Years ago, seems so very long ago, a couple of researchers helped me with proofing and creating a complete family tree through 5 generations starting with our oldest proven recorded ancestors, Robert and Betsy Chumley. What an endeavor we undertook. It was a lofty goal and it took all our research talents to complete the list. We were just wrapping up our research, when life through me a curve ball and I had to put my participation to the research project on hold. I am sure others in the group were discouraged that we would ever get our project of someday writing our Chumley History completed. If they did, they never shared it with me. Instead, a few came along side and sent me words of wisdom, prayers, loving advise, cards and emails kept coming and I got through it all. We have now achieved a huge hurdle; getting this complete family tree out for the world to see. Let me try and explain the process of completing this tree.
Our research group is always looking for more people to help us in our goal to write the Chumley History, people who will bring more information and share it with us and others. We started with just a handful of people, but what each of us had to contribute was amazing! I have a spreadsheet of each person in the group, what talents and skills they bring to our group, and the really amazing part is that we have a representative from each of the family lines that branch off Robert and Betsy Chumley. I think it was just logical for us to think a book must be printed and our history must be preserved.
My dear friend Gail stuck it out until the very end. Together, we managed to make contacts within our group and find out where they got their family information and try and find proof for all names, dates, and events that we had in our Chumley Tree. The platform we used to help us work together was Ancestry.com. Several in our group had an ancestry account and this was any efficient way we could compare dates and other information, and if there was a discrepancy, we could discuss it as a group and decide the information we would go with. One of the most frequent questions in our group was “Are we going with the headstone date or the death certificate?” Now that might sound like an odd question, but here is the problem with information. Genealogy information is only as good as the person who gave the information. Here are some examples of what I am talking about.
1 – I learned the very quickly from Glenda about the error of dates. I was astonished when she told me how many headstones had the wrong dates on them in my own family cemetery in Claiborne County, Tennessee. This revelation did not detour us from our research, but it did encourage us to dig deeper.
2 – Census records – forget about it! There are many things to beware when taking information from census records. Did the information come from a family member, a neighbor, a child? Did the census taker really visit each home or did he just sit at the end of the road and talk to passerbys?
3 – Death certificates – it is not uncommon that children do not know their mother’s maiden name, or have the incorrect birth date. This is just a couple of examples we found with death certificates.
4. – Draft cards – young men would sometimes lie about their age so they could serve their country during times of war.
I could go on and on, but you can see the quandary of it all. It was painstaking to identify each families data, let alone each person in the household. However, we did persevere and I am so happy to show the fruits of our labor. I feel I need to write some disclaimer at this point, but please understand this was our groups best attempt to give an account of the descendants of Robert and Betsy Chumley. I welcome all questions and please let me know if you disagree with any information.
See Updated 5 generation report dated 7/31/2020.