I never meant any harm. We were all having such a good time, back in February of 2010. It was the Geneabloggers Games: sources were being cited, data was being backed up - there was activity all over the geneablogging community.
I was in the middle of work on the Norman family - the ginormongous family of J.M.C. Norman, to be exact. I started on the Newton Leonard Norman family. The oldest child was daughter Dissie.
My trusty guide in this endeavor was Inez Cline. Her Norman Family History, based on extensive interviews with numerous Norman family members, contained this one throwaway line on Dissie Norman: “b. Aug. 5, 1891 d. Oct. 9, 1908 m. Jack Norman, son of Jane. Her other son named Moore. No issue.” No one else had ever listed a husband for Dissie - because her last name never changed.
This led me to try to untangle an intriguing mystery - was Jack Norman related to “my” Normans? - and at every step of the way, another mystery would pop up, making the whole story almost Southern Gothic in its twists, turns, and possible scandals. Central to these mysteries was the identity of Sarah Jane “Aunt Jane” Norman: mother of Dissie’s husband Jackson Norman (apparently illegitimate), mother of Tom Peat Norman (most likely the illegitimate son of a member of a neighboring Moore family for whom Jane had worked as a servant), and finally, last wife of the colorful and oft-married Civil War veteran Zara Cotton.
I ended up writing an 8-post series on this for the Geneabloggers Games:
Mystery Normans and Source Citations - Part 1
Mystery Normans and Source Citations - Part 2
Mystery Normans and Source Citations - Part 3
Mystery Normans and Source Citations - Part 4
Mystery Normans and Source Citations - Part 5
Mystery Normans and Source Citations - Part 6
Mystery Normans and Source Citations - Part 7
Mystery Normans and Source Citations - Part 8
Part 5, dealing with my efforts to find Sarah Jane Norman’s family, is the misleading post: “I was starting to suspect that Norman was [Sarah] Jane’s maiden name. I went back to look at the entry for her in Findagrave, and was stunned to see a name there that I had somehow failed to see the first time: ‘Daughter of Louisiana Norman.’” “Not to jump to conclusions, but … Joseph Madison Carroll Norman had a sister named Louisiana.”
And this must be the origin of the error for which I am now responsible.
I found this error last night in someone’s Public Member Tree on Ancestry: Husband of Dissie Norman > Jack Norman. Mother of Jack Norman > Sarah Jane Norman. Mother of Sarah Jane Norman > Louisiana Norman. Parents of Louisiana Norman > Thomas S. Norman and Nancy Larue. Those are J.M.C. Norman’s parents. That makes this Louisiana Norman J.M.C.’s sister.
This is the only other public tree I have seen with a husband for Dissie Norman. And it is definitely the only tree listing J.M.C. Norman’s sister Louisiana as Sarah Jane Norman’s mother. And my blog is the only place where this relationship has ever been posited.
Note to person with this family tree. Honey, you need to read the entire series. Because in the last post I kind of busted this theory by finding a husband - John Norman - for this Louisiana/Lousa/whatever her name was: “And this John Norman was born in Alabama. That doesn’t mean that he was one of “my” Normans, but it doesn’t rule it out, either.”
So, for what it’s worth: Louisiana Norman, daughter of Thomas Norman and Nancy Larue, was not the mother of Sarah Jane Norman, mother of Jackson Norman who married Dissie Norman, daughter of Newton Leonard Norman.
That and a note to the owner of the Ancestry tree should fix it, right?
Who am I kidding. My half-baked (and busted) theory is going to be perpetuated for eternity.