Mailing List:1999-11-16 21, Re:, by Allan E. Green

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Mailing List Archives > 1999-11-16 21, Re:, by Allan E. Green

From: <ALLAGREEN -at- aol.com> Subject: Re: [WHITNEY-L] Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 15:15:48 EST Dear Jeanne and Betty: A check of the indexed VR's of MA, which is available on the web site, shows that the marriage of Ebenezer Whitney to Rachel Paine/Parne Rawson took place, probably in Uxbridge, as that was her residence. It appears in both the Montague and Uxbridge VR's (Whitney extracts, also available on the website), and the entry in Montague does NOT say that it occurred in Uxbridge. There is a small problem with the Uxbridge entry, however. The date of the marriage is given as 28 Dec 1776, rather than 1786 as it is in Montague. If the 1764 birthdate in the Montague records is correct, then it is unlikely that Ebenezer would have been married in 1776 at the age of 12. Thus, I would think that the date from the Montague record should be accepted as the (much) more logical one. If anyone has access to the printed volume of the Uxbridge VR's (or a photocopy of same), perhaps they might check and see if the 1776 date was a mistake in our transcription of the Whitney entries or an error committed by the publishers (NEGHS) when preparing the collected volume. Also, Betty, may I add my voice to Jeanne's in raising a concern about trusting the data to be found in Ancestral File. I have used this as a source on numerous occasions, and found that a good bit of it is true and accurate, and far too much of it is not. In many cases there are many different entries for the same person that provide conflicting information, and some of it is very obviously arrant nonsense submitted by someone who had done no critical searching for reliable data from primary sources. The problem, of course, is that no one investigates the accuracy of any submission -- the LDS church cannot possibly afford the staff time to retrace the research steps of everyone who submits material, in order to verify its accuracy. Thus, they simply collect all the information and make it available, and it is up to us to sort out the wheat from the chaff. I don't mean at all to downplay the value of the work that the LDS church has done in this area. Far from it, as I have made significant use of their resources time and time again, including three different week-long visits to Salt Lake City to work in their library. It simply means that I am suggesting that their data, especially that found in Ancestral File and the contributed data in the IGI be viewed as pointers toward primary and more reliable sources in which to look for more reliable evidence. The portions of the IGI that are transcriptions of existing public records, especially parish registers, etc., are more likely to be considered reliable, and one has to learn how to read the catalog numbers to determining whether the information is a submission or a transcription. I hope that this information will be helpful to you, and I will be glad to try and help further as you explore the resources that the WRG has accumulated and made available. Happy Hunting:>) Allan E. Green


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