Adventures in Genealogy

A few years ago, I photographed a cemetery in rural Owen County, Indiana (a bunch of them, actually).  I uploaded the photos to Flickr and to Findagrave, and for the headstones that didn’t already have Findagrave memorials, I created them.

Easy peasy, if a bit time consuming.

So I occasionally get messages from people to correct information (mistakes happen!), add information, or to link spouses or children and parents, or even to transfer memorial ownership to them if they’re descendants. It can be a little time consuming, but it’s time well spent. And most people are really nice, which helps.

Every once in a while, you’re contacted by someone who is rude as hell, which can be disheartening. Or you get a request that seems reasonable on the face of it, but when you think for two seconds, you realize it’s totally bonkers.

Today was a totally bonkers day. I checked my mail to find the following request:

The picture connected to this is NOT Catherine McNaught. That is a picture of Martha (Wooden) McNaught (1765-1835), wife of George McNaught (1761-1789). I have the original picture with both of them in the picture. George and Martha came to America from Ireland.

Seems legit, right? Only no, not so much. My response:

You messaged me about an incorrect photo on the Catharine McNaught memorial I created (memorial number 50363862). I did not add that photo, and I cannot delete it. You will need to contact the person who added the photo, to ask them to remove it.

That said, if the person you say the photo is actually of died in 1835, there is no way this is a photograph of her, as the first photograph depicting a human wasn’t made until 1838. The first known portrait photo was in 1839.

I don’t know who the photo is of, and I don’t care. I didn’t add it, so it’s not my circus and not my monkeys. As it stands, it seems to me that it’s more likely that the person who added it knows what they’re doing than the person who contacted me to remove it.

The memorial in question is here.

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