Week 43: Oops: James and Lydia Serviss, the parents that weren’t

The optional theme for week 43 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge offered by Amy Johnson Crow was “Oops”.  There have been more than a few oops moments along the way in discovering my family’s history and origins.

When I was new at researching and recording genealogy, like many newbies, I was terrible at citing sources.  Like many, I thought I would remember where I got a particular piece of information, or if I did create a source of sorts, it was utterly useless when I tried to find the information again.  I am glad to say that is no longer the case and although some of my current source and citations may not be in a standardized format, they are at least useful.

In week 8 I wrote about my third great grandfather James Serviss.  I am still looking to find his parents.  Once upon a time, I thought I had.

I had recorded James Serviss parents as James and Lydia Serviss in my tree with no supporting documentation.  That tree had been posted as a public tree, and a few years back another researcher contacted me for the source of my information.   Of course, this was several years later, and by that time I had been in the habit of using sources so when I discovered that this was unsourced, I tried to find the source of the information.  Contrary to whatever belief I had at the time I recorded the information, I had NO IDEA where that came from! Furthermore, when I tried to work out who James and Lydia were I found that they were much too young to be James’ parents and clearly were in error.  I apologized to the other researcher for not being able to provide a source and changed my tree.

Fast forward several years.  I find evidence of a James and Lydia Serviss in a nearby town who married in about 1810.  My James was born in about 1812 so that fits!  Perhaps I wasn’t completely off at first?!

Unfortunately, I did trace James and Lydia forward and it appears they are not the parents I am looking for.  So the search continues….



2 thoughts on “Week 43: Oops: James and Lydia Serviss, the parents that weren’t

  1. A trip to England would be wonderful :). But probably wouldn’t help with dear old James. The Serviss family was an old family to the Mohawk valley NY area. Predating the Revolution. Several branches of the family were loyalists and emigrated to Canada at the time of the war. Others stayed and were valiant Patriots. Some immigrants to Canada may have returned after the war. Don’t yet know where James fits in although he is reported in census records to have been born in Montgomery county NY. A trip across the pond might shed some light on old Frederick McGlynn/Parsons!


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