Thursday, January 26, 2012

Can you spot the problems?

The following family group was compiled by a researcher who used the Scottish Church records at Family Search. The last child, Mary Fisher, does not appear in these records, but the researcher assumed she belonged in this family anyway.

Archibald Fisher b. 17 April 1734 in Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland. Father: Patrick Fisher b.1701
married Isobel McDougal
Children of Archibald and Isabel

  1. Janet Fisher b.  16 July 1742 in Alloa, Clackmannan, Scotland
  2. John Fisher b. 19 September 1746  Alloa, Clackmannan, Scotland
  3. Archibald Fisher b. 24 December 1749  Alloa, Clackmannan, Scotland
  4. Isabel Fisher b. 5 July 1751  Alloa, Clackmannan, Scotland
  5. Catharine Fisher b. 5 August 1754  Alloa, Clackmannan, Scotland
  6. Janet Fisher b. 9 September 1757  Alloa, Clackmannan, Scotland
  7. Mary Fisher b. 18 January 1758 (from tombstone)   Scotland

The first contradictory fact that stands out is that Archibald Fisher was born in 1734 and his first child was born in 1742. So he would have been 8 yrs. old when his first child was born? He probably married at 6 yrs. old. Not likely! 
A second problem is Janet and Mary were born 4 months apart. Not likely either!
There were also two Janets, so apparently, the first one died. 
Archibald Fisher came to America in 1767; without his wife who probably died in Scotland? We have not located the name of his spouse on any records in this country. A Fisher researcher assumed that because Archibald had a daughter named Catherine she was the same one born to Archibald and Isabel in Scotland. There were several Archibald Fishers in Scotland at the time. To verify they found the correct one they should have looked at all the birth records for this couple. If they had they would have discovered these contradictory facts. The easiest way to find the other children born to this couple is by using the batch number along with a surname search. All of the records for the same Church were batched together (this same method is also helpful when searching any other record extractions in the IGI).
The same researcher also states that Archibald's second wife was Nancy Agnes Firney ( seems close to Forgey?) I've seen this same info copied several times by different people. No one has any source for this. I have not found her in the IGI for Scotland either. It seems a little unusual that a person born that early would have a middle name? 
Someone else has an Ann McNaughton as his wife. This is another improbability. This particular family was still in Scotland in 1768, when a child appears in the Church records. I've seen about half a dozen different women recorded as Archibald wives. He may have actually been married about 3 times?  
These are the verified children of Archibald Fisher (none of which appear in the IGI Scottish Church Records)
  1. Catherine Fisher b.?
  2. Mary Fisher b.1757
  3. John Fisher b.1762
  4. William Fisher b.1766
  5. Eleanor Fisher b.1765
  6. Nancy Fisher b.c.1767

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