Friday, January 24, 2014

Beware your undead ancestors!

This is a public health warning.

Please ensure your deceased ancestors are properly disposed of!

Undead ancestors are a danger that every genealogist should be aware of. Long deceased ancestors who have not been properly disposed of can, and do, get up to all sorts of mischief. Whether they start a new career, move to another continent, or even beget several more lines of cousins (the rascals!) – you won’t know when to stop looking over your shoulder until you have them pinned down with a death date.

I thought I had properly disposed of my direct lines, but having set up a nice “at a glance” documentation chart I am now noticing some rather strange things in the outermost regions of my family tree. For example, I see what looks like a firm UK death date after 1837 but no death certificate or any other quality evidence of their death at that time. For all I know, that deceased ancestor could have been walking around not-really-dead-at-all for decades after the date in my tree. Oh the horror!

Now I have three death certificates on order, with at least another four I want to confirm. I’ll put nails in their coffins yet!

Have you disposed of your undead ancestors?

5 comments:

  1. I have lots of centenarians in my tree. I must take your advice and kill a few off.

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    1. Just make sure they really are dead first or you could get in all sorts of trouble!

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  2. Great advice thanks Shelley, gives me cause to go checking too.

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  3. Love the humour in your post! I successfully confirmed my brick wall death this week & the nails have been in the coffin since 1933! Sad to know that I am the only one to find out when he died & where he is buried (out of the family that is still living, at least). Lots on online trees & researchers had his death in 1902. Anyhow, it's confirmed & nailed down!

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    1. Thanks Sherie, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm never quite sure if anyone will understand my sense of humour! Imagine the things he could get up to in those 31 years, and no-one thinking to keep an eye out for him!

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