The following article was written by George G. Morgan:
I sent a package of genealogical information to all my first cousins on my mother’s side of the family a few months ago. They were all very interested, and it quickly became obvious that they had all thoroughly read the more than 50 pages of the descendant’s report and notes enclosed. How do I know that? That’s because almost all of the cousins called me within about ten days. All were complimentary about the detailed research, but some of them took exception to some of the information included. I expected that, but I was really surprised that they had also read the citations for the facts I had included. Read on, and you will understand what this process included and the responses I received.
The Sources of My Research
A vast amount of my research about my maternal line has been done in the traditional way, using documents and proofs of various types, both original and derivative evidence. Artifacts have contributed to the family information as well. However, I have also gathered a wealth of oral history from aunts, uncles, grandparents, my brother, and even some of the cousins. All this contributes to the wealth of family information.
It is obviously difficult to take hearsay information and deal with it. Over my four+ decades of listening to family stories, gathering genealogical evidence, and compiling the family history, I have collected quite a number of stories. I’m sure you have, too. It’s hard to know whether to believe them or not, or to accept that there is the proverbial “grain of truth” and then track it down.
I wasn’t quite prepared for the stir I caused among my cousins. Not only did I get phone calls, but a few of my cousins also felt compelled to send me corrections and changes. I can only believe that they know facts that I do not, but I’ll ask for proof as well. One of them asked me to remove many of the notes referencing his parent’s relationship as related by one of their and my mother’s sisters.
How Do I Respond?
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