Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Monday, September 7, 2015

Correcting the FamilySearch Family Tree -- A Retrospective and Case Study Part Three

This is the third installment of this post series. You may wish to start with the other installments, if you haven't already read them by clicking on the following links:

The purpose of this series is to illustrate, by using an actual example from the Family Tree, the process of correcting an existing entry and verifying the family line. I have chosen to examine the family of my Great-great-grandfather, Thomas Parkinson, (b. 12 December 1830, d. 3 March 1906). The Family Tree currently shows his birth information as follows:

12 December 1830
Farcet, Huntingdonshire, England, United Kingdom

His death information is also reported and is the following:

3 March 1906
Beaver, Beaver, Utah, United States

The current record shows a Christening data and place:

21 October 1831
Cathedral, Manchester, Lancashire, England

I can say one thing for certain, if he was born in Huntingdonshire, it is very unlikely that the Christening date and place are correct. Likewise, if he was Christened in Manchester, it is extremely unlikely that he was born in Huntingdonshire. 

There are currently no sources listed in the Family Tree that shed any light on his birth or christening. One of the very first steps in verifying the information in the Family Tree is to plot all the places on a map. This is easily done with Google Maps as I showed in the second installment of this series. Here is another map showing the location of the reported birthplace and the location of the christening place:

In addition, both his parents are reported to have been born and also died in Huntingdonshire. This is the kind of anomaly that has to be reconciled.

His death is another matter. Here is a copy of his Death Certificate. 

I have other records that confirm the death date. However, you can see that the Death Certificate also has a calculated birth date that does not concur with the birthdate presently recorded in the Family Tree. The other death record sources are simply copies of the information on the Death Certificate. 

Presently, there are no sources attached for the Christening date. It is interesting to see when and where his siblings were born. They are as follows:
  • William Parkinson born in Cambridge, England, 30 September 1828 (no christening date)
  • Thomas
  • Sarah Parkinson, b. 24 May 1833 Ramsey, Huntingdonshire, England, Christened 19 July 1835, Ramsey, Huntingdonshire, England
  • Eliza Parkinson, b. 15 June 1837 Middlemoor, Huntingdonshire, England, Christened 19 July 1837 Ramsey, Huntingdonshire, England. 
Hmm. This seems to be rather consistent with birth information. Here is a map showing the four locations:

What about the first birthplace in Cambridge? Well, now we have to get into some history before we conclude that the information is incorrect. Cambridge is the current Shire County of the area. The current District is Huntingdonshire, but the "Traditional" county was also Huntingdonshire. So, as the map shows, Ramsey and Farcet are both in Cambridgeshire. This means the apparent anomaly may not really be a problem. It just means that there is no specific birth or christening place for sibling William Parkinson.

The next step is to verify anyone of the Parkinson siblings' birth and/or christening dates. Stay tuned. It looks like I will either have to order microfilm or drive to Salt Lake. 

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