Friday, April 22, 2016

Lazy Genealogists . . . AGAIN

When dancing with the ancestors you are going to come across research done by lazy genealogists. I've covered this topic before and probably will multiple times in the future.

Now, as stated before, back in the day before Google genealogy was much harder. Now, there's a ton of stuff online at Ancestry, FamilySearch and many other genealogy based websites. It's easier to find and prove, in most cases, what you need to find and prove.

In researching my Ballenger/Ballinger line . . . there appears to be more misinformation than facts. People seem to confuse the various James Ballenger/Ballinger's out there. It's frustrating.

They always seem to get the name of his wife correct and his children, but from there . . . it's a hodge-podge of misinformation. 

The James Ballenger/Ballinger that married Dorcas Dodson had the following children, as listed in his last will and testament: John, Edward, James, William, Elijah, Peggy, Francis and Tabitha. He lists his daughters that were married by their married names: Peggy Lewis and Tabitha Foster. He listed his unmarried daughter by her surname: Francis Ballenger.


Many sites list his daughter Frances, aka Frankie, as marrying Isaac Bishop in 1797. I'm sure there was a Francis Ballenger/Ballinger that married Isaac Bishop in 1797. It just doesn't happen to be the daughter of James and Dorcas (Dodson) Ballenger. If it was, James would have listed her as Francis Bishop in his last will and testament, and not as Francis Ballenger.

There is also the issue of James Ballenger, husband of Dorcas Dodson, death: 1795 versus 1813. The James Ballenger that married Dorcas Dodson and had John, Edward, James, William, Elijah, Peggy, Francis and Tabitha wrote his last will and testament on July 19, 1813. This would not be possible if he died in 1795.

Now, back in the day, researchers might not have been able to find the will. There where most likely multiple James Ballenger's and . . . researchers confused the two. Check out my post on the two Greenberry Mitchells. This was a simple case of two men with the same name living in the same county and early researchers confusing the two. It took me just a wee bit of time to actually separate the two men and sort out their various lives. 

As with any family back in the day, family names were used multiple times. MULTIPLE! James, Edward and William were common names in the Ballenger family. In my Adcock Line, every child of Leonard Adcock named one of their children Leonard Adcock. His grandchildren continued the tradition with their children. Many families did the same thing so that there were multiple people with the same first name and surname in the same area. Separating the various individuals is difficult under the best of circumstances, and close to impossible under the circumstances faced by early genealogists.

That does not excuse the lazy genealogists out there! Take some time to separate fact from fiction when dancing with the ancestors.

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