I received a Hint for Susan Amelia Newton (1815-????) in my Ancestry Member Tree.
This Hint provided a death record in 1889 for Susan A. Newton Knowlton, born in 1815 to David and Beulah (Johnson) Knowlton. This must be the right Susan, since I knew her parents, David and Beulah (Johnson) Newton from her birth record in 1815 in Worcester, Massachusetts. I also had a Marriage record with Levi Lincoln in 1842 in Leominster, Worcester County, Massachusetts. But her last name is Knowlton in the death record. did she marry again? I searched and easily found a marriage record in 1860, listing her age, birthplace and parents names, with James Munroe Knowlton (1819-1883). I also found birth and death information for James Knowlton. Okay, I've really added to my profile for Susan! I was feeling great.
Here is my profile for Susan Amelia Newton in my Ancestry Member Tree before I added the Knowlton marriage:
Her marriage and death were in Northborough, Massachusetts, which is not far from Worcester.
What about Levi Lincoln? I thought that this Levi Lincoln (1810-1845) was the son of Levi Lincoln (1782-1868) and Penelope Winslow Sever (1786-1872), also born in Worcester, Massachusetts.
At some time in my distant genealogy past, I concluded that the Levi Lincoln born in 1810 was the Levi Lincoln who married Susan Amelia Newton. I knew that Levi Lincoln born in 1810 had died in 1845 and was buried in Worcester, Massachusetts. That was unfortunate for poor Susan, just married in 1842 and her husband died in 1845. Here is the Ancestry Member Tree profile for Levi Lincoln (1810-1845):
Back on the first screen of the Ancestry Hint, there is a Suggested Record for Susan Amelia Knowlton for a Find A Grave entry. Here is the Find A Grave entry for Susan's gravestone in Howard Street Cemetery in Northborough, Massachusetts:
All of the information matches except for the birthplace. And it lists her husband as Levi Lincoln (1814-1849). Here is his Find A Grave entry:
Hmmm. Look at that. It says he was born in 1814 in Woolwich, Sagadohoc County, Maine in 1814, and died in 1849 in Berlin, Massachusetts. And he is buried in the Howard Street Cemetery in Northborough, just like Susan. Their gravestones have the same profile and type face, and may be back-to-back (I can't tell).
I found a death record in the Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841-1915 that gives his age at death, death date, birthplace, parents names, etc. as shown on the Northborough gravestone.
It is pretty evident to me that I have the wrong Levi Lincoln married to Susan Amelia (Newton) (Lincoln) Knowlton in 1842 in Leominster, Massachusetts in my Ancestry Member Tree.
In my RootsMagic database, I fixed this by disconnecting Susan from the wrong Levi, added the right Levi, with the information from the death record and Find A Grave, added Susan's death record and Find A Grave entry, added Susan's second marriage and her second husband's information, etc.
This is a clear case of same name, right time, and almost the same place. The connection was logical, but it was wrong. This can happen to anyone, and I'm sure it has happened to almost everyone reading this. If it hasn't yet, it will. This is not my first time having to fix a wrong relationship in my family tree.
The right thing to do is to acknowledge the error, fix it, and be more careful in the future. Forgive me, Saint Elizabeth, for I have erred. I will say ten Hail Myrtles and do what I have to do.
In genealogy research, nobody is perfect. It's almost impossible to be perfect. My estimate is that at least 1% of my relationships are incorrect due to my negligence, assumptions, conclusions, mistyping, misunderstanding records, etc. Let s/he who IS perfect cast stones. Let those who have erred accept their imperfection and try to do their best as time goes on.
My task tonight is to fix my Ancestry Member Tree entries for Susan Amelia (Newton) (Lincoln) Knowlton and her first husband, Levi Lincoln (1810-1845) and to add her actual first husband, Levi Lincoln (1814-1849) to my online tree.
Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver