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Do not be fooled into thinking someone is your ancestor when they are not. This can happen so easily, you may not be aware of it until many years have passed.
Do not be fooled into thinking someone is your ancestor when they are not. This can happen so easily, you may not be aware of it until many years have passed. Tracing the wrong line for years can be very disappointing, especially if you thought you were related to royalty when in fact this is not true at all. It may sound nice on the surface and some may stay in denial over who their ancestors are, but I would prefer to know the true family story rather then a fictional figment of my imagination. I will take my authentic bloodline over fake blue blood any day.

Some ancestors have you chasing them all over the place and running in many directions. When this happens, I take it one-step at a time, check the most probable places first, and inch my way from there. One person I helped was trying to find where his grandmother came from and who her parents were. The family information indicated one set of parents, however the grandmother’s marriage record stated that her mother had a different name. First, one would think her mother had more then one name she went by, but all the leads were heading nowhere; hence, where I come in. I re-examined the information and did a little searching and realized that this grandmother did indeed have a different mother. Her mother most likely passed away and her father remarried. Now this was a situation many could have been fooled by.

I have talked often about being on the wrong line for my great grandfather as he was baptized twice in the Catholic Church and married twice to my great grandmother and all the family information I had was leading me down the garden path, when I found a record that definitely straightened that mess out in a hurry. Thus, from experience I have learnt to look at the clues in front of me from many different angles before coming up with a sound conclusion, especially if the direct evidence is not available. Working for another person, I found what I thought to be her long lost grandfather who had disappeared many years ago. All the details seemed to fit, until we ordered a record that normally one would not think to order and found that this person was not her grandfather at all. This just goes to show you that if you go the extra mile and order a record that is not in character with the normal procedure of birth, marriage, death, census, land records and wills you just might be surprised.

It is easy to be fooled by an alluring ancestor, which seems to be the right fit or what we always hoped for. However, if not enough proof is available and this supposed ancestor keeps enticing you their way, stop and pause to look over your material before following their ghostly lead. Perhaps they are not your ancestor at all, but another’s who has not bothered to seek this ancestor out. I often feel the tug of many ancestors behind me as I work. I just have to stay focused and take them one-step at a time.

Happy Hunting!!


Tammy Tipler-Priolo BASc, PLCGS
The Ancestor Investigator is also the Ancestor Whisperer!