25 January 2016

Excuse Me? Call Me Confused Or......?

I know you saw the post title and wondered if I had lost my mind?  Nope!  I'm just as crazy and loopy as always but.... This post has some graphics that may slow down some readers.  For a closer look click on images and use your back button to return to GFOM.    

I was doing some digging on my Presley/Preslar (yes, Elvis!) ancestors.  I turned to my first jumping off research place, Ancestry.com.  That's where the real fun began.  Stick with me, there's a valuable lesson here.

I've never 100% trusted anything I find on Ancestry.  No slam intended, but something always seems to be fishy.  Why I thought this time would be different I don't know.

So I put in the info I was searching for  ---

Pretty basic stuff, I put in one of the two places I know Andrew had lived, the first being Maryland the second being North Carolina.  I hit enter and one of the things that popped up was the following data base,  I thought Pennsylvania? This is strange but lets have a look --

So I clicked thru...

IF you look down at the bottom of page 112 it reads, 
" Andrew Pressler son of Andrew Pressler and Ann his wife, granson of Vollintine Pressler was born the 4th day of February 1732/3." 

Yes!  That's my Andrew.  But wait,  this is Pennsylvania stuff right?   Let's look again.

So, according to this header,  this record is from where?  Pennsylvania, Church and Town Records. But wait, Andrew was never in Pennsylvania.... at least not that I knew of.  Oh wait, another header under the Pennsylvania one, in smaller letters.  It says... 

St Stephen´s Episcopal

HUH?  to my knowledge Andrew had been in Maryland, he was born there, but Easton County?  It was one of only two states I knew him to be in.  Still not happy with the information I saw displayed, I decided to go and look at the book the items were in.   And when I did, this is what I found - 

This "book" that had been scanned and added to this collection, filed under PENNSYLVANIA was actually from Cecil County, Maryland.  And yes, this was my Andrew, in the correct place!  Notice that the header for the title of the data base had not changed.  It still says Easton County. I did go and look at the full listing for the data base and it does state.....

"The documents in this database are mostly Protestant church records from congregations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, but there are also some for locations in the neighboring states of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia..."

I had actually found on a website with NO sources that Andrew was born in Cecil County, Maryland, but it offered absolutely no viable source information and when asked the owner of the site was of no help either.  You can imagine my excitement in seeing the record of his birth in that book.  I was confused as heck seeing his birth being recorded in Pennsylvania?  That made no sense to me at all.  But then following thru and chasing back to the cover & title pages of the book, showing that it was indeed St. Stephen's Parish, Cecil County, Maryland made it worth the the chase.

You can't be too careful when documenting the lives of your ancestors.  Take the time to "dot the i's and cross the t's" as I was often told in grade school.  This certainly proves that if something doesn't make sense, take the time to figure out why.  I now have a birth record for my 6th great grandfather.  How cool is that!?!?!?!?

Happy Researching!

1 comment:

Tina Grimes said...

I have found good stuff on Ancesty, often by accident and often for the same types of reasons you highlighted here. And I tell you what: the mis-transcription done of many documents on Ancestry drives me crazy! Sometimes it's understandable due to the poor quality of the document. But other times, too often, it's because of someone who clearly can't read cursive, or who just guesses or something. I have several ancestors I am unable to find census data for in various years, and I'm sure it's because their names have been mangled during transcription. I find record data messed up like that all too often. I'm glad you found your ancestors in this case though. Great find!