Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Family History: Getting the Facts Straight

Family history research requires the ability to sort through sometimes conflicting information in order to get the facts straight.  Errors in transcription, failing memories, or misconceptions can all contribute to inaccuracies.
I'm not sure how old I was when my mom cleared up one of my family history misconceptions, but I'm pretty sure I was in elementary school--old enough that I should have been able to reason it out myself.  

My mom and I were driving on the freeway, on our way to visit my mom's parents.  As we passed by a particular building, I casually commented, "There's where you and Dad got married."  The look on my mom's face was one of complete befuddlement and shock.

"What???"

"That's where you and Dad got married."



She then explained to me that she and Dad had gotten married in a church, not in the paper mill factory building.  (Shocking, I know.)  As near as we can figure, she must have told me the story of her wedding for the first time while we were making that drive to the grandparent's house, and we must have been passing the paper mill at the time.  Somehow, I "married" the two facts in my mind, which resulted in my belief that the gray, smoke-stacked building held romantic memories for my parents.  

Lessons learned:
1. Childhood memories might not be accurate.
2. "Trust, but verify" applies to family history.
3. My parents are fairly traditional after all. 

Do you have any funny misinterpretations of facts in your family history?
Thanks for my parents, who always are able to maintain composure when talking with me, even when I say the most ridiculous things.


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8 comments:

  1. Oh my, I'm glad you got the story straightened out.

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  2. I can imagine the shock your mother must have felt.... Whoehahahahahahaaa....
    And THAT'S how stories get out of control.... Funny!!

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  3. That is so funny!
    The only things that I got wrong (that I know of) about family stories are things my parents lied to me about on purpose. Things like how our pet duck died, or where the shells we found on vacation actually came from. We always found out the truth in very public, embarrassing ways.

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  4. LOL I'm into genealogy and the fun stories I get from family are amusing. And like your memories no doubt many are not quite right. I bet your mum was surprized that you thought such a place was romantic lol
    Love leanne

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  5. Oh gosh, that is funny! Your Mom must have been so shocked! LOL

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  6. That's so funny! That could have been pass down for generations. LOL

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  7. I visited the University of Michigan and tried to find the chapel where she and Dad got married, only to learn some years later they'd been married outdoors in a garden, not inside. Never found the spot.

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  8. Ew! Having liven near a paper mill I can see why your parents wouldn't have wanted to get married there! I can still smell that smell!

    Just stopping by from the Say it Saturday Linky Party. Thanks for sharing!

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!