However, when I did some online investigations, I found several serious flaws in the line shown on Geni.com from the early colonial and English Shermans to me, centered on the contention that Mary Sherman (1624-1699) was the wife of Thomas Fish (1619-1687), my ancestor.
1) I had an email from Amanda of Geni.com saying:
"Thanks for your post. One of the greatest strengths of collaborative genealogy is that everyone can work together to continuously improve information in tree. The more people we have working on our world family tree, the better it gets. We encourage everyone to start a dialog if they have found any information that seems questionable. There are many ways to do this on Geni. You can start a public discussion from the profile, send a message to the managers of the profile or contact a Geni Curator for help. A Curator may also add a Curator note at the top of a profile to bring any important information to the attention of users viewing the profile."
I appreciate Amanda's comment, and I agree with it - the problem is that very few contributors to Geni.com do any collaboration.
I need to put my money where my mouth is and try to fix this issue in the Geni.com tree. So I added this "Discussion" on Mary "Sherman" Fish's profile in Geni.com:
My comment says:
I also added this information from the Notes in my RootsMagic databases to the Overview for this Mary --?-- (not Sherman!), wife of Thomas Fish:
"Here is what I have in my database about Mary --?-- the wife of Thomas Fish.
"She is probably not a Sherman - there is no credible evidence found to date that she is a Sherman.
"Mary, the wife of Thomas Fish, may have been an Ayres, daughter of a Portsmouth couple who deeded Thomas Fish property in return for maintaining them in their old age. However, it is possible that they were simply a childless couple needing care.
"Mary Fish, widow of Portsmouth, died testate, having written a will dated 9 September 1697, with a codicil dated 12 July 1699. The will was proved on 9 August 1699. The will mentions sons John Fish, Robert Fish, Thomas fish deceased and Daniel fish; daughters Mehitable Tripp, Mary Brayton and Alice Knowles; grandson Preserved Fish, son of son Thomas deceased; grandson Thomas Fish, son of Daniel Fish and granddaughters Comfort fish and Ruth Fish, daughters of son Daniel Fish; granddaughter Mary Fish under age 16, daughter of son John Fish; grandson Robert Fish, son of son Robert Fish (Source: "Portsmouth Town Council and Probate, Volume 2, 1697-1725," pages 170-171, abstracted by Nellie M.C. Beaman, "Abstracts of Portsmouth, R.I. Wills," in Rhode Island Genealogical Register, Volume 5, Number 1, July 1982)."