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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Patrick Flanagan - Co. Louth, Ireland - Circa 1700-1779

Oh my.....Have I started and perpetuated a mistake on Ancestry.com that will continue to haunt me forever?

I think that I must apologize to those out there who borrowed incorrect information from me before I was able to change it.  Quite truly, the incorrect information only lived on my Flanagan Family tree at Ancestry.com for a few short months.  Now, the error exists on at least 7 other trees while my tree stands corrected with no real evidence of my prior misunderstanding.

In honor of my 6th great grandfather, Patrick Flanagan, of Galroostown, Co. Louth, Ireland where he was born circa 1700 (maybe a little later on than that) and of Ganderpark, Co. Louth, Ireland where he died at his property 17 August 1779, I must take the specific stand that Mary Campbell (or the one that has been misinterpreted as his wife) was not his wife at all.   His wife's name was probably Mary.  He had a daughter named Mary Flanagan too.

Patrick's daughter Mary Flanagan, married James Campbell around 1773.  At this point in her life, Mary was about 34 years old.  Given that James Campbell died in 1799 lends me to believe that Mary might not have been his first wife.   It is possible that James was a widower and married Mary Flanagan as his second wife.  This is all supposition but might explain why Mary did not have children.  Mary (Flanagan) Campbell did make her way back to the family in Termonfechin after James' passed away.

Imagine the confusion that there could be when farm records written by Patrick Flanagan of Termonfechin (1780-1866), indicated a "Granny Campbell" coming to live with the family when his wife (Judith Kirwan) could no longer do so.   Granny Campbell was the 1780 Patrick Flanagan's aunt.  Patrick's father Richard Flanagan of Termonfechin was the sister of Mary (Flanagan) Campbell.  Patrick's children called their aunt "Granny Campbell".  She, in fact, was not their grandmother or great grandmother but their grandaunt.

My own misunderstanding of this situation influenced by some other information that I read was corrected by my Flanagan's of Louth.  They have studied and researched this family line with such proficiency that they are the experts.   Granny Campbell is the daughter/sister/aunt and not the wife of Patrick Flanagan who died in 1779 in Termonfechin, Louth, Ireland.

Is my mistake perpetuated forever on Ancestry.com?  Only by those who randomly accept unsourced family trees.  My tree is rather unsourced online.  You've got to read my blog to find out more.

So, what can I do now?  Well, I've tried to let people know about this mistake but who am I to tell someone that their ancestors are not Patrick Flanagan and Mary Campbell?  There could be other couples with these same names.   I just wish people would stop borrowing Patrick's information off my Ancestry.com tree.   I see his death date of 17 Aug 1779 in Co. Louth on all of these other trees.  Mind you, this is how I typed it on Ancestry.com the first time.  I have since revised his specific location of death to read Ganderpark, Termonfechin, Co. Louth, Ireland.  Everyone who's got this date of death as such has his wife as Mary Campbell.  I guess that's a big "Oops!" on my part.

As I've said before, but maybe not recently, "Buyer Beware" on Ancestry.com.  The public information on someone else's unsourced tree is just that - unsourced, unreliable, and unproven.  I learned over a year ago to only gather sourced, proven information from others and with this as my example, I've learned a lesson or two.

I still place unsourced information on Ancestry.com on my own tree even today but that's because I'm doing the research and not borrowing from others that I do not know on Ancestry.com. 




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