Sunday, January 18, 2015

Many Family Trees Are Wrong as Two Left Shoes

 

Not surprising to many researchers, many online public family trees on Ancestry.com and other sites are wrong! Several days ago, my new-found cousin Janice found an interesting death certificate on Ancestry.com that contained family names. Turns out, after further investigation, it was of our 4th-great-aunt, Brittianna Bass Early; she remained in North Carolina because our ancestors' prior enslaver, Council Bass on Northampton County, N.C., willed her in 1830 to one of his three daughters who remained in North Carolina. This daughter was Mrs. Charlotte Holloman of Hertford County, N.C. My third-great-grandmother, Beady Bass, and her children, along with her elderly mother Rose and her brothers, Harry, Jackson, and Seneca Jr., were taken to Hinds County, Mississippi by 1849 because Council Bass had bequeathed them to his daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth (Bass) Bass, who settled in Mississippi. Cousin Janice’s third-great-grandmother, Jemima Bass Mayo, and her children were taken to Madison County, Tennessee by 1835 because Council Bass had bequeathed them to his daughter, Mrs. Martha Bass Mayo, who settled in Tennessee. Grandma Beady and Aunt Jemima were Brittianna's sisters.


Item 5th: I give and bequeath unto Charlotte Holloman my daughter two negroe girls named Barsilla and Brittania to her and her heirs forever. (Will dated Sept. 2, 1830, Northampton County, NC.) (Source)

Well, prior to the discovery of Aunt Brittianna’s death certificate, I had researched Charlotte Bass Holloman, with hopes of locating Barsilla and Brittianna. Google searches, Ancestry.com searches, and other searches yielded nothing about Charlotte Bass. Not even a marriage record on familysearch.org was found. All of the public Bass family trees that I saw online had no information regarding her husband, whose name was simply noted as “Holloman” in many family trees. When I searched only using the wildcards "Charlotte Holloman," nearly all of the online family trees had her listed as a wife of James Holloman of Hertford County, North Carolina. However, those family trees had her maiden name as Charlotte Everett or Charlotte Holloman. Here are two examples: Example 1, Example 2. Even on Genforum.com, a researcher asked in 2000 if Charlotte Bass’ husband was James Holloman of Hertford County. A responder refuted her claim in this post.

Therefore, I felt it would be a waste of my time to look for Barsilla and Brittianna in Hertford County in 1870. I was wrong! When Cousin Janice alerted me to Aunt Brittianna’s death certificate, I soon found her and her husband, Langley "Lang" Early, and their children in the 1870 Hertford County, North Carolina census! Check out who their next-door neighbors were!

 1870 Hertford County, North Carolina Census: Aunt Brittianna Bass Early and her family lived adjacent to Charlotte Holloman (age 73) in 1870. (Source: Ancestry.com. 1870 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by FamilySearch.).

James & Charlotte Holloman were also found in the 1850 census. Why did researchers conclude that Charlotte was not the daughter of Council Bass but the daughter of Cornelius & Judith Everett Holloman? Were there two couples named James & Charlotte Holloman in Hertford County? If these public online family trees are inaccurate, how many more out there are just wrong as two left shoes? Also, this scenario could be a research tip that many researchers of white families should consider tracing the formerly enslaved African-American families that lived nearby in 1870 to find clues about their own ancestors. Would not Aunt Brittianna Early’s reported maiden name (Bass) on her death certificate have been evidence for a descendant/researcher of Charlotte Holloman that she was the daughter of Council Bass….if that researcher had suspected it beforehand? To add, if AncestryDNA’s DNA Circles are based on submitted family trees, and if many of them are inaccurate, then…. You get the picture?


The death certificate of Aunt Brittianna Bass Early who died in 1914 in Hertford County, North Carolina. Age was reported as 100. This certificate verified my 4th-great-grandparents’ names, Seneca & Rose Bass(Source: Ancestry.com. North Carolina, Deaths, 1906-1930 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.)

Special Note: If you know a descendant of James & Charlotte Holloman, please share this post with him or her.

13 comments:

  1. That there are wrong family trees on Ancestry is a huge understatement! I decided to do an experiment of my own with the family trees. I published an article on the origins of John Whitmer of Muhlenberg Co., KY. He has probably thousands of descendants and there are over 300 trees on Ancestry with him in it. I emailed every one of the hosts of those trees with a link to my blog posts that began on Jan. 7 and a message that my published article complete with sources was on line. To date, I have received only 22 replies. Most thanked me for the information, but a quick check of the first 100 trees shows only one updated with the correct information. It is sad that so many people blindly copy and/or import work of others that is wrong. I hope you find some other descendants of James and Charlotte. Maybe eventually the correct information will be added to the trees.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm a Holleman descendant too! Different spelling, and obviously on the Caucasian side, but who knows, our families may be connected!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, Melvin. A very valuable lesson. I have trees out on Ancestry and they are works in progress. I am now thinking I should keep them private until I'm certain the attachments are accurate. I will often attach people I'm working on bc I suspect they a re connected and I don't want to lose that thought. I'm going to reconsider how I deal with "draft copies" of my trees.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Reposted (I deleted the original comment, then decided to edit and resubmit )

    Melvin J. Collier, I thanks always! 1) This is why I never post any family tree for public access. 2) This is why I never add any information I have not researched thoroughly.

    I am not on FB as often, so I decided to reply here after getting "notifications" of your post in three groups we belong to. I have almost finished reading both of your books and also Got Proof! (January goals). Who could visit your webpages and blogs or see your reunion videos and not want to read each?

    P.S. I am less online period, due to plagiarism, etc. I have removed documented research from a family website after a distant cousin gave our work to a seminary peer to use for his genealogy certification portfolio. I notified relevant societies, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello! It is so unfortunate that there are many thieves out there, even in our own families.

      Delete
  6. I think that it has to be a given that any family tree on Ancestry.com is suspect and that there is no easy way to do it right! My grandmother died recently at 102 years of age and you cannot believe how many 'hints' I have followed to other trees with her in them showing her deceased just because they assumed she should be dead! I am appalled at the number of times I follow a hint and look at the sources and it is just another family tree! On the other hand if you use it as an idea it can lead you to some interesting places. Your idea about researching African American ancestors is interesting as well. I cannot tell you how much more interested my kids (boys) were after I watched an episode of 'Who do You Think You Are', heard a familiar name and found out that my husbands family were related to Emmett Smith! I have recently discovered your blog and am having a great time reading 'back issues'! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, I'm anal about confirming anything I attach to my tree. Yes, there are countless trees out there with incorrect information--some have sources attached and wrong because people fail to thoroughly scrutinize the information. All they see are names and disregard all else. I twist, squeeze, flip, and wring every piece of information I find and then I look for more information to confirm and verify what I just took apart. When I get hints to other trees, I don't take it at face value, I rip it apart with research. I get hints to trees where people are just simply in denial. I am sick and tired of coming across trees having my great great grandmother, Tina Cousins and her children as McIntosh--totally disrespecting my great great grandfather, Daniel Carr. Tina and her eleven children were enslaved by Daniel Newman McIntosh and his sister Kate Cousins. Daniel Carr is the father of all eleven children (not Daniel McIntosh): Chaney, Mahaley, Phillis, Hannah, Sarah, Flora, Jupiter, Richard 'Dick', Sam, Bina and my grandma, Lucy. They are all of African descent and Creek Freedmen. On the Dunn's Roll they are listed as Cousins; however, on the Creek Nation Enrollment Census Cards (Freedmen) they are listed with their father Daniel Carr and Tina Cousins. So, all of those trees still trying to claim McIntosh lineage through grandma Tina--not happening. Also, those trees claiming Delilah and Albert as children of Tina you are wrong, too. As stated earlier, Tina is African Lineage not half Creek and half Seminole. There is an interview by a Delilah McIntosh requesting enrollment into the Creek nation, and there may well be a Tina McIntosh out there who was her mother, but not my great great grandmother. Also, the photo attached to Tina Cousins-Carr in several trees is not a photo of grandma Tina, its a photo of Annie Tappan. Annie is the stepdaughter of my great uncle Dick Carr (Tina and Daniel's son). Yes, I'm calling out relatives with incorrect data in their trees who have yet to correct it. Please, don't only look at the source material but actually delve into it by scrutinizing names, dates, locations, etc. To all non-relatives who happen to have my family incorrectly in your trees--same to you, fix it. I have a problem with others denying my ancestors by ignoring their true lineage. You don't get to re-write or 'place' my family out of existence. I've had enough of his story.

      Delete
    2. Actually, I'm anal about confirming anything I attach to my tree. Yes, there are countless trees out there with incorrect information--some have sources attached and wrong because people fail to thoroughly scrutinize the information. All they see are names and disregard all else. I twist, squeeze, flip, and wring every piece of information I find and then I look for more information to confirm and verify what I just took apart. When I get hints to other trees, I don't take it at face value, I rip it apart with research. I get hints to trees where people are just simply in denial. I am sick and tired of coming across trees having my great great grandmother, Tina Cousins and her children as McIntosh--totally disrespecting my great great grandfather, Daniel Carr. Tina and her eleven children were enslaved by Daniel Newman McIntosh and his sister Kate Cousins. Daniel Carr is the father of all eleven children (not Daniel McIntosh): Chaney, Mahaley, Phillis, Hannah, Sarah, Flora, Jupiter, Richard 'Dick', Sam, Bina and my grandma, Lucy. They are all of African descent and Creek Freedmen. On the Dunn's Roll they are listed as Cousins; however, on the Creek Nation Enrollment Census Cards (Freedmen) they are listed with their father Daniel Carr and Tina Cousins. So, all of those trees still trying to claim McIntosh lineage through grandma Tina--not happening. Also, those trees claiming Delilah and Albert as children of Tina you are wrong, too. As stated earlier, Tina is African Lineage not half Creek and half Seminole. There is an interview by a Delilah McIntosh requesting enrollment into the Creek nation, and there may well be a Tina McIntosh out there who was her mother, but not my great great grandmother. Also, the photo attached to Tina Cousins-Carr in several trees is not a photo of grandma Tina, its a photo of Annie Tappan. Annie is the stepdaughter of my great uncle Dick Carr (Tina and Daniel's son). Yes, I'm calling out relatives with incorrect data in their trees who have yet to correct it. Please, don't only look at the source material but actually delve into it by scrutinizing names, dates, locations, etc. To all non-relatives who happen to have my family incorrectly in your trees--same to you, fix it. I have a problem with others denying my ancestors by ignoring their true lineage. You don't get to re-write or 'place' my family out of existence. I've had enough of his story.

      Delete
    3. Hi & really enjoyed your post-- you sound just as feisty as your ancestor Mahaley Cousins!-- i've just read her Dawes application & in it,she states she was denied her Creek citizenship through prejudice "...because I was not willing to be robbed by leeches for the privilege of holding my birthright".

      Wow!-- she sounds Great!!!-- (& if i had outspoken feisty females like that in my family i'd be proud as hell of them too & make sure i got their history correct so good for you!!)

      I also read Chaney Cousin's app'n. & am hoping you might shed a little light for me here?--in yr post above,you said Tina Cousins & her children were enslaved by Daniel Newman McIntosh & his sister, Kate Cousins. Would you happen to knowanything further about this particular "Kate Cousins"??

      Here's why i ask-- am trying to research a Creek named William "Billy" Cousins, grandson of a Lower Creek chief, George Cousins, of Eufaula in the Eastern Creek nation. This Wm. "Billy" Cousins reportedly married a Catherine "Kate" McIntosh-- a daughter of Chief Wm. McIntosh'es 1st wife, Eliza Grierson. But this Chief McIntosh also had another daughter by his Cherokee wife Susannah Rowe, & this other daughter was named "Hetty Catherine" & married a man named Willison in the I.T.

      so apparently Mcintosh had 2 different daughters named "Catherine" and/or "Kate", by 2 diff. wives-- "Hetty Catherine" (from Susannah Rowe) was Cherokee & Creek, & "Catherine "Kate" (from Eliza Grierson) was Creek & she married a Creek, William Cousins.

      From the Dawes applications, it seems that both Chaney & Mahaley Cousins were enslaved by a "Jackson Cousins" (reportedly a "step-son" of Daniel Newman McIntosh, who reportedly practiced polygamy & had 4 wives himself). So it is confusing, & i hope you'll be kind enough to add any additional info you may have on here, because like you, I also believe all of these people deserve to get their history written accurately!-- thanks for any help you may be kind enough to lend-- Ann

      Delete
  7. Can you please tell me a little more about Daniel Carr? Tina is my 4th great grandmother and I have definitely been mis-informed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jqine!-- would you please read my reply above about the Cousins families & maybe add any further info you may have?-- i've been trying to unravel the connections for a long time & it's complicated. From what I can tell, there are Af.Am., Nat. Am., & Caucasian branches of the Cousins families, that I believe are all somehow connected to a Scottish emigrant to SC in the early 1700's.

      He was an Indian trader to the Creek, & he & his descendents were particularly associated with some other well-known Indian trading families-- the McIntosh'es, Grierson/Grayson's, & others, including Carr-- for call it over 150 years, & they left many bi-& tri-racial descendents throughout SC/GA/AL/MS & the Indian Territory.

      Any information you may be able to add would be much appreciated!-- thank you!-- Ann

      Delete

Thanks for visiting and commenting on Roots Revealed!