Changing the grandfather of a historical figure.
Hello, I have documents that show the grandfather of the short story writer, "O.Henry", William Sidney Porter, (LDCC-HX8), to be different than what is listed on his time line. O.Henry is listed on multiple ancestry trees on ancestry.com, and while I have different information about O.Henry's grandfather and great-grandparents on his father's side, it does not matter to me that those other trees are most likely wrong.
What my issue is, when I want to add O.Henry to my tree on Family Search, he appears to have a different grandfather and great-grandparents on his father's side than he should. I do not want to correct this historical figure's information, which would effect multiple trees, unless I can have someone at Family Search look at the documents I have and help me decide which direction to go. I do not want to create a new O.Henry either.
I would not ask if I wasn't at least 99% sure that the documentation I have is correct. I do not know what sources were used to determine who his paternal grandfather is, that is now listed on this site. I do not see any sources on Family Search or Ancestry.com that would connect them.
When I called the O.Henry Museum over 15 years ago, they said, they hear all the time that people think they are related to O.Henry and they are not. They did not want to hear what I had to say. At that time, there were no grandparents at all listed for O.Henry on any ancestry site, newspaper article, or any website that I could find on my multiple web searches. And now on Family Search and Ancestry there is, but it does not match what I have.
Can you please find someone to help me when someone has the time to do so. Thank you so very much. Kathy
FamilySearch Support does not have the staff or the authority to prove or disprove the records in the possession of or used by the guests of FamilySearch/FamilyTree. With your feeling that you are 99% correct, you could certainly proceed to use your information in correcting the records that you see in FamilySearch/FamilyTree. It is recommended that all changes and corrections be accompanied by verifiable source documents that will hopefully convince other affected users of the validity of your changes in the records.
It is certainly possible that some other guests may not agree with you and you could perhaps have a reasonable conversation with them using the Family Tree Messaging system.
If you have other questions, you are welcome to respond to this message and let us know.1
I wonder if anyone has ever done a mathematical study of error propagation on Ancestry....
Other than the initial data load in 2012-2013, FamilySearch employees or representatives very rarely edit anything in Family Tree. They leave it all to collaboration between users like you and me.
I'm assuming you're talking about the parentage of O. Henry's father, Algernon Sidney Porter (LDCC-H4G)? I see that while he has parents and siblings attached, there are no sources supporting those relationships, neither on FamilySearch, nor on the other public tree sites (WikiTree and Geni). The closest they get is a "Ruth C. Porter" on the 1870 and 1880 censuses, with Algernon identified as Ruth's son in 1880.
In the Change Log ("Show All" in the Latest Changes section on the right of his Details page), I see roughly 20 different contributors to Dr. Porter's profile over the past not-quite decade, but his current parents match the legacy data: whatever the source of all of those Ancestry and other trees, it predates the current Family Tree on FS.
In my opinion, if you have good evidence that the traditional conclusion is wrong, you should change the conclusion. Attach all of the evidence, of course. You could first try to contact some of the other contributors to the profile, using FamilySearch's messaging system, to ask what they know about why these parents are traditional, and you could also write a note or discussion on the Collaborate tab, explaining what changes you've made and why.
There is one other thing I noticed, just poking around on Algernon: there was apparently another man by this name, born in Kentucky rather than North Carolina, but living around the same time. Given that the Kentucky man has 15 children attached on Family Tree, it seems likely that there has been some conflation of Porters going on, so extra care needs to be taken.1
Thank you C D McBride and Julia Svent-Gyorgyi. I really appreciate all the information you both presented to me. I will dissect each sentence and move forward when I am comfortable with what I am doing, and hopefully get some feedback from others that have him on their tree. I am not greatly familiar with all the ins and outs of Family Search, a lot of my relatives were added by other members, so the information/answer you both gave me are very, very useful.
These are my documents. The tree is rather large. Both appear to be old and originals, and have been handed down through my family. So I feel pretty good about the information. Again, thank you both so very much for your responses. Kathy2
I am quite confident that everyone who tries to honestly help in FamilySearch is very willing to do so and wants to provide the best answers and help for every user. It is important to keep in mind that everyone's level of experience is different from others. For instance, I have a granddaughter at age 16, decided that she wanted to get started doing family history work. She started by doing things "logically". That is, according to her "logic". She totally messed up several of our family's very accurate records as surely, someone didn't understand some things and she decided to "fix it". We finally got things straightened out, again.
Then there are sometimes that some users have put in reason statements such as, "I know it is correct because I saw it in a book."
There are plenty of times when we need to step back and look at the big picture and try to sort things out the best we can using our best evidence. Keep up the very careful work. You are doing a great job and you do have plenty of challenges to deal with.1
Those are great! You should upload them to Memories and tag the people's names as you identify them.
It looks like the discrepancy is actually in O. Henry's great-grandparents, i.e. his father Algernon's paternal grandparents: FS has them as a Massachusetts-born Eleazar Williams Porter and Sarah Keyes, while your Family Register has them as William Porter and Sarah L-something, birthplaces not given. Neither the dates nor the children's names have anything much in common, other than both families having at least one Sidney.
The FS tree is rather lacking in evidence for the significant jump of identifying the Massachusetts couple as the parents of the North Carolina groom, and I think your documents rather clearly contradict it.
Do you know a date and place for either document? Neither one has just a single date, obviously -- they were both added to by different hands -- but a start or end date could be helpful ("so-and-so's death is missing because by then it was sealed in the frame").2
Thank you C D McBride for your kind words.
And thank you Julia too. I haven't used memories before, so thank you for the suggestion : )
Algernon's brother Oscar has the middle name Lusk most likely from the last name of Sarah Lusk, wife of William Porter. So that is also one more hint that Sidney Porter's parents are William and Sarah as my record shows, not Eleazar and Sarah of Massachusetts.
My Porter's were in Farmington, Connecticut for generations, and there are Connecticut Church Records for them that are very useful. And I have a box full of old documents I haven't even been through yet. Here's one I thought was pretty cool.
So thank you so much for your detailed review of my records. I feel a lot more confident since yours and C D McBride's wonderful help!!!
Feeling very blessed :)1
The images that you intended to send apparently didn't quite make the trip. It appears that they were not quite downloaded or could not be downloaded for some reason.
When we look at the email we see "Pending image.png" and then it opens as shown in the other snip attached now to this message.1
Thank you C D : )
I deleted those two pngs. They were duplicates of the images I posted of William's sale of goods in the town of Farmington.
I really appreciate all your help over the weekend. Kathy0
C D, I think you meant Kathy, not me?
Two of Kathy's newer images are showing up for me: the front and back of a sales transaction between William Porter and Thomas North, in 1784 in Connecticut, involving "oxen Cows Steers horse and Sheep" (all carefully described), for the sum of "thirty seven pound' Lawfull Money". It doesn't offer much genealogically, but it's still glorious. :-)
The other two are showing as "pending", so they may or may not show up eventually. I suggest not messing with the message -- using the "edit" option on anything involving images tends to put everything into permanent limbo. Just post a new reply, instead.1
Thank you for the information. I appreciate your suggestions on how to work around in this format. This is my first time in the community, and so your input is very valuable to me.
I think I have all I need to move forward now. With William's mention of Farmington in the sale, and the two family trees, I feel that should be enough documentation for me to go ahead and present to the others persons that have O.Henry on their trees, that his grandfather, Sidney Porter, is from Connecticut, not Massachusetts.
Thank you for taking the time over the weekend to help me out with my question : ) Kathy0