Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Did You Make a Mistake or Is the Record Wrong?

Genealogy Wrong Turn?
When I wrote last week's post about my second cousin, Charles Black, it reminded me that sometimes you have to recheck your information. Making mistakes during genealogy research happens to everyone, so when you find a discrepancy, it's a good idea to check your sources again to make sure you have the right person and recorded the information accurately.

But keep in mind that records are only as accurate as the information provided by the informant.

Charles Black was born in Toledo, Ohio, and I remembered that his mother was born in Pittsburgh. To refresh my memory as to where his father was born, I pulled up some of Max Black's records. When I looked at his marriage license application, I remembered stumbling upon this issue before while doing my research. You see, my research showed that Max married Catherine Prill and that her parents were Charles & Mary Jae Prill. But the marriage license application on FamilySearch for Max & Catherine indicates that her mother's name was Emma Rogers. That's not even similar to Mary Jae.

My first thought at the time was that Mary must have been Charles Prill's second wife. But after reviewing the facts, I don't think that's right. Here are the facts regarding Charles & Mary Prill and their daughter Catherine:

  • The 1880 Census page viewed on, which was enumerated on June 14th, shows Charles & Mary living as boarders at 2531 Carson Street in Pittsburgh (the home of Mary's sister). They do not have any children. There is a mark next to their names in the column for "Married during the Census year."
  • On FamilySearch, there is a birth record for a Kate Prill in its database of Pennsylvania Births and Christenings, 1709-1950. While there isn't an image of the original record, it indicates that Kate was born in Pittsburgh on August 31, 1880, to father Chas. Prill and mother Mary Prill.
  • Catherine's Ohio death certificate on FamilySearch shows her parents as Chas. Prill and Mary Jay.

So it appears that Emma Rogers named as the mother on the marriage license application was just a mistake by either the person providing or recording the information. Let me know what you think!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Do you have a genealogy problem or need guidance on where to search next? Send me a message if you'd like me to help!