Welcome to Scottish Genealogy Tips, Tricks & Tidbits

A wee bit of info to help you in your journey to discover your Scottish Ancestors and maybe even crack a brick wall or two!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Wrong Information Given by Informants on Certificates

Although this happens take care not to discount the certificate because the informant
gave the wrong  information. I've had this happen as well, but taking into
account the circumstances, I could account for the informant's inaccuracies.
One the death certificate for my grandfather's first wife, he listed the
wrong name for her father. Harry would have been in desparate shock at
having lost his beloved wife and having a new baby to care for. His father
in law was deceased by this time so it would have been some time since Harry
had seen him and in that "caught off guard" moment, he wasn't thinking
clearly, so gave whatever name came to mind (it was actually the name of his
brother in law).
On another certificate, my uncle's wife was the informant. She gave the
wrong name for her mother in law. The two women had never met, the wife
being in California and the mother in law in Lanarkshire. My gt granny's
surname was "Mack". The wife must have thought that this was short for
something, so gave the name "MacDonald" Interestingly and perhaps unknown to
the wife, my uncle's first wife, whom he abandoned in Lanarkshire was a
MacDonald!
Some day I will share this story, but to do so now is off topic. Having "dug
around" my brick wall came down on this one. He seems to have been a
bigamist, marrying in America without having divorced in Scotland and having
read the coroner's report, I am fairly confident that his accidental suicide
was indeed murder - by the new wife!
Anyway, long way around, but please take the misinformation of the
informants with a grain of salt. Do some sleuthing and you may uncover the
reasons for their error.

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