Thursday, December 1, 2011

Grieving again!

I am just mortified.

Here I am, a "Accredited Genealogist", looking at my own mother's obituary and not believing my eyes.

My mother passed away 27 years ago.  I was a young mother with four children under five, three of which were in diapers and two were still on formula.  Her death hit me hard.

And now, it's hitting me hard again.

Thanks to some wonderful new features in RootsMagic 5, I am transcribing source information into my ancestors' records.  Memories come flooding back to me as I type away, remember their lives, their smiles, their cooking, and their funerals.

Then, I get to my own mother's obituary.  I really don't know who gave the information to the newspaper.  It may have been the funeral home, my father, one of my sisters, maybe even me!  I really don't believe it was me, though.  Even with my hands full, I think I would have done better than what was actually published.

Her maiden name is not even listed.

It states that she was a member of the Mormon Word of Wisdom.  What is that?  She was a Mormon, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We practice the Word of wisdom (no coffee, tea, alcohol or tobacco).

Her niece's name is listed as Juanita.  Her actual name is Elwanda.

My sister's married name is misspelled.

My husband's name is misspelled.

MY name is misspelled.

Good grief!

There's nothing I can do about it now.  I would love to post it on USGenWeb, but I'm too embarrassed.  I would love to post it on FindAGrave, but I'm too embarrassed.  I would have to do a lot of correcting and state the reasons why.

Which brings me to our own research, and why we just cannot rely upon one source of evidence.  It's all part of piecing together the jigsaw puzzle of the lives of our ancestors.  When something like this happens so close to home - my own mother - it makes me wonder about the information given on other documents in my possession. 

I remember reading the obituary when it was first published.  I scanned over it.  I was grieving.  I couldn't even think straight, for my mother had just died. 

My feelings would be no different than any other grieving ancestor trying to give the correct information on a death certificate or for an obituary. 

Sorry, mom...


  1. Good post; a great reminder to all researchers.

  2. Well, Peggy, we're sure it wasn't YOU who posted that information! I'm sorry this was written this's an outrage. I think I'll sit down and write my own obituary right now. LOL

  3. This kind of thing is why the oral histories are sometimes vital in solving the name-puzzles of published records. Even official records were spelled however the names sounded to the recording clerks. My grandmother's mother died giving birth to twin boys. One of the babies died shortly after birth, the other twin died four days later. All three were buried in the same grave, yet I couldn't find their names in the KY vital records anywhere. I finally looked up the deaths on those particular dates and found a woman of the correct age and twin sons who died on the correct dates. The last name was spelled three different ways, and my great-grandmother's first name, Perlina, was written as Tina. I showed the records to my grandmother and she said said, "Yes, Teeny was short for Perliney." Who would have known?