. . . and the many spellings of her last name! This is on the paternal side of my family tree.
Bear with me on this one, because we have . . .
. . . and a few more to boot! Geesh!
Talk about variations of a last name, let alone her first name . . .
Woo-hoo for variations . . . NOT!
So, if ancestor research wasn't hard enough to begin with, there are all these freaking variations! Geesh!
But . . .
The variations in spelling is only one of the issues when dancing with the ancestors. You see, the more you dig, the more likely a mystery will unfold . . . or at least that's been my experience so far.
Let's take dear old Great Great Grandma Emmaline Halterman (Holtman, Holdman, Etc.) Lane.
When using FamilySearch, I came across my Great Grandmother's (Martha Lane Smith's) death certificate, which was witnessed by her daughter, my Great Aunt Clara Smith who - in a fit of pique, or perhaps with just a lack of knowledge - decided to throw a wrench into my (her great-nephew, and most likely favorite great-nephew - just sayin' - ha) research.
How did Aunt Clara do this? Well, let me tell you . . .
You see, Aunt Clara witnessed the death certificate and filled out the pertinent information, such as: deceased's date of birth, deceased's mother's name, deceased's father's name, etc. Fine, dandy, all is right with the world, except . . .
Dear, dear Great Aunt Clara filled out the following about her mother's (Martha Lane Smith) parents: Emaline Holdman and Franklin Pierce Lane.
Emaline C. Holdman (Holtman, Haltman, Haldeman, Etc.) married Hardin Smith Lane on December 30, 1855 . . . and I have the marriage records to prove that little event. Emaline and Hardin had four children: Mary, Martha (my great-grandmother), Franklin Pierce, and Hardin Smith Jr., who was born in March 1863, three months after his father was killed in December 1862 during the Battle of Murfreesboro during the little event known as the Civil War.
So, who in the heck is Franklin Pierce Lane . . . and when, if, did Great-Great Grandma Lane marry him?
I don't think she did. I think, as often happens, information is misconstrued.
I'm guessing that Franklin Pierce Smith, the son of Emmaline and Hardin, as the oldest male, at some point assumed head-of-household duties. In fact, Emmaline - according to census records - lived with Franklin, his wife and children, for many years, before moving in with her oldest daughter Mary Lane-Winnett.
There aren't any records of an Emmaline and Franklin P. Smith marrying. In fact, other than her marriage record to Hardin Smith, there aren't any other marriage records out there on her. Then again, remarrying a Lane would have been highly possible, since the Lane family was quite numerous (Hardin had 11 brothers/sisters) in Warren County, TN during that time.
However . . . all census records indicate that Emmaline never remarried. I think poor Aunt Clara was just a bit confused and listed Franklin as Martha's father since he, at some point, had taken on the role of head-of-household.
See, isn't dancing with the ancestors fun?
So, always remember, and never forget, when dancing with the ancestors . . . Perseverance, Patience, and Persistence.
Also remember that human error plays a large part. The younger generations often do not have a clue what Mamaw and Papaw's last name is, or whether Grandpa Smith is the first or second husband of Grandma Smith.
So, as you dance with the ancestors, remember to dig, dig, and dig some more. Sooner or later you'll, hopefully, find the truth of the matter.