Assumption vs. Facts
In tracing the ancestors, the minute that we assume something, it is wrong! Family traditions, naming of children, and certain scenarios seem to fit the puzzle, so we pencil it in. Years pass, and we still have not found anything concrete the prove our theory. But the entry is like an old friend, so we hesitate to erase it. Somehow it gets published on the Internet. Because someone else has the same entry (probably originated from ourselves), we add credibility to the situation. This is just one way in which errors get repeated. There is nothing easy about this work and mistakes are made by the bushels. It is said that tens of millions of Americans descend from King Edward I of England. We are talking about 13th century. Since the family tree doubles with every generation which is traced backwards, some 239.33 generations have since passed . Now, let us image a lineage chart containing all of his descendants published in the traditional individual pedigree format upon a World Chart! And that the computer program merged a criteria of data. Now, think of the individual errors (names and probable dates, spelled variously, and repeated) on individual family group sheets all pointing to the King. Because of name variables (and spellings) and estimated date lines, the same names of his children get repeated millions of times. As more and more charts go online, we discover a conglomeration of conflicting data. The best means of preventing duplication is to add the proof of each name, date, place, etc. so that others may double-check the information.
Why Tracing Back 4 Generations is a Break-Through in the Family Tree
Theoretically, one should easily trace his lineage back 4 generations to the great grandparents using census records. If this much is accomplished, at the point of the great grandparents, it should be fairly easy to find others sharing the same lineage. The 1850 census was the first census to provide the names and ages of all family members, including where they were born. From 1790 to 1840, the date ranges help estimate the births of the children, but you do not get the names. For this information, one must turn their research to deeds, wills, estates, marriages, tax digests, etc. in the county records where an ancestor resided. With each generation backwards, this process is repeated. One can find the ancestors in American county records dating back to the first immigrants.
McGee of Scotland, Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri