Sometimes, you make mistakes. And then, if you’re me, those mistakes are compounded by Ancestry, and you feel just awful. Let me explain.
Between the French and Spanish priests in early Louisiana, figuring out what my ancestors actually named their children can be a challenge. Few of my ancestors probably could read and write. So the priest guessed, and if it was a Spanish priest (as there often was between 1762 and 1802), then the priest not only had a bit of a language barrier but he also Spanishized names (is that a word?; well, it is now).
Marie became Maria. Joseph became Josef. Paul became Pablo. And those are the easy names.
My great-great grandmother’s mother was named Felonise (or something like that). According to the 1850 census, she was Phrlouise. 1860 had her as Mrs. Leufroy. 1870 marked her as Felonese. Her succession record lists her as Telonise.
So I had to figure out which of Francois Marie Gautreaux and Felicite Jeanne Hebert’s daughters she was. And I goofed. I thought she was Amarante Felicite until I realized today – decades into researching – that I goofed.
Amarante – or Emerante – married and died young. She certainly didn’t live long enough to bring 13 children into the world. Instead, she gave birth to a boy who died shortly after birth and she quickly followed him to the grave.
Except I have in my Ancestry tree that Amarante married Leufroy Aucoin and had many, many children. I goofed. It’s more likely that Leufroy’s wife was Philomin (which probably was supposed to be Philonise or Felonise). And, again, I’m guessing although the years match up. The bad thing is people have grabbed that information from my Ancestry tree (which is why you should never, ever, never, ever, never, ever) just copy someone else’s research. I know it’s tempting.
I source as much as I can, but genealogy is very much like putting together a puzzle. Sometimes you reason it out and make a guess to put the pieces together. And sometimes you’re just wrong.
I can’t tell you how bad I feel about this. And I can’t tell you how stressed I am about figuring out how to fix this in Family Tree Maker.
How in the world did I overlook Emerante’s marriage record and burial record? How?