The Online Genealogist

John Brugliera

Archive for the month “June, 2015”

Genealogical Guffaws & Ha-Ha History

Time once again for The Online Genealogist to dip into his bag of garba- er, TRICKS and bring you the “best” and “funniest” items you will ever “see”!  Gotta love the quotes; no disclaimer required!

For you newbie readers of this garba- er, BLOG, that would be any family history-related tidbit found in print, such as newspapers and city directories.  But mostly, newspapers and city directories.  Most anything that fits into the “Ya just can’t make this up and if you did; why would you want to?” category.

And newspaper marriage combos are my favorites!  I could be so lucky to find most humorous pairings like STRAW-HOUSE, MOORE-RONN or KNOTT-PFUNNIE; so instead, you get this garba- STUFF!  From the Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Bklyn Eagle 18600810a Church-Church

Two Churches married by a Rev. Bell… in a church!

Not living up to his name…

Bklyn Eagle 18600801a Elder

…and an oxymoronic exit from this earth…

Bklyn Eagle 19260127 Lively death

Ah, yes – a Lively death.

On the flip side, here’s a boring couple for ya…

Bklyn Eagle 18601201a Moore-Knapp

They’re a hit a parties!  Zzzzzzz.

Besides the splotchy print, what is wrong with this marriage announcement?

Bklyn Eagle 18610520a Doherty-Rev. Pise

Score 50 points if you answered “Wait a minute!… Who’s gettin’ married here??”

Fortunately, it was corrected the next day.

Bklyn Eagle 18610521a Doherty-O'Donnell

…after a lengthy tongue-lashing from the furious bride, I’m sure!

Well, well, well…

Bklyn Eagle 18620307a Crowell-Cornwell

Many confusing introductions at THAT reception.  Ya think??

Is this a marriage or chess commentary?!?

Bklyn Eagle 18700203a Bishop-Trappall

Of course, BISHOP-KNIGHT would’ve been funnier.  Though maybe not for Miss Owatta Knight.

This is probably more common than you’d think…

Bklyn Eagle 18620528a Walsh-Walters

…marrying the girl that sat behind you in school!

What’s worse than two families flipping out, worrying about the upcoming marriage?

Bklyn Eagle 18600906a McFarland-Ashfield(x2)

…having to go through that hell, times two!!

Jeez, the McFarlands and Ashfields took up so much room that last newlyweds Arnold and Amaret were left with SQUAT!

Not looking for Lois and Clark; but super, man.

Bklyn Eagle 18700429a Kent-Lane

From the 1915 (!) Lebanon, NH city directory, it’s not Sam Carpenter, house-builder, but…

Directory Lebanon 1915 175a

Staying in Lebanon, but this coming from the Granite State Free Press.

GSFP 19420914 01a

We can only hope!

Here’s another “Fire the ad agency!!”-worthy ad in the Norwich Bulletin

Norwich Bulletin 19141113 07a

See comment below barber Pat… above.

It’s May 18, 1861 and this Bangor Daily Whig ad says Uncle Sam is NOT looking for soldiers to sign up for the barely-started Civil War.

Bangor Daily Whig 18610518 02a

“You’ll never see combat!  Only fifes and/or drums!!”  Yeah, riiiiiiiiiiiiight.

And the typesetter is getting a little tipsy at the Omaha Daily Bee

Omaha Bee 19150612 18a Crooked Type

Oh, today’s e-editors have NO idea.

Should you be worried if your newspaper editor may also be QUACKING?  From the Bradford page in an 1858 Vermont atlas…

Dr. Editor Mann

Voodoo doctor?  Super, Mann!

Even so, sounds better than his colleague Dr. Farr; a mechanical dentist.  I can hear the machinery nearing a patient’s mouth now.  Oh, the screams.

And the July 19, 1856 issue of the Boston Transcript shows that it was NOT a good day to be a George Russell in New England.

Boston Transcript 18560719a

And so ends this Ancestry.com-free blog posting!!!

JohnBrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

TOG WEB

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The Online Genealogist questions Annecestrees* answer

No, I’m not aiming towards an Ancestry.com mutiny with this recent run of posts; it just so happens that they’re so HUGE and have SO much going on!  And as I will point out, it’s a double-edged sword.

Check this out…

Ask Anne

Ahhh, yes.  This is the genealogical equivalent to a debate on religion or politics.  There are some strong opinions out there, for sure.  Foreshadow, foreshadow…  And check out the pages and pages of comments!  Which I will read AFTER this post.

I fully agree with Ancestry Anne’s answer… to a point.  You just knew that was coming, eh?  If you’re the number one genealogical website, shouldn’t there be some types of *gasp* standards set for the massive amount of Public Member Trees (PMTs) they host under their Ancestry.com name?

I can’t go merrily updating James Brown‘s Wikipedia page claiming that he has risen from the dead and will be appearing for a limited engagement at Bellagio’s poorly-named O Theater in Vegas.  Wikipedia won’t allow me to do that!

Why do we use Wikipedia?  Because, overall, it is the most reliable encyclopedia of EVERYTHING; because they have standards.  Why doesn’t Ancestry.com have the same mentality when it comes to their PMTs?  Huh, Anne??

Ancestry has no checks and balances when it comes to the “factual” information their members are adding to their trees.  Heck, I could totally manufacture a tree on there.  I’d link existing families to other non-related families; what’s to stop me? Or create a completely ridiculous, totally fabricated member tree; like so…

X-Men

But who should I be: Fantomex or Shard?  Hmmmmmmmm…  Yes, some would suggest Bird-Brain – heh.

OK, a show of hands…  How many of you clicked on one of the three hyperlinks, bringing you to their Wiki page?  Come on, admit it – when you did see it was Wikipedia, was there an immediate sense of relief because you KNEW that the information on their website was probably 99.999999% accurate?

Now, if you tried to post erroneous info on Wolverine‘s Wiki page, rabid fans would be looking for a bounty on your head!  But what if the X-Men links led to a “legitimate” Ancestry.com Public Member Tree?  Would your confidence level for Ancestry be comparable to that of Wikipedia’s; or more towards their “leftover” .000001%?

Don’t get me wrong, Ancestry.com is usually the first site I hit for family history research.  But when it comes to their PMTs, I was already following Ancestry Anne’s suggestion of having little trust for the information provided on “her” website.  OK, that’s not quite how she put it, but in so many words…

Did Anne’s watered-down quasi-excuse address any of these issues?  Heck, no!  It’s Ancestry’s 800-pound pink hot potato in the room.  Huh?!?  “Since we can’t control how accurate our PMT info is, we’ll wash our hands of it and say ‘You’re on your own!'”.  Think you’d see anything like that from Wikipedia?

“We’ll return to The Online Genealogist’s post in just a moment; right after this timely semi-related chuckle…”

MAD

Granted, many Ancestry Public Member Trees are fantastic; wonderfully documented timelines with viewable source images included for all to see.  But those are the exceptions and not the rule.  Tell me again, why isn’t ANY kind of proof a requirement to add a “fact”?  Have the PMT “lunatics” taken over the “asylum”?

I feel as if I’m beating a dead horse, as I know this has been a major bone-of-contention for long-time Ancestry subscribers.  Most of who would’ve never included so many bad clichés in one blog post.  Then again, maybe we DO need to yell our heads off so the PMT Dept. can hear us!

So, Ancestry Anne – if there’s even such a person – did you have to bite your tongue… uhhhhhh, bite your FINGERS, while replying to “Vicki”?

Ancestry – you expect the gazillion documents in your collection to be accurate and reliable; why not the similar high-quality standards for your PMTs?  I know of several members who have brought this issue to your attention with specific examples, yet to see no resolution.

And, no, I refuse to play the New Membership Trumps Public Member Tree Accuracy card.  Doesn’t even need to go there.  Or did I just inadvertently use it by saying I wasn’t going to??

Example

Here’s a typical scenario:  In comes a new (free) Ancestry.com member.  She adds her known family information and receives several “shaky leaf” hints.  Unknowingly, she attaches herself to an erroneous PMT, which propagates further as it shows up in other members’ hints; repeatedly… “Wow!  I found a bunch of new relatives!  Where do I join?”

So, again – Anne’s advice is sound and should be heeded, but with the above added caveat lector, emptor, venditor and a bunch of other Latin words.  Tiny  Jeez, I’d be completely lost without the internet.

Time for Ancestry.com to roll out their new PMTs slogan?… “Don’t fully trust our Public Member Trees; just use them like really good hints!”  OK, so it could use a bit of tweakage.

Now to spend a few hours reading this post’s 127 comments accumulated over the past 12 days…  I’m surely not the only one to bring up these issues.

And here’s hoping you never receive a shaky leaf for your newest “relative”, Fantomex!

* combo of Ancestry Anne, Ancestry.com Public Member Trees (PMTs) a.k.a. “Ancestry’s Trees”.  Which I realize should be Tiny

 

JohnBrugliera@theonlinegenealogist.com

TOG WEB

 

 

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