Yesterday’s discovery of an error by a Find A Grave contributor that I know is in no way related to my family, made me very agitated. I was already frustrated by a slow internet connection that kept timing out.
What had gotten me in a tizzy? One Find A Grave contributor had created memorials of my family and linked some of my great-grandmother’s siblings as the children of one of her brothers. That brother is one of four generations with the same name as their father, my 2x great-grandfather. Another of my great-grandmother’s sibling’s memorial contained an error but was miniscule compared to her brother being the father of supposed children born to him when he was a child. The Find A Grave contributor’s mistakes demonstrated to me that they are not familiar with the lineage of my family and most likely only going by the information on death certificates without further research.
This upset me because after quite a bit of initial confusion, I have spent a considerable amount of time figuring out that there are three generations named after my 2x great-grandfather, the 1st generation. Each of these generations had more than one partner, married or not, so I had to be extra careful when attributing their children to the correct mother. And to compound the problem: 1) my 2x great-grandfather’s age is about 15-20 years younger than his actual age on his death certificate and 2) neither he or his son are distinguished as senior/junior on their death certificates.
I appreciate the efforts of all Find A Grave contributors and I’m impressed by their dedication to help serve the genealogy community. Sometimes I see the enormous number of memorials created by a contributor and wonder if they are just collecting names. I would like to suggest that if a contributor isn’t related to the deceased, please do as exhaustive a research as feasible on their antecedents/descendents to ensure a reasonable degree of accuracy. Trace their line(s) at least 3-4 generations back before linking them to other families. Or better yet, please leave the linking option for those who are related to them.