Thursday, February 2, 2017

Keeping Accurate Records - or Trying to Find Them rather . . .

I have an ancestor named Robert Stuart Stirrat Purdie.  That's his name.  Both middle names are pronounced "Stew-ert".  My mom had told me that it was a custom (whether in the family or community is unknown) for the parents to name the child (in this case middle name) after the first visitor who calls after the baby was born.  Friends Stuart and Stirrat (whose last names are unknown to me at this time) arrived together to call upon the family - thus Robert was given two identical middle names, although different spellings.  Comes in handy when trying to piece together if various records do indeed belong with the ancestor you're trying to find.  I have not run into any juniors or seniors on either side of my family (well, not until the lines of royalty - which thus far are just names - the accuracy of their relation is also unknown.  They didn't actually use Junior and Senior but I, II, II, IV, etc.)  

My grandmother wanted to name her youngest son after his father, but my grandfather did not wish to have a "junior" in the family, thus they gave him a middle initial but not a middle name.  I have a daughter-in-law who has a rather common name.  Her father is a junior and his father is the senior, thus when ancestry presents hints, it is very important to pay attention to the dates as both names will come up as suggested matches for either.  It used to be if you deleted one name on the branch, it would wipe out the entire line.  That doesn't seem to be the case with this new format - which may be easier to understand, but one I am certainly not used to and don't find it at all convenient.  

I was given a great number of hints for those I believed were already in my system.  They were.  I discovered I had duplicates.  I don't know if I removed them all or not.  I have actually been finding names that don't seem to be connected to anyone in particular.  So why are they still in there?

Years ago we had learned that my brother-in-law bill is not only an uncle to my boys by marriage but also their sixth cousin once removed on their blood line.  We had his line and the boys line as two separate lines and thus had duplicate names and that bugged me.  In family search, you can connect the two rather than resubmit them as new people with duplicate names.  I like that much better.  I'm getting really tired of the duplications.

I notice that there are a lot of names that get used again and again honoring the grandparents - and it is nice when the names skip a generation, or when the names given are so unique that I don't recall ever having had heard it as a name before, like Thankful and Remembrance Fish.  When the name is so unique like Robert Stuart Stirrat or Priddy Meeks - it's gratifying.  Oh, yes.  That's got to be him.  Whereas Brigham Young, Joseph Smith, Jose Rivera, Roberto Martinez, Jennifer Anderson . . . say what? 

Family History can be very time consuming - and I think the most common names actually require the most attention.  I want to thank all of those from my tree who gave unique names to their children and putting distance between the more common names . . . well, many of you anyway.

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