Remember to Check Your Sources

Several months ago I learned a valuable lesson about researching my family tree.  I had thought I was related to James and Hannah Morse.  This was mainly due to not double-checking that my ggg grandfather, William Morse, was born in 1834 and not 1826.  This discrepancy was pointed out to me by the lovely researchers of the Morse Society.  I provided them with my research on the Morse line and they worked with me to clear up some confusion I’d had. 
Apparently my ancestors are descendants of John DeMorse who was originally from Ireland and had intended to join William Penn’s Colony.  As the story goes, he became shipwrecked and though all the passengers were saved, their belongings were lost.  They landed near Mount Desert Island in Maine and he eventually settled in Meduncook which later became Friendship.   Based on the information provided to me it seems that he was one of many who signed a petition protesting the actions of the British government in 1774.
This nudge in the right direction has led me to discover all kinds of interesting ties to the settling of America.  I learned of ancestors that were killed by Indians and others who acted as interpreters for Indians.  I’ve definitely learned some caution though in getting excited about these leads.  At this point in my research I am going through and generation by generation confirming that the census information I’m referencing is in fact for the right person.  It’s quite easy when you use a website like Ancestry to get carried away in the excitement of those little bouncing leaves that suggest new clues to your family tree.  I’d much rather know the real people I’m descended from than the random possible matches of an algorithm.  In the meantime, I’ll continue my searching for my people.

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