Oct. 13th, 2013

bcholmes: I’m covered in bees! (bee sea)

I’ve encountered my first big mystery in the genealogy research. I do a few things as I digitize the research. I scan the pages — mostly, these pages are divided up into main family lines. Then I try to transcribe the large number of charts into a software product called MacFamilyTree, and that tool has some synchronization capabilities with a website called FamilySearch.org (run, as most of these sites are, by the LDS).

Genealogy websites are, basically, databases. And I understand databases. But I also understand that trying to decide that two records really are the “same” person requires a certain amount of human interpretation.

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Mirrored from Under the Beret.

bcholmes: I’m covered in bees! (bee sea)

This just gets more and more interesting. It looks like “my” Joseph Peters was born in 1772 in Chatham, Middlesex, Connecticut and his father, Samuel Peters, was born in Hebron, New York. It looks like they migrated to Canada (probably because of the American Revolution) and ended up in Ernestown, Ontario (near Kingston). Joseph ends up dying in 1841.

The “other” Joseph Peters was born in 1770 in Ernestown, Ontario and ended up moving, at some point, to England where he died. No wonder people conflated them.

Making it even more brain-teasing, for me, is that a lot of my family comes from the area around Chatham, Ontario (which has a nearby Middlesex county for good measure). It’s hard to see Chatham, Connecticut and not think, “wait, is that a mistake?”

Another Torontonian, Sheila Dowdell, seems to have done a lot of legwork on this family — although it turns out that the genealogy of Dorcas Watchman Snyder is the history that’s harder to get at the truth of. She’s written some interesting posts on bulletin boards and has copies of Joseph’s birth, marriage, and death records on a Mundia.com profile.

Mirrored from Under the Beret.

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BC Holmes

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