Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Stop Calling My Grandpa A Pedophile/A Word About Find A Grave

     Find A Grave started out as a wonderful, wonderful idea.  It enabled researchers who couldn't make the trip to an ancestor's far off grave the chance to visit it, if only online in a photograph.  Something happened along the way however, now the site is full of "memorials" containing no tombstone photos, but plenty of speculation by the poster.  I've personally found several cases of what I know to be erroneous information, I've even tried contacting the person responsible to no avail...even when presented with irrefutable proof...I give up.  I read somewhere the site had degenerated into a competition of who can post the largest number of these memorials and tombstones and I'm starting to believe that is truly the case.

     Just yesterday I received an email stating a correction I had sent was not accepted.  The correction?  Pointing out that an eight year old girl could not possibly have given birth.  It's a well documented fact that my 6th great-grandfather Captain Jeremiah Vincent had two wives, the second one, Mary Merritt, quite a bit younger than he, (but certainly not that young).  Most of his children are from his first marriage to an unknown woman, but I constantly see the children of the first marriage attributed to the second.  This particular memorial even had the correct birth dates for Mary and her "daughter", (who was actually the daughter of Jeremiah's first wife).  They were born eight years apart.  Does it really make sense that Mary was this girl's mother???

     I think this annoys me so much because some researchers may mistakenly believe that the data on this site all comes from an actual tombstone or a cemetery record.  It doesn't, nor is all of it accurate.  While it's still a very worthwhile source, please be sure to double check before accepting the information found on one of the memorials with no photograph of the stone.


  1. I wonder why they wouldn't want to correct this, Ellie? Seems like they're not the full shilling, so try not let them them bother you. Why not create your own memorial for your grandpa, in a blogpost, and help counteract the erroneous information on Find a Grave

  2. I don't think they take genealogy as seriously as we do Dara, so spreading wrong information is OK with them. Good idea about the blog post.