Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Another Tale of Online Tree Errors: Wrong Photo

This is NOT John George Fischer
How exciting it is to find a photograph of your ancestor! Somehow that black-and-white image makes the person more real to us, not just a bunch of dates and places. But when the photo is attached to the wrong person in an online tree and then added by others to their trees because they assume it's accurate, it actually bothers me more than a wrong fact. How awful to share the wrong face!

Last week, I was following a lead to see if I could tie a Stenglein woman who died in 1910 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to my Stenglein branch. She had married a man named Johann Fischer in Bavaria before they came to the U.S. As I searched for as much information as I could about the couple and their children, I stumbled across multiple family trees with an incorrect photo of Johann's brother.

Johann Fischer remarried after his first wife died in 1910, and a trip was planned in 1922 to return to Europe to visit family. His brother also planned to go since both men completed passport applications. If you've looked at these documents on Ancestry, you know that a photograph is included on the more recent applications. The photo appears (and I stress this) on the second page.

When you find a match in this collection and view the image, you see two pages side by side. The page on the left is not related to your match; it's the previous person in the collection. The right side is your person, and it's important that you advance to the next image to see the second page of that application (which includes a photo). How very sad that the trees I saw last week used the photo that first popped up when they viewed their match, instead of looking at page 2.

The photo at the beginning of this post is attached to multiple family trees as the face of John George Fischer, Johann's brother. It is actually a man named Abraham Jeremiasz. Unfortunately, these people don't realize that below is the real face of John George Fischer with his wife Theresa and son Joseph:

This is the correct photo of John George Fischer and family

Note: I added a comment to the incorrect photo in each tree, and one person has already replaced it. I don't feel any glee in pointing out mistakes, but I had to try to right this particular wrong. Hey, we all make mistakes, and I must say it's nice to see that we can work together to improve each other's research.

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