Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Website: Family Legends - can they be trusted?

Often one hears of a story or a legend that has been handed down through the generations about a ancestor and unless you take the time to investigate how true it is, you could continue to pass this same story down and just assume it is correct.

With this particular website, Family Legends, the individual was told this particular story:

"One of our ancestors was an aide-de-camp of Governor Macquarie. He left his Will in a tree, and when he was speared by the natives his widow was given a grant of land. His son was asked by the Governor what trade he wanted to follow, and he decided to be a shipwright."

As the descendant started working backwards through death and marriage certificates, there were conflicts withing the collected data but she kept researching. She ended up researching the wrong Green family at first but met up with a cousin and together through diligent research came up with the correct version of the above statement that had been passed down for over 160 years:

"One of our ancestors, Thomas Green, an ex-convict constable, while returning from the Bathurst Plains in Governor Macquarie's party, disappeared with a group of natives. His widow Catherine was given a cow, £5, and possibly a block of land in payment for Thomas's services in helping to build the first road over the Blue Mountains. His son William became a shipwright after an apprenticeship at the Government Dockyards, possibly through Governor Macquarie's intervention."

This author has also put together a presentation where she takes a family legend and shows through research how the story was very much altered from the truth to perhaps bring in a bit of romance to this couple's story.

If you have a family legend that has been handed down through the generations, working your way through the legend will help you sort the truth from the fiction. Our current culture places very little trust in oral history and prefers to believe in the written words. There usually is some truth to the legend and always worth the research to determine what is correct.

This site reminds us that we need to check all of these things as we build our family trees and gather information from other family members.

Enjoy this and many other websites already discussed in past blog articles.

Comments Are Always Welcome!

Building Bridges for All Generations!


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