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?


Goofs, Uncategorized

Mistakes in genealogy records

I have been searching for the baptismal record of my g-g-grandmother, Elizabeth Montet, for years. I’m sure there was one. Her brothers and sisters were baptized. Yet I cannot find proof that she was baptized. Without one, I’ve had to guess at her date of birth based on the precise age that was given on her death certificate. She was so many years, so many months, so many days. Still, it would be nice to add an actual baptismal certificate to my collection of records.

Either the priest neglected to write down her baptism or she was baptized someone other than Plattenville. Or her name was horribly mangled and I just can’t find it in the published records.

I was reminded of just how easily mistakes can happen while reviewing my marriage certificate prior to going on a cruise. It states that my husband and I were married at St. Joseph in Baton Rouge. We do live in Baton Rouge. But we married at St. Joseph in Thibodaux. Both the state and the diocese got it wrong. Correcting the mistake probably would be possible but seems like too much of a bother. I can just picture some future genealogist scratching his or her head over that one.