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….