Sometimes they were my own silly transcription errors, misread dates, or location errors, discovered later while going through my Rootsweb or Ancestry.com online trees. Sometimes the mistakes stemmed from misinformation given to me by family members, which later proved false when I actually did some research. And, unfortunately, sometimes the errors came from published sources.
The most recent and daunting mistake that I had to correct involved the SHRIVER family. My ggg grandfather was LEWIS SHRIVER born between 1785-1790 in Maryland, died April 1831 in Ross Co Ohio. His wife was SUSANNAH LUCKHART, and their eldest son was FREDERICK WILLIAM SHRIVER b abt 1810 who married ELIZABETH SCHRECKENGAUST; they died in Cass Co IN.
In my initial research, I was able to trace this SHRIVER family in Ohio and beyond, but could not seem to connect them with the SHRIVER family in Maryland. The likely progenitor was JACOB SHRIVER who died 1794 in Anne Arundel Co MD. He did have a son named FREDERICK WILLIAM SHRIVER, and at least one grandson with that name. Actually there were several of that name in descending generations, as well as many named LEWIS SHRIVER--a very popular monicker.
The only source that I could locate on the family of JACOB SHRIVER of Anne Arundel MD was "A History of the Shriver Family" by Harry C Shriver, which was published in 1962. Actually, I was thrilled to find it. My questions-- I thought--would be answered!
Listed in Harry Shriver's book was FREDERICK WILLIAM SHRIVER b Feb 8, 1744 Anne Arundel Co MD, son of JACOB SHRIVER, with a second wife, ELIZABETH SEESMAN, married in 1794. No children were mentioned.
Also listed in the book was FREDERICK WILLIAM SHRIVER b abt 1790, son of LEWIS SHRIVER b abt 1750 (Rev War, Adams Co PA) & MARY SHEETS, and grandson of JACOB SHRIVER. Harry Shriver indicated that this person was the progenitor of the SHRIVER family in Ohio. And he had a son named LEWIS SHRIVER.
This was it! I thought. I'd found the connection to the Maryland family. I gleefully added a couple hundred people to my family tree ( a big mistake), feeling very proud that I'd uncovered yet another line.
But the problem was, FREDERICK WILLIAM SHRIVER, son of LEWIS SHRIVER & MARY SHEETS, was not the progenitor of "MY" Shriver family in Ohio--as I found out later, after much more extensive research on the Internet. (In defense of Harry Shriver, he did not have the Internet back in 1962. But on the other hand, he did not even mention my midwestern branch of the Shrivers, which is both sizable and in census records!).
FREDERICK WILLIAM SHRIVER, son of LEWIS SHRIVER & MARY SHEETS, settled in Columbiana Co Ohio, and never set foot in Ross Co Ohio. His son LEWIS SHRIVER lived all his life in Columbiana Co Ohio, and can be found in census records there. He was not the same person as my ggg grandfather LEWIS SHRIVER, a miller who died 1831 in Ross Co OH, who in his will left his mill to wife SUSANNAH, and had numerous children, one of which was my gg grandmother CATHERINE SHRIVER HUBER.
So who was my LEWIS SHRIVER's father? Actually, after years of research, I have found baptism records which make me believe that it was actually FREDERICK WILLIAM SHRIVER b Feb 4, 1744 Anne Arundel Co MD, who married 1st) MARIA ELISABETH BEYERLE and 2nd) in 1794 ELIZABETH SEESMAN. He lived in Emmitsburg, Thurmont & Creagerstown, Frederick Co MD. According to the 1790 Frederick Co MD census, he had a wife, three young sons and one slave. The baptism records of Apple's Church (Lutheran), Thurmont MD, shows sons PHILLIP SHRIVER born Feb 8, 1780 and JACOB SHRIVER born Dec 25, 1783.
There was no baptism record for the third son. I'm still researching this. But there are numerous reasons why I believe this is the family of my ggg grandfather LEWIS SHRIVER who died 1831 in Ross Co OH.
I went for several years w/o repairing the family tree, using notes that this LEWIS SHRIVER was actually the son of that FREDERICK WILLIAM SHRIVER and vice versa. Finally, I just couldn't let it go any longer.
Fixing my Ancestry.com online tree was pretty simple and didn't take much time. Fixing my MacFamilytree gedcom (which I upload to Rootsweb) was another story, and involved a process of tagging a couple hundred incorrect individuals and then deleting them, one by one. It took hours. Then I had to rebuild the tree with the correct information.
Have a great day!
© Betty Tartas 2011