Besides this little labor of love… I also run a family website that details not only current family info… But chronicles all the way back to 1772.
Included on the site are links to the family database on genealogy.com as well as .pdf files from Family Tree Maker showing relationships all the way back to the oldest known members… Yadda …Yadda.
Now… there are always emails coming in with corrections, deaths, births…The usual.
My cousin Linda (God Bless Her!) handles the master database… She inherited it from our cousin Ted who kept everything in box after box of scrolls made up of taped together 8.5″ x 11″ sheets… some of which are 20 feet long. She incorporates changes and occasionally emails or snail mails this massive file to re-upload. Needless to say… Changes don’t happen on a fast or furious pace.
But occasionally… some beloved relative (remember…I love ‘em all) will take offense that some name or date doesn’t match their recollection.. .And then… And Then…
Emails, phone calls, letters and threats! Now.. There’s nearly 1200 individuals and 230 last names and 10 generations in this database… To give you an idea on how well we all know one another… you should see how many people can trace their ancestry back to the same founders on both sides of the family… Lots of kissin cuzzins! Point being… Nobody knows everybody… So when it comes to the database… Do ya think there might be the occasional slip up?
One of my 3rd cousins once removed got offended that neither I nor Linda knew that she was adopted and that we hadn’t incorporated that info into the database.. And to add further insult to her injury… We had neglected to put in her and her siblings middle and married names into the family tree correctly and that she was going to one of the family matriarchs to complain that we (Linda & I) shouldn’t have say so as to who’s info gets added or corrected or whatever. The lady was seriously indignant.
Now… did I mention that the database and the website are created maintained and paid for out of our own pockets and are done during time carved out of lives that are complicated all by themselves? Did my dear cousin just once stop to think of the old addage… “You can pick your friends.. But you’re stuck with family?” We don’t care! You send me a note saying you’re related… eventually you end up on the family tree… No DNA test… No criminal background check… nothing…You got ebola… No worries! …Axe murderer?… Cool!.. Hey… you’re family!
But… Beware… We might misspell your middle name… That is if we put one in at all.Ã‚Â And we’ll cruelly post it on the web for all to see!.. Imagine! There’s your pedigree going all the way back to 1770 something … showing that you are your own cousin as well as your moms cousin… and you are irked because your middle name was ommited.
Now …This latest issue comes from this 3 rd cousin once removed who writes like we have lunch twice a week and are godparents to each others kids… She is in the database correctly as far as her birth name and pedigree is concerned… And I did point out to her that she is related to herself a couple of different ways… But I wouldn’t know this lady if she ran me over…. In fact … According to the database… We are pretty close in age… Sooo… she may even have been one of the “victims” of my youth! (Youthful ardor knows no bounds!)
But no matter… Dear cuzzin… I have corrected your middle name… Took me two hours to get the databases synced… Not much I can do about you being your own cousin though… At least before you could claim some level of doubt when folks snicker and point.
Classic case of “be careful what you ask for”…