Sometimes They Won’t Change Things

One of my aunts had her first child in the 1870s. About five years later she married a local man with whom she had several children. The date of their marriage is confirmed with marriage records from the county in which they lived and from the church they attended. The husband died several years before the wife and when his estate was probated the oldest child (who survived her mother and her mother’s husband) was not listed as an heir to his intestate estate while all the children born after the marriage were. Records from a court case initiated after the death of the aunt’s parents mention the first child and specifically name her father–a name that was not the husband’s. Census records and details from the court case after the aunt’s parents’ deaths indicate that the aunt’s oldest child actually lived with her parents.

But there are a few relatives that have approached this in a different way. The date of the aunt’s marriage has been tweaked to make it appear that she married her husband before this child was born and have listed the husband as her father.

Gentle convincing has not been successful. Asking for evidence that the date from the county recorder’s office and church records is incorrect has been met with no answer. Asking why the child is not listed as the husband’s heir is met with no answer. Sometimes you are unable to convince people.

Report what you find and move on.


5 thoughts on “Sometimes They Won’t Change Things

  1. Been there!! So the 19 trees on ancestry say one thing and my one tree says another. Which tree will be copied? I personally love those one trees. It means someone has found something the other people didn’t. True or not it’s worth investigating. Currently my 3x great grandmother is married to her father in law. His name is John so…must be right. It does mess with my DNA matches, though. I just have to keep that in mind when I try to figure out where they fit.

    • I have an online tree where the submitter has a man’s mother-in-law listed as his mother. Mentioning this to the submitter does not get them to change it even though I see them adding other things to their tree.

  2. When I have a finding that’s contrary to what most trees have, I write it up for my family blog with any evidence that I have. Then I post the article on that person’s profile on my tree. Hopefully, newbies will find it and see the light even if those with older trees don’t correct theirs.

    • Fiction is what it is. In some cases like this there’s not evidence providing supporting information regarding the relationship the mother had before the marriage. But in this case, there is. I’ve got another case where a relative upped the marriage date by a year (keeping the same day and month) to make it look like the couple married a year and a half before the baby was born instead of six months before.

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