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.
"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.
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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