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An example of why not to only use indexes for genealogy

6 March 2012 Leave a comment

Ancestry.com has an entry for a William H Moore who died at age 85 on 14 February 1898 in New York City. When I first saw this a few months ago, I was so excited. This must be my William H Moore, I thought. The birth dates line up, after all.

Using the information provided by Ancestry, I ordered a copy of the death certificate from the NYC archives. I was so disappointed when I received it–it couldn’t be my William H Moore. I quietly filed it away and moved on.

I was searching on Ancestry recently, and noticed that many people are attributing this record to my William H Moore. This is simply not true, so let me set the record straight.

My William H Moore was born sometime between 1812 and 1815 in New York. He married a Julia, and they lived in Genoa, Cayuga County and Lansing, Tompkins County. They had the following children:

  • Grayson R. Moore (b 1848)
  • Odell D. Moore (b 1851)
  • Harry W. Moore (b 1853, d 1920)
  • Anna J. Moore (b 1855)
  • Hattie R. Moore (b 1857)
  • Isaac R Moore (b 1860)
  • John R. Moore (b 1862)
  • Julia R. Moore (b 1863)
  • Wilson F. Moore (b 1866)
  • Frederick Moore (b 1868)
  • William Moore (b 1868)

This William H Moore did NOT die February 14, 1898 in New York City.

William Henry Moore died February 14, 1898 at age 85 years old. He was white, a widower, retired, and born in New Jersey. He had lived in New York City for 50 years. His father’s name was Alexander Moore, who was born in New Jersey. His mother was Elizabeth Moore, who was also born in New Jersey. He died at 341 Broome Street (a hotel), where he lived.

This could not be the William H Moore who lived in Genoa and Lansing, because the William H Moore who died in NYC had lived there for 50 years. Even if that was an exaggeration, in the 1880 census, the William H Moore I’m interested in lived in Lansing, so the longest he could have lived in NYC would have been 18 years, which is hard to confuse with fifty years.

When you go soley by the index, you miss important information and misattribute information. Everyone has been guilty of it at one point or another, but with the internet the way it is, once you put something out there, it’s out there forever, and it gets spread around until it’s taken as fact. I am sure that many people will copy the false information from the member trees, and almost none of those people will ever read this, but it should be put out there.

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The Many Jennie Ellisons of Upstate New York

17 February 2011 3 comments

Oh geez. Last night I stayed up until about 3:30 am because I got on a tangent. I thought I had made a huge breakthrough! But I didn’t. I did find some useful information, but it’s not nearly as useful as I had thought at one point last night.

I started out working on my To Do item “Fill out all data that I have for generations 3-5.” The Jennie Ellison I’m interested in was born in February 1864 in either Pennsylvania or New York. She lived with her uncle Daniel G. Ellison and aunt Roxy in Genoa, Cayuga County, New York from 1880 on. She married (and later divorced and reverted to her maiden name) Isaac R. Moore of Lansing, Tompkins County, New York, son of William H. and Julia Moore. On census records, her relationship to the head of the house (Daniel G. Ellison) was “niece.”

Looking through my grandmother’s genealogy file, I found a copy of the obituary of Daniel G. Ellison from 1916, but there was no source information. I was able to search on fultonhistory.com for the obituary, and found the issue and date, yay!  Contained in the obituary was Roxy’s maiden name (Palmer), Daniel’s birthplace (Urbana, Steuben County, New York), that Daniel was the last of eight children, the year he moved to Genoa (1858), and that Daniel and Roxy did not have children of their own.  I also learned that Daniel & Roxy were among the largest stockholders of the bank of Genoa, and that Daniel was one of the original directors until he fell ill.  Also interesting were his last words: “Good-bye, I am going, tell everybody good-bye.”

Emboldened by this information, I tried searching Fulton History for more information.  I thought I had found some records of Jennie–however, it seems that there were three Jennie Ellisons in upstate New York at this time: one in Rochester, one in Genoa (my Jennie), and one in Utica.  I have a feeling that they are all related, but I’m also pretty confident that these are three separate women.

But, I did find some useful information.  One bit is posting in the local newspapers summoning people for the settlement of Daniel G. Ellison’s estate, and they are all Ellisons–presumably relatives and some of the “number of nephews and nieces” mentioned in his obituary.  Among them are Ella Ellison Cresson, the sister of Jennie Ellison of Utica and daughter of George and Jane E (Hildreth) Ellison.  Looking up the relationship between the Ellisons mentioned in the summons and Daniel G. Ellison will hopefully bring some successful results.

Not only that, but there was an entry in the Genoa (NY) Tribune, Friday Morning, May 14, 1909: “Miss Jennie Ellison was called to Pennsylvania recently by the death of her brother, Jay Ellison.”  Fingers crossed, I hope this especially will result in something…but I don’t want to get my hopes up.

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