. (There are plenty who have lots of children as well). But having no children means there aren't m/any people looking for them and just fewer records all round to give any more clues about other people.

But childless people can be useful too! If they left a will, their beneficiaries might be siblings, nieces and nephews. The informant on their death certificate might be a relative too, and so might other people buried in the same grave.

I'm currently going through all the unmarried and/or childless people in my tree and searching for them in the 1939 register. Quite often there are other family members in the same household. In one case, a single lady was living with two of her widowed sisters - I hadn't previously been able to trace them beyond 1911.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Friday 24 July 20 14:48 BST (UK)
Childless couples who left wills often left it to many relatives which can take your search back further.

Also, another frustration is not being able to find anything about some ancestors prior to their marriage. I think outside considering nonconformists or not baptised etc, it could be they originated in an area a long way away, I am taking about ancestors born before 1800. People did move around much much more than we used to think. Some of my Essex ancestry has taken me back to London, Kent and I may have a 1600s ancestor originally from Rochdale. A Sussex ancestor who was well off married in London in the 1600s and his wife's family came from Lincolnshire and Lancashire.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: pharmaT on Friday 24 July 20 15:34 BST (UK)
Had a bit of a breakthrough today but I seem to have a large amount of people in my tree who have no children. (There are plenty who have lots of children as well). But having no children means there aren't m/any people looking for them and just fewer records all round to give any more clues about other people.

But childless people can be useful too! If they left a will, their beneficiaries might be siblings, nieces and nephews. The informant on their death certificate might be a relative too, and so might other people buried in the same grave.

I'm currently going through all the unmarried and/or childless people in my tree and searching for them in the 1939 register. Quite often there are other family members in the same household. In one case, a single lady was living with two of her widowed sisters - I hadn't previously been able to trace them beyond 1911.

One of the childless people in my tree is absolutely one of the most fascinating and a wealth of information on the wider family including my directs.  He was a prolific letter writer and these have survived to the present day. He also had a well travelled career which left a bit of a paper trail.  Thanks to him I know roughly when my 5x Great grandmother and 6x grt grandfather died as he refers to it in his letters, I know how the family felt about my 4x grt grandfather marrying my 4x Grt grandmother and about his career choices.  I have clarification of the birth years of some of their children thanks to his will as well.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Friday 24 July 20 16:17 BST (UK)
Ancestors with some property who never seemed to leave a will. I guess a private arrangement was made, or the will was written but never proved.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: jim234j on Friday 24 July 20 18:49 BST (UK)
My common surnames.
Thats my headache.  My Johnson ancestor married a Brown in the 1800s and I have never ever been certain I have the right Brown even doing DNA. 
 That is but 2 of my common surnames where there are to many choices that "could be" my ancestor and there is no way I can rule out every possible one.  This is in the Durham Northumberland area.
:)

Best wishes from Canada.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Friday 24 July 20 21:23 BST (UK)
My common surnames.
Thats my headache.  My Johnson ancestor married a Brown in the 1800s and I have never ever been certain I have the right Brown even doing DNA. 
 That is but 2 of my common surnames where there are to many choices that "could be" my ancestor and there is no way I can rule out every possible one.  This is in the Durham Northumberland area.
:)

Best wishes from Canada.

Oh Durham, Northumberland and Essex IMHO are very difficult counties to research due to the higher amount of the same surnames in those 3 counties. The amount of Brown's, Wilsons, Hodgsons, Robson's and Johnson's is astronomical. You may find the odd name like Smurthwaite thrown in for a variety.

Essex is the same, the sheer amount of Mead's, Webb's, Groves, Woods, Hurrell's, Moss', Newman's, Alger's and Cornwell's is high outside Smith's and Brown's. If I have an ancestor born about 1750, I have about 10 candidates to choose from. it is virtually impossible to know which, if any of them is mine if they did not leave a will. You may find a sibling through a witness to a marriage but even then about 6 of the candidates have a sibling of the same name.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: IgorStrav on Friday 24 July 20 21:58 BST (UK)
It's true that when you turn up a Brown or a Smith or a Jones your heart sinks at the difficulties to come, but counterintuitively you can have just as much trouble with a more unusual name which can attract multiple spellings.

I'm in favour of distinctive middle names.   ;D

Most of my ancestors don't seem to have been, though  :(
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: LizzieL on Monday 27 July 20 10:16 BST (UK)
My frustrations are on birth certificates with mothers maiden name different from the one she married with. Out of 7 children the first 5 have alternating maiden names eg, Smith, Brown, Smith, Brown and Smith. No other marriages or reasons for this so Iím stuck in finding out who is telling the truth.
Regards
Panda

I have one like that, but in this case the lady was a widow and therefore married in the surname of her first husband. She had several children with second husband. Presumably when registering some of the children she misunderstood the question and gave her previous surname not her maiden surname.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Thursday 30 July 20 18:50 BST (UK)
When you are pretty sure you have nailed it and have a lot of strong evidence leading to it but cannot find the definitive proof that what you have found is correct. And people who are passionate about genealogy often feel like they need to know, and try to find the clincher, or even have it disproven as at least you know.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: ms_canuck on Saturday 01 August 20 22:46 BST (UK)
It's true that when you turn up a Brown or a Smith or a Jones your heart sinks at the difficulties to come, but counterintuitively you can have just as much trouble with a more unusual name which can attract multiple spellings.

I'm in favour of distinctive middle names.   ;D

Most of my ancestors don't seem to have been, though  :(

I can sympathize! It's a similar story with my Welsh ancestors - Jones, Roberts, Williams, Evans - etc.  Thank goodness my great grandmother's surname was Wigley, or I might still be looking... LOL

Cheers

Ms_C
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Saturday 08 August 20 14:58 BST (UK)
Although these frustrations give us a challenge and make use determined.  :)

One frustration is when ancestors from 1837 onwards married in a NC chapel or in the registry office, meaning you have to buy the cert, after trotting to the record office and looking at every parish in the reg district and finding nothing. Or the Ancestry county marriage transcripts not listing your ancestors marriage, indicating a RO wedding or NC wedding.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: Stanwix England on Sunday 23 August 20 21:05 BST (UK)
My biggest frustration is my Irish ancestry. Like a lot of people I struggle with lack of records and surnames being too similar to be of any use in filling in the gaps.

I know almost nothing about that side of my family, not the details of their life, not anything really approaching the level I've been able to find out about other relatives.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: Braindead on Sunday 30 August 20 15:55 BST (UK)
My biggest frustation at the moment is a statement I made some years ago in my research: "xxxx was sent away to school with his brother in 1870. A year later his youngest brother joined them."
I would never have made such a statement without the facts to back it up but I obviously didn't reference it! Now I'm researching the younger brother and it's driving me mad that I can't find the source.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Sunday 30 August 20 16:52 BST (UK)
Or you find a snippet of info on an ancestor, and then find you already had it in your notes/Ancestry tree notes etc.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: Stanwix England on Sunday 30 August 20 23:09 BST (UK)
My frustration today is myself. I started doing our family tree when I had a very young baby. This was a mistake as I was really tired and clearly not able to concentrate on details properly.

I've just found out I've made a mistake. Luckily it's not too bad and was on a branch I hadn't worked on that much, but I've just had to go through and delete a load of stuff. Oh well.

To be fair to me, it was partly Ancestry's fault for mistranscribing a record and thus missing out a crucial detail.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: jbml on Monday 31 August 20 12:22 BST (UK)
I would agree with most of the frustrations mentioned already, I think mine are only realising now the questions I should have asked when I was a child and wishing I had listen more carefully to the answers I did get.

This just reminded me of H2G2:

Arthur: it's at times like this, when I'm about to be thrown out of the airlock of a Vogon spaceship 8 light years from Earth that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother always used to tell me

For: Oh? What did she tell you?

Arthur: I don't know - I wasn't listening
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: jbml on Monday 31 August 20 12:34 BST (UK)
It's true that when you turn up a Brown or a Smith or a Jones your heart sinks at the difficulties to come, but counterintuitively you can have just as much trouble with a more unusual name which can attract multiple spellings.

Oh, tell me about it!

Nebuchadnezzar Ashby.

I have yet to find any two records in which HIS name is spelled the same way!!!
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Monday 31 August 20 13:21 BST (UK)
Or transcriptions that omit vital details such as marriage witnesses after 1754. If you will transcribe, at least go the whole hog. Witnesses to marriages is fundamental especially in the 1754-June 1837 period before civil reg.

Another frustration is when dates are misleading and it says "Poor law records 1740-1820" when actually it is 1740-1742 then skips to 1790-1820. I saw that once in Oxford Record office for Bletchingdon poor law records. It was quite misleading before I obtained the originals to view.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: Clarkey500 on Monday 31 August 20 13:40 BST (UK)
My common surnames.
Thats my headache.  My Johnson ancestor married a Brown in the 1800s and I have never ever been certain I have the right Brown even doing DNA. 
 That is but 2 of my common surnames where there are to many choices that "could be" my ancestor and there is no way I can rule out every possible one.  This is in the Durham Northumberland area.
:)

Best wishes from Canada.

My Durham/Cumberland/Northumberland Browns are similar - too many of them! I was able to get back a bit further with one, who consistently said her birthplace was Ruttleback. It turned out, after a lot of searching, this was Rattlebeck - a few cottages in Cumberland - where she wasn't born, but moved there very young...

My other Brown line in those counties has been equally challenging!
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Monday 31 August 20 20:31 BST (UK)
Uncertainty is what comes with genealogy much of the time. I find Durham ancestors are a pain due to the much higher occurrence of the same surname. Wilson, Robson, Dobson, Hodgson, Forster.

Also we always have to face the small chance that the man named on a birth/baptism certificate was not the real father of your ancestor. A quick roll in the hay with the neighbour, the dalliances with the milkman or temporary separation leading to a fling, or the wife seeing another man and the hubby being none the wiser. Not sure the rate of infidelity in our ancestors days, but only advances in DNA testing will give a more accurate reading.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: Stanwix England on Monday 31 August 20 22:39 BST (UK)
Quote
Nebuchadnezzar Ashby

Flipping heck, as someone with a primary school aged child it's not that long ago that I went through the rigmarole of phonics and spelling. That name brings me out in stress hives. No wonder you find him hard to find and it's not spelt the same in two places.

Bet they all called him Neb for short. 

Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: jbml on Tuesday 01 September 20 06:52 BST (UK)
He's a great x 11 grandfather ... my mother's father's mother's father's mother's mother's father's mother's father's mother's father's father's father.

There's one weak link in the chain that I'm not 100% certain of (it is still only conjectural that John Wake and Elizabeth Wake, nee Ashby, were the parents of my great x7 grandfather Thomas Wake (1689 - 1731) ... but the rest of the chain is secure, and I reckon that's not bad for a great x 11.

Frustratingly, I've not been able to find his baptism, but a birth in about 1565 is indicated, somewhere in the region of Linton, Cambridgeshire. That is, however, close to the three-way county boundary with Essex and Suffolk, both of which are not easy counties when it comes to Parish records. When I get time I shall have another crack at finding him ... but I've got bigger fish to fry in more recent centuries first.

He married Johan Bentlye in Linton on 2 October 1586, and they had 7 children: Agnes (bapt.  3 May 1587), Mary (bapt. 6 February 1588/9), Johan (bapt. 11 March 1590/1), Richard (bapt. 5 August 1593), Bridget (bapt. 24 June 1596), Robert (bapt. 5 July 1601) and Symon, my great x 10 grandfather, bapt. 27 June 1606).

All baptised in Linton, and no doubting that they are all the children of Nebuchadnezzar and Johan!

I don't know when Nebuchadnezzar died, but Johan Ashby was buried in Linton on 21 March 1615 (I am assuming that the Johan Ashby buried on 3 June 1641 was the daughter, or possibly a wife of one of the sons ... but it might of course have been the other way around).
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Tuesday 01 September 20 13:31 BST (UK)
I am 99% sure that the John Newman born in Belchamp St Paul, Essex in 1759/1760 to Samuel and Hannah Newman is the same one who wed Mary Daniels in Rochford in September 1780. John Newman was baptised in February 1760, son of Samuel and Hannah Newman.

In 1783, Thomas Newman of Burnham On Crouch mentioned "My nephew John Newman of Rochford, son of my brother Samuel of Belchamp St Paul" in his will, leaving him 20 shillings.

I have looked at ratebooks and poor law records for Rochford on Familysearch for c1780 to 1811 and it appears my John Newman is the only John Newman living in Rochford at the time. Also he had a son called Samuel Newman and a daughter called Hannah Newman. A settlement examination for April 1782 says John was apprenticed as a shoemaker to Joseph Turner in Southminster when he was about 17 and they parted ways after 4 years, and is now of Rochford and is married.

Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: clairec666 on Friday 11 September 20 09:43 BST (UK)
Also we always have to face the small chance that the man named on a birth/baptism certificate was not the real father of your ancestor. A quick roll in the hay with the neighbour, the dalliances with the milkman or temporary separation leading to a fling, or the wife seeing another man and the hubby being none the wiser. Not sure the rate of infidelity in our ancestors days, but only advances in DNA testing will give a more accurate reading.

I always wonder about my Essex family - every census the men of the family are listed on a boat somewhere, while the women are left at home. Who knows what they got up to while the men were away!
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Friday 11 September 20 12:47 BST (UK)
Also we always have to face the small chance that the man named on a birth/baptism certificate was not the real father of your ancestor. A quick roll in the hay with the neighbour, the dalliances with the milkman or temporary separation leading to a fling, or the wife seeing another man and the hubby being none the wiser. Not sure the rate of infidelity in our ancestors days, but only advances in DNA testing will give a more accurate reading.

I always wonder about my Essex family - every census the men of the family are listed on a boat somewhere, while the women are left at home. Who knows what they got up to while the men were away!

it does make you wonder why you bother doing genealogy if there is a chance that some of your beloved ancestors may not have been your biological ancestors. Some may want to just focus on their immediate ancestors as the chances of infidelity compounds every generation due to them doubling in numbers.

My ancestor Sarah Wallaker was the wife of a waterman and merchant seaman, and on the censuses she was at home with the kids in Great Stambridge, Essex, most of the time, and the censuses show that. Wonder how lonely she got while her hubby was away. I think back then women were more loyal and conservative, and in rural villages everyone knew everyone's business. But the neighbour or milkman could have popped round to have his wicked way with her when the kids were tucked up in bed while the husband was away at sea or in the army.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: pharmaT on Friday 11 September 20 22:54 BST (UK)
Also we always have to face the small chance that the man named on a birth/baptism certificate was not the real father of your ancestor. A quick roll in the hay with the neighbour, the dalliances with the milkman or temporary separation leading to a fling, or the wife seeing another man and the hubby being none the wiser. Not sure the rate of infidelity in our ancestors days, but only advances in DNA testing will give a more accurate reading.

I always wonder about my Essex family - every census the men of the family are listed on a boat somewhere, while the women are left at home. Who knows what they got up to while the men were away!

it does make you wonder why you bother doing genealogy if there is a chance that some of your beloved ancestors may not have been your biological ancestors. Some may want to just focus on their immediate ancestors as the chances of infidelity compounds every generation due to them doubling in numbers.

My ancestor Sarah Wallaker was the wife of a waterman and merchant seaman, and on the censuses she was at home with the kids in Great Stambridge, Essex, most of the time, and the censuses show that. Wonder how lonely she got while her hubby was away. I think back then women were more loyal and conservative, and in rural villages everyone knew everyone's business. But the neighbour or milkman could have popped round to have his wicked way with her when the kids were tucked up in bed while the husband was away at sea or in the army.

The way I see it it's not just about biological relatives but about the lives of our ancestor.  Even if there was a NPE the named father was probably be part of their life, the paternal figure in their life.  When you go back further there is no guarantee that you have inherited many if any genes from them.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Friday 11 September 20 23:12 BST (UK)
Also we always have to face the small chance that the man named on a birth/baptism certificate was not the real father of your ancestor. A quick roll in the hay with the neighbour, the dalliances with the milkman or temporary separation leading to a fling, or the wife seeing another man and the hubby being none the wiser. Not sure the rate of infidelity in our ancestors days, but only advances in DNA testing will give a more accurate reading.

I always wonder about my Essex family - every census the men of the family are listed on a boat somewhere, while the women are left at home. Who knows what they got up to while the men were away!

it does make you wonder why you bother doing genealogy if there is a chance that some of your beloved ancestors may not have been your biological ancestors. Some may want to just focus on their immediate ancestors as the chances of infidelity compounds every generation due to them doubling in numbers.

My ancestor Sarah Wallaker was the wife of a waterman and merchant seaman, and on the censuses she was at home with the kids in Great Stambridge, Essex, most of the time, and the censuses show that. Wonder how lonely she got while her hubby was away. I think back then women were more loyal and conservative, and in rural villages everyone knew everyone's business. But the neighbour or milkman could have popped round to have his wicked way with her when the kids were tucked up in bed while the husband was away at sea or in the army.

The way I see it it's not just about biological relatives but about the lives of our ancestor.  Even if there was a NPE the named father was probably be part of their life, the paternal figure in their life.  When you go back further there is no guarantee that you have inherited many if any genes from them.

Yes that is true, they were still the father whether blood or not. Child took their surname, inherited their ethics, were fed and clothed by them.

A sperm donor is just a sperm donor.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: pharmaT on Friday 11 September 20 23:19 BST (UK)
I have my 3x grt gran's first husband in my tree.  He was part of my 3x grt gran's life, he was the father of my 3x grt aunts and uncles, my grt grt grandfather took on his name (long story), I also recorded her second, also became the father figure in my grt grt grandfather's life.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: andrewalston on Sunday 13 September 20 10:41 BST (UK)
Quote
Nebuchadnezzar Ashby

Bet they all called him Neb for short.

Nah. They called him Nezza, thus starting the trend which resulted in Gazza, Jezza, etc.   ;D
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: majm on Sunday 13 September 20 12:46 BST (UK)
Mr Ashby 's lad was probably known as Nebby-never-late-for-a-date.

JM
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Sunday 13 September 20 14:14 BST (UK)
Record offices where the microfilm has not been rewound, or is upside down, or the microfilm machine is virtually kanckered and it is the only one available as others are in use. I guess we all have come across these types of machines before. Hence why when waiting for a free decent machine you look through the printed transcripts on the shelves of the county parish registers.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: jbml on Sunday 13 September 20 18:24 BST (UK)
Mr Ashby 's lad was probably known as Nebby-never-late-for-a-date.

JM

Just as well he wasn't a young blood in the 19th century though ... by the time he'd finished writing his name on a young lady's dance card, he'd probably have missed the dance!
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: coombs on Tuesday 15 September 20 19:00 BST (UK)
Common names are a pain but actually the spelling can be much more straightforward than rarer surnames which can have many variants. Smurthwaite, Bracegirdle etc.
Title: Re: Genealogy frustrations.
Post by: pharmaT on Wednesday 07 October 20 09:53 BST (UK)
I have found what is possibly the baptism record of one of the people i am researching.  It is just a lost of the names of the people baptised and their dates of baptism.  No parents, not even the father, no indication of where they lived in the parish nothing, no clues. Argh!