Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Catching Old Shoes : The Dark Side of Cousin Bait

Last year, when I started publishing the cousin bait posts, my hope was that relatives might find the posts through search engines, visit the blog, and make comments on the posts that would lead to further dialogue and sharing of information on mutual relatives.  

For the most part, this has happened, and I continue to be blessed by those willing to share.  However, there is a dark side to cousin bait.  Several months ago, I was contacted by someone who didn't like what they saw on my blog and weren't afraid to let me know that I was wrong.  Instead of a great catch, I seem to have caught an old shoe.

I'd like to think I make it clear that the blog is a work-in-progress and I admit up front that my genealogy will contain some errors.  I'm always willing to take correction, but I found the tone of this particular commentator to be a bit over the top:

Dear Sir;
I came across your blog site a few days ago.  I clicked in the surname of Finel.  I came to the following web page:  I found that the person named Ahnentafel had posted several blogs.  Most of the stuff he has right.  However, his posting # 369 is totally wrong.  Edward Finel never married Sarah Green The birth place,  birth date, death place or date let alone a marriage date have never been found.  If Edward married Sarah Green then why did she keep her maiden surname when she married Peter Gibbons?  Yes there are records of Sarah with a young child.  That child shows up as one of the children with the children conceived through the marriage of Peter Green. There are a total of thirteen children in this marriage with Edward Finel included in the whole family.  Peter took the child in but never adopted the child..  My best guess on the marriage of these two people is around 1750.  Their first child, Elizabeth Gibbons) was born 07 Nov. 1752 in Granville, MA.
There may have been records at one time about the original Edward Finel but they have either been lost, misplaced, destroyed by fire or flood  I would welcome any records to prove me wrong or right. Show me the records or sites for them.
To my knowledge, there are only three remaining direct descendents to the original Edward Finel. My cousin is the last remaining living Finel.  When he passes so does that line.  My son and I are from the original line, however, my surname was changed for some reason in the early 1800’s to Fennell.  To date it look like my son will be the last to carry on the line of Finel/Fennell.
There has been write up that the original Edward Finel came from England.  Again, there aren’t any records to back up this statement.  I have thought that he may have come from Ireland. My thinking is he stayed with his own religious and ethnic group as did so many of the early settlers in that period of time.  Again, no records to back up that statement either.
What little I have written in this letter can be easily backed up by the records that are through many reliable sources.
I tried to post a blog to some of the things on that blog site but they never showed up.  I did get an acknowledgement that a moderator would have to go over them. Maybe I am not doing a blog right.  I normally don’t post things on any social media sites.  I just don’t think I want my name connected to a bunch of things that are not consistent.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
At first glance, the gentleman is trying to point out some erroneous information in one of my blog posts, fair enough.  Then, he seems to confuse my blog with some other postings on the internet.  He mentioned facts that I hadn't even posted on this blog. I responded to his email asking for more information, hoping to clarify things. When I wrote him for more information, I received a response that seemed to be more of a tease (as in - not going to share information) and a bit of an accusation that I was somehow a 'name gatherer' who wasn't doing any research.  The email and my response (in parenthesis) is below :

Thank you for replying to my letter to you. There will be one web site pasted on this letter that will show at least two postings of Sarah Green being married to Peter Gibbons. It shows that they have twelve children.  I have not found a direct site yet where the complete family has thirteen children, the thirteenth child being Edward Finel.  I will find that info and forward it to you.
[OK, I’ve seen the actual records from the town showing where Sarah Green married Peter Gibbons.  Not just the website link you sent below.  Look forward to seeing the information you can provide.]

You asked me which Edward my cousin and myself are related to. Obviously we are both related to the first Edward. It couldn’t be any other way.
[I only asked to clarify, since we were talking about two separate Edwards.]

My cousin, who wishes to remain on the sidelines, has done more research and longer than I have.  We have been working together for about ten years.  His records are very detailed and have copies of documents to back up his research.
[That’s wonderful, and the whole point of doing research is to share.]

I personally found a relative in our line that to our knowledge nobody else has found.  The info is there for people to find out like I did. To date, we have not published or released any of this info to anybody on line.  Nobody has asked us about this person.  He was easy to find. Neither one of us have ever published our findings on line .  The research we do is a hobby and something for our children to have.  They might want to know where they came from someday.
[That is why most of us do this type of research.]

There are two “gatherers” out there that just harvest names for the sake of doing that.  They do not research anything. I think both my cousin and I were taken in be these two guys when we first started doing this research.  I know I was taken in by one of them.  Their last names are Keener and Koeble. Both of them have in excess of 20,000 names in their history.
[I’m sorry that you feel you were taken in by someone.  Are you accusing me of being a gatherer?  That is not the case.  I am posting what I have ‘warts and all’ hoping that others will correct and add to it.  It’s called sharing.  No one owns a family genealogy or the facts.]

My cousin is very aware of my first letter to you as well as this one.  We will both make comments under the comments that you left on the original letter I sent you.
[Look forward to receiving it.]

You stated that you never mentioned a marriage date of Sarah to Edward, but you did infer that the two of them were married.
[And you have corrected me, sir, by stating it was an error. ]

There are records out there where Sarah was “warned out” in two cities in MA. With those “Warned out’ records it states that she is with a child. These records are easy to find.
[Again, why are you being so vague?  Which towns?  I published what I thought was the correct lineage in order to solicit additions and corrections, not to be brow-beat.]
27 Oct. 1748
Edward-2 birth
Son born as reported by other researchers haven’t verified yet as to date and location, they report born in Granville, Mass. which I doubt very much.
Nov 1748
a Warning **
Shrewsbury, (Worchester), Mass.
A Sarah Green, a warning out issued.      [book finding]
9 May 1749
a Warning **
Southborough, (Worchester), Mass.
A Sarah Green and child, a warning out issued. [book finding]

7 Nov. 1751
Hardwick, (Worcester), Mass.
marriage to PETER GIBBONS         [LDS film #0873754]
7 Nov. 1752
daughter birth
Hardwick, Mass.
Elizabeth Gibbons born      [LDS film]
father moves
Hardwick, (Worcester), Mass.
Sarah father & mother move to Hardwick   [book in LDS library]
The two ** are meant to remind me that this info came from a microfilm (unfortunately I forgot to write this number down before I sent the films back) I got from the LDS Churches family history center.  
To date we are waiting for some letters to arrive from the European Continent that my have some bearing of where the first Edward came from.
[Well, if the 1st Edward isn’t related to the 2nd Edward (b. 1748), do you know his ancestry?]

Here is the web site page that will show the marriage of Sarah and Peter. If you click on her name, it will open up and there is a spot that says “show children”.  Click on that and it will show the twelve children from that marriage.  Again it will not show Edward Finel.
[Since your first email, I have found much of this information showing Peter and Sarah’s family.  Yes, there are many online who have ‘connected’ Sarah Green and Edward Finel without proof.  Obviously, somewhere along the line I received the same information.  I posted it to the web, seeking corrections, which you have provided.  ]

No where have we ever found proof that Edward is her son. We would love to see that document.            
[As would I.]

 Like I mentioned in the beginning of this letter, you will get some more detail.

Notice how the email ends?  I will get some detail, but nothing is clear as to what that information would contain, other than vague mentions of a 'cousin' who has done all the research.  This email was 6 months ago and no other information has been forthcoming from this gentleman.

Am I being hyper-sensitive?  Or is this guy an extreme personality who feels somehow offended that an error was made in a family tree posting about one of his great-greats?  If that is the case, he must be a real piece of work.

Obviously, I have more research to do on this line and seek out the town records, at least this gentleman gave me a few clues with the boot.

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