WHY CATCH BASS WHEN I WANT SALMON!?

I don’t get it! Here I am on ancestry.com looking through the records for information on my family. I try to be selective in my searches, yet every time I do so I have to search through a list of public and private records before I can locate the actual records of any given area. This means going through several hundred items before discovering the goody jar. I make a range of dates from 1725 to 1799, for instance, and a range of regions and oh boy I get documents that represent a hundred years from what I want and locations in other countries. I’m not keen about Ancestry’s search, yet FHL isn’t all that much better and I really have no experience with other record banks on the Internet.

So much of the information is watered down by the lack of filters, though on the other hand, the more filters the less records which creates a problem-what have we left behind? The more restrictive I get to an area or time period the more the algorithms may leave out the data I actually need. I need a formula that will rule out anything after 1823 and before 1733, that can also include Irish records but not American.

Am I asking for too much!? I used to like Ancestry’s search features. Now, there are so many duplication of records, so many public tree records and far too many newspaper collections that need to be waded through to find that one little gem that makes a difference. Perhaps Ancestry should divide these more populated lists more sparingly- maybe by year, locality then surname to start. Seems logical to me. I understand we’re dealing with millions of very diverse people, ethnically, and spelling variations, missing villages and old town names that have disappeared from our present time. I get the fact that boundaries changed, governments shift and wars destroy the documented history of our lives; we all want to leave some legacy of our passing, don’t we? Or is that just post-history thinking on my part?

Yet with the technology we do have I don’t see why the searches can’t be a little more inclusive when we reach out our nets. Why all the chaff? I do appreciate the whittling down of this conglomeration of data, only I wish I could cast my line into a more purposeful pond geared toward my branch of the family.

(C) Copyright 1985-2016, The Jameson Perspective(TJP/SMJ).

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Interested in Jameson and the Other 99 Spellings?

When I first involved myself in genealogy I never thought it would come to the fore in my life like it did. I walked down this path slowly having no idea where the crossroads were, the stop signs, when to yield or be cautious. My grandmother’s death provided the impetus. When I mentioned to my cousin, Ellen, what I was doing she jumped in with both feet. We found ourselves walking these grass-covered paths, highly diminished from the passage of years, and speculated on what our ancestors were like, who they were. In time we came to know. Eventually, my cousin succumbed to a juncture in her own road to life and I found myself on the trail alone again.

But that was a distant time and in the intervening years I’ve come to acknowledge that unlike so many other surnames, ours tended to be more separate and individual. When I read Rev. E.O. Jameson’s 1901 book, THE JAMESONS IN AMERICA, I had no idea of the spelling variations put forth from spelling errors of the vocal name or the special circumstances imbued itself upon our ancestor’s legacies like a brand on a steer. By then, it was too late for me to get off the vanishing trail.

I like history and people and puzzling out the different roads we all take. Not always easy, because like anything else we endeavor to do, a certain amount of effort is required to do it right the first time. Thus my brief on “sources” and the burden of proof.

But Rev. Jameson did us a disservice by eliminating the correct surname from the family branches he researched. Publishing a book is not easy in terms of cost and putting it all together, especially in his day and age when it was done by hand. But Jameson found a way to cut costs, by applying the same spelling to all the Jamesons. So, if you were a Jimmerson or a Jempson or any of the other 98 spelling variants, tough luck for you!

He also did us another disservice; he barely populated his research with references, but I can also appreciate the reasons why. As a traveling minister he had only so much time on his hands to check out the local libraries and town halls. He was spreading the Gospel as was his wont and his mission. Some of the data he had came from other researchers wishing to have their local families published as well. So, what’s a guy or gal to do!?

Because of the world wide web, inroads to genealogy in aspects of software and data are quickly resolved by not having to trek from one town hall to another including the trips to the local FHL(Family History Library). Software allows us to emphasize our surnames. Communications on the Internet allows us to chat away with others any where in the world, almost, and find others with the same family name.

In retrospect, I might have done the same. Try publishing a book with 600 pages and see what it’ll cost you. Back in 2004, I did a manuscript for my mom’s side of the family. Two hundred pages, 8.5″ by 11″, on good 24 pound non-fading paper, 90 pound index stock on the covers with additional visible plastic Mylar covers over the front cover and back to protect it. Ten copies made at the local Staples store for $240.00 without any typesetting, image reproductions and the like. Obviously, the higher the quantity the cheaper per book.

Fortunately, my HP printer does two-sided pages.

© Copyright 2016 The Jameson Perspective(TJP/SMJ)

IS THIS YOUR FAMILY TREE?

When I come across a family chart on Ancestry, MyHeritage or any of the genealogy web hosting sites, as a rule I’ll glance at the tree with a certain degree of care and caution. I want to see the supports which holds up all these individuals, to see that the trunk is strong and well engineered and able to tie everyone together. I am more often disappointed when I find a new fact to realize that the reference is another ancestry tree.

IS THIS YOUR TREE!? A bad example of a tree that has three separate and distinct branches tied into it.
IS THIS YOUR TREE!? A bad example of a tree that has three separate and distinct branches tied into it.

Have you ever followed one of these worm hole threads!? My goodness, it can travel endlessly until your fingers tire out and your hopes of something meaningful are dashed against cosmic stones. I swear, I feel I’m being sucked in by the Black Hole of space only to find myself stuck deep beneath the roots of an aging tree. Like mirrors placed in front and behind you-the image goes on forever, lost in a forest of trees all the same and no clear path to your goal.

I like to place comments on some of the populated trees I see on these sites to help stir up the pot, so to speak. I never get a response 99.9% of the time, so it’s ordinary sense that these fellow researchers don’t really want to benefit from my vocal opposition nor to make changes. even with the proof right before them. Reflectively, it’s no different than a person unwilling to change their nutrition and diet in order to add a few more years to their life span. If you won’t change then you won’t survive the circumstance that you’re in.

Above, there is an image of a tree of descent. It seems normal enough and as you can see it has many hint leaves on the people shown. Even when you click on the hints, tie in the sources for each fact, there still appears to be no issue with the family chart. What you don’t see behind that tree is the faulty line of reasoning to back and link these individuals correctly to their rightful lineages. I know. I proved this tree years ago; even commented to the speculate researcher of the tree. Yet, here we are two years later and nothing’s changed.

To those who will see this tree will realize how particular it, as a whole, seems. Hugh, Thomas and Alexander Jameson, for instance, belong all to themselves, a family out of Northern Ireland who sailed to the colonies and established a home in Londonderry, then Dunbarton, NH. Martin, Alexander and Martha Jameson emigrated from Omagh, Tyrone, Ireland and landed in Boston them settled in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. James and Sarah Jameson sailed into Boston very early from Scotland and until there is DNA testing no doubt they won’t be tied into these other families any sooner than necessary.  Not knowing where my William in Windham, NH came from I wonder how this researcher was able to tie my family in.  Then we have William Jameson, real surname, Jennison, and Elizabeth Golding – the marriage is correct, but the children are not.

My impression of these family charts and the individuals who are represented is like picking apples off the apple tree. They may be all related in the scheme of things, but are they grannies, Ambrosia or Tuscan?

© Copyright 2016 The Jameson Perspective(TJP/SMJ)

Welcome

This blog is being set up to discuss research and deal with Jameson research issues. I’ve been trying to parlay my experience, knowledge and data into a web site that may have world-wide consequences and real-time awareness of the facts. It is with great concern that I am finding large issues that need to be addressed concerning the early history of our families. As I have often addressed in earlier times about the need for sources, it seems realistic to expect more entertainment of the idea. In fact just the opposite is true. When I look at the family trees on Ancestry.com or peruse the information on the DAR application forms for membership into that society, I cringe with horror.

To purpose my intent, I hope to enjoin you all into a lively discussion of what’s wrong with our perspective and how we can dynamically change our results simply by applying some focus and reasonable steps toward a better end. We all want our history to leave a lasting legacy of fulfillment and positive feedback to provide a strong historically accurate background of our forefathers whether you like an ancestor or not. We all want Green Jamison, who died at the Alamo in 1836, in our tree.

I don’t care if you are rich or poor, politically correct or not or mainstream or have lifestyle changes outside our comfort zones. Our families have so many rich interesting characters that intertwine dramatically and touches us in ways we wish we could forget. But…it all passes. We all realize eventually that what once was important is no longer so. People do change for it is the only way to survive in this world. God taught us to love one another or at least be compassionate for others regardless of the circumstances. There are millions of heart-warming stories in our world that can startle and even induce that change from the craziest corners of our life experiences.

Therefore, I ask you all to take a little time and explore these genealogical issues I’ll be bringing up in the foreseeable future. And Thanks! for taking that time to tell me.

© Copyright 2016 The Jameson Perspective(TJP/SMJ)