Wednesday, December 2, 2020

52 Ancestors - OOPS: The Virtual Red Pen

When I was a teacher, I refused to use a red pen to mark students’ papers. Too many negative connotations. Students always referred to teachers’ comments on their papers as “bleeding all over the page.” My pen of choice was green or purple and sometimes a pencil. In my view these were more friendly, more encouraging, at least I hoped so. After all, getting it right is good.

In genealogy research, getting it right is important. There are plenty of flawed family trees on Ancestry without me contributing to the confusion with more bad information. I pride myself on being a careful researcher, so discovering I’ve posted something in error distresses me. Here are some of my biggest and best blunders along with the new and improved version setting the story straight – unless I discover otherwise.

Segourney Shiflett Eppard

    Before: Genealogy Photo a Day: Week in Review

    After: Is She or Isn't She?

Velma Davis Woodring

    Before: Sport Center Saturday - Velma Davis Woodring

    After: A Doppelganger for Velma

Josie Sheehan

    Before: Pay Attention to the Woman in the Hat

    After: Hiding in Plain Sight

Robert Byrnes

    Before: Sadie's Family

    After: In Search of Nephews 

        and Favorite Photo - Helen and the Byrnes Cousins

Amy Johnson Crow continues to challenge genealogy bloggers and non-bloggers alike to think about our ancestors and share a story or photo about them. The challenge is “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.


© 2020, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.


  1. A fun post but with a serious message. I need to go back to my older posts and update with "oops" and links to newer info. TY for the reminder that after I find out about an error, I need to correct it in the original post, not just post about the info in a newer post.

    1. Thanks Marian! If someone were to stumble into the earlier version of a story, they might never find the corrected one.

  2. The Velma one was the most shocking!

  3. At least you try to remedy it when you find your "mistake."


  4. My mother always told me that no one would know the difference. Ha!