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

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Ultimate Family Tree Challenges: Consistency and Accuracy -- Part Two

Wherein I Look at Some of the Challenges

Genealogists, it seems, are compelled to fill in all of the spaces on their pedigree charts even if doing so beggars reality and good sense. Clicking back in the Family Tree gives anyone who cares to do so, a real look at the challenges inherent in compiling a unified family tree. The illustration above is back 26 generations with me as the starting point.

Back a ways in this extended pedigree, there is the following:

This particular Data Problems icon indicates that this Thoma Malbon was born before his mother could have children, i.e. she was ten years old. This whole line is tacked on to one of my Hamilton lines.

Why is this one of the ultimate challenges in the Family Tree for consistency and accuracy? Because of the lack of connection between William Hamilton or Hambleton and the person here selected has his wife, Elizabeth Malbon. There is an English Births and Christenings record for Elizabethae Malbon.

But the only connection between William Hamilton and Elizabeth is a christening record that shows Wml Hambleton with a wife named Eliz as the parents of Marthae Hambleton in 1721. There is no marriage record cited connecting William Hamilton to this particular Elizabeth Malbon.

Geographically, this could be possible. All of these places are very closely located within a few miles. Now, the question is do we accept all this as "established" and move on using this information as correct and consistent or do we question the entire line? How do we know that William Hambleton married Elizabeth Malbon?

Interestingly, there are three William Hambletons who died about the same time in this same place.

Further searching shows that there was a Wm Hambleton who married Elizabetham Malbon in 1715.

But which William Hambleton married Elizabeth Malbon? Further research shows not just three William Hambletons, but four.

The more research I do at this point adds more questions. I do find a William Hambleton christened in Butterton by Hulme End, Stafford, England in 1680, but there are evidently two or three other Williams who were in the same small area at the same time and who die and are buried on different dates.

The real issue here is more complex than it may seem at first glance. If I do a quick search in for William Hambleton born about 1685 in Staffordshire, England, I get the following:

One of these entries is a will and probate for William Hambleton dated April 26, 1726 so here is yet another William Hambleton in the same place at the same time.

My experience shows me that many of the long pedigree entries in the Family Tree have the same problems. The extensions are based on superficial assumptions of relationships without any in-depth analysis.

This is only one of the Family Tree challenges. Stay tuned for more.

Here is the first post in this series.

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