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Conflicting Information

Do you use Ancestry’s ‘leaf’ hints? If so, do you occasionally find a hint or two that have information that doesn’t fit with what you already know about the person or family?

I usually find such hints among the multitude of hints for the people in my trees. Usually, those ‘incorrect’ hints are ‘way off’. These ‘way off’ hints are for events in England when the person/family is living in the United States. Today, however, I came across a hint for a death date that was a few months off of the date shown on Find a Grave.

The hint was and index record with reference to a film number on Family Search for District of Columbia Deaths and Burials, 1840-1964. Even though the death date was different, the family names matched.


Like, the District of Columbia record, Find a Grave information is also pulled from another source. Even though the death date may be on the tombstone, the tombstone may be incorrect.

Thus, I needed another source to help figure out which death date is correct. Thus, I turned to Newspapers.com, where I did a search for ‘Philemon Vawter’. By going this extra step to try and locate additional information, I hit the jackpot! I located obituaries for both Philemon Vawter and his wife.

Rev. Philemon Vawter, of Wshing-
ton, died Tuesday morning at Vienna,
Va., where he was visiting friends. Mr.
Vawter was a retired minister, who has
been engaged in mission work, and re-
cently organized a small church at 
Vienna. He met with a severe fall,
which resulted in concussion of the
brain. He was seventy-four years of
age. He came to Washington two
years ago form Port Gibson, Miss.,
where he was a pastor.

“Local Brevities,” Alexandria Gazette (Alexandria, Virginia), 5 October 1894, page 3; digital image, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online September 2019).

Died
Vawter. On Friday, January 5, 1906 at 7:45
a.m., at her residence, 1943 Biltmore street
northwest, Martha Anne Humphreys
widow of the late Rev. Philemon Vawter and
daughter of the late Rhoda Jameson and
Samuel Cabell Humphreys.
Funeral from residence Saturday, January 6, at
2 p.m. (Louisville, KY., and Indianapolis, Ind.,
papers please copy.)

“Died,” Evening Star (Washington, District of Columbia), 5 January 1906, page 5; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online September 2019).

I’m glad I took the extra time! Not only did I verify the death date, but I learned that Philemon Vawter lived in Port Gibson, Mississippi — a place I never would have looked for the family before today!