Yet sometimes records have anomalies. Some are amusing or humorous. Some are interesting or weird. Some are peculiar or suspicious. Some are infuriating, or downright laughable.
Yes, “Records say the Darnedest Things.”
Robert Charles Anderson is the eminent genealogist who has been director of the Great Migration Study Project at NEHGS since 1988. He made an interesting statement recently regarding The Great Migration Directory. The directory lists all New England immigrants from 1620 through 1640. If there was any question of an immigrant having arrived early enough, Robert’s philosophy was to exclude them.
Because published errors are immortal, an error of omission is always preferable to an error of commission. If someone who was not a Great Migration immigrant is included in this volume, that mistaken conclusion will live forever on library shelves.1
It’s a concept we all know. But having a noted genealogist state it so succinctly was cool. From this point on, I will quote Robert. “Published errors are immortal.”
It was once published that my cousin, Lucy Mack Smith, was the granddaughter of Sarah Cone, instead of the currently accepted conclusion that she was the granddaughter of Lydia Fuller.2 The error still persists.3
Anybody out there fighting a published error? An error in the Ancestral File or the International Genealogical Index, perhaps?
1. Robert Charles Anderson, “Documenting New England's Founders in the Great Migration Directory,” American Ancestors (Spring 2015): 27-8.
2. Audentia Smith Anderson, Ancestry and Posterity of Joseph Smith and Emma Hale (Independence, Missouri: Herald Publishing House, 1929), 201; citing Heman Hale Smith, Journal History (Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) 5:424.
3. Two examples can be found on RootsWeb’s WorldConnect.