What do you do when you’ve got a family story? If you ask me, it’s time to fish or cut bait.
Fish through surviving official documents (church, government) to see if the facts prove or disprove the oral tradition.
“According to the letter written in Emma (Rogers) Brown’s later years, there was not enough money available for the next ship, so they had to wait for a future sailing. The name of the ship they were unable to sail on was the Titanic! But it was not clear from the letter as to just who was in Canada and who had missed the ill-fated ship. So, I wondered, what could the recent release of the [Canadian] passenger lists confirm about this event?”
Often beginning family historians swallow the family stories – hook, line and sinker.
But many a family story have proved to be red herrings.
In this case, Marg Aldridge elected to test the veracity of the family story using numerous Canadian passenger lists, discovering a chain migration of the Brown family. But with a name like Brown, other items had to came into play to distinguish members of her family on various passenger lists. Follow Marg’s logic by reading “Proving Oral History & Missing the Titanic” in Family Chronicle, April 2009, page 43.
Let’s insure that every fact we gather in genealogy research is supported by high quality documentary evidence.
Happy family tree climbing!
Your friend in genealogy.