Support or Disprove a Family Story
Do you have a story in your family that goes something like this… “We have a relative that once made the cables to the Brooklyn Bridge”, or “There was someone in the family with a connection to President Lincoln.” Maybe it’s something like “we are part Cherokee Indian.”
Many of these stories have been passed down from generation to generation. Usually it’s an oral story that has been slightly changed every time it’s told. Family stories that are orally passed down from generation to generation fall victim to the same messages passed from person to person in the classic game of telephone. Every time the story is told the message attempts to repeat the same story, but some facts and details can be lost in the message over time. In addition to lost facts and details, new inaccuracies, embellishments, or fictional bits can creep into the story.
The lost information or fictional information in the story can be both intentional and unintentional, but ultimately they skew the original account or truth in an ancestor or family’s life. A genealogist can help sort out the truth from the myths that have crept in over time.