Find A Grave

As much as I love Find A Grave, there are times that I absolutely hate it. Today is one of those days. I have a set of 2nd great grandparents that have always been a mystery. A few years ago I set out to find who they were.

I started with John Johnson Butler. I was able to find that he married Sarah Rebecca in Lowndes County, Alabama on 12 Jan 1837. That was it. Before that neither of them ever existed.

I was able to track them to Union Parish and their travels after that but nothing before they married. I am sure there is something out there, but do you have any idea how many John Butlers were born in North Carolina?

The only thing I had to go on was Robert Clinton Webb. He was a older man who seemed to be everywhere the Butlers were. They worked together. They lived close together. John and Rebecca even named a son after him, Robert Clinton Butler.  Their oldest daughter was Mary, as in Mary E. “Polly” Webb, Robert’s wife.

There was no evidence to prove Robert and Mary were her parents. I am convinced they are but I only put it on my private tree.

I then took the DNA test. Right off the bat I got results that said I was related to all the descendants of Robert and Mary.  I didn’t want to just say they were Rebecca’s parents, so I went through every one of those cousins. I found nothing to say they were related to me some other way.

About that time a distant cousin on FAG asked me to add some of my great grandmother’s sibling to Rebecca’s memorial. That was when I saw she had Rebecca buried at the same cemetery as her husband. That would not be a problem but most people believe she is buried at another cemetery. Neither of them have a marker and there are no burial records. I asked her about it but she never got back to me.

Today I looked at the memorial again. She now has Rebecca with parents and siblings. She has two sisters also named Sarah and and two brothers named James. I found that the family had lived in Georgia and Alabama but not in the counties that Sarah lived in or got married it.

Now everybody and their brother are going to go with this and there is no proof of any of it. I wish Find A Grave would not allow people to put just anything they want on there without any evidence at all.


3 thoughts on “Find A Grave

  1. Hopefully, one of those links/even if copied from some one else’s tree (review how/where it came from… and then back track all and any..), may give you a direction to look into of family research. Good luck. GJ



  2. Here you said: “I then took the DNA test. Right off the bat I got insults that said I was related to all the descendants of Robert and Mary:”

    Don’t you mean RESULTS. The DNA test you took, was it through If was most likely autosomal DNA, named Family Finder by some companies like If it was via you can join and upload (for free) your test results, then use’s DNA matching algorithm.

    But autosomal DNA (sometimes auDNA or atDNA), does not have the capability identify the ancestor with whom you match. It does give you name and the ability to contact a member with whom you share
    chromosones. It is up to you to contact the other party or parties and figure out your common ancestor.

    Autosomal DNA, as regards it’s ability to find a relationship match, is of no value past one’s 5th cousin (remote or times removed), 5th cousins share 4th great grandparents. By remote is meant that one persons 4th great grandparent is another persons 5th great grandparent, the same applies to 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th cousins.

    The reason is that you inherit .50% of each parents atDNA, and that means .25% of each grandparents, and halve that for every generation until 4th great grandparent, where you receive .
    0.015625 of their atDNA,, which works out to 7centimorgans, Aft that your 5th great grandparents provide 0.0078125 which is not enough DNA to establish with any reliability, a relationship (itis considered random).

    As regards Findagrave. I understand your frustration, I am (or was) a FAG contributor, establishing
    memorials for direct ancestors, and passing on related lines to their descendants, if I can find them, fortunately has a most excellent list of cemeteries and markers, perhaps the very best in the country.

    But mistakes are made by well meaning persons. I have been able to correct some mistakes, by suggesting an edit, at the edit tab, and then explaining it by contacting the memorial manager via the link to their page.

    If a memorial manager is unresponsive, and many reasons for that, including passing on themselves, then you can contact Findagrave management and suggest changes and explain the reason.

    There are instances, perhaps many, in which one’s own diligent work has yielded results that are not exactly accurate. I can think of one such case, where a FAG memorialist claimed that a persons wife was a woman who was actually married to another person with the same name, but different lineage.
    In fact this person had morphed her ancestors name Rice, into Uriah, and her rant on the memorial was very emotional.


    • To begin with there was a typing error that was corrected while you were typing your comments. Yes, I took the Ancestry DNA test and the results have been uploaded to other sites. I am not a expert on DNA and do not claim to be. I do have contacts who understand far more than I do. I did not and will not rely on DNA alone. I have been researching this couple and their family for years. I know where they are supposed to be buried and I know that there are no records on either one of them. They did not have two sons named Robert Clinton Butler and he was not buried in two different graves in different cemeteries. I am willing to bet he is in the grave beside his wife, the one with a marker.

      Yes, I have contacted her about the cemetery but she chose to ignore me for over two years. Instead she added a family that no one else has ever been able to locate. Maybe no one else got the connection because this family never lived in any place where Sarah Rebecca lived. She decided to ignore my questions about that also. The results of that match is Sarah Rebecca has two sisters named Sarah and two brothers names James.

      I am also very aware of More importantly, I have walked those cemeteries too many time to count. I was too young to remember the first time my Grandma took me to one and I didn’t learn about those people on Find A Grave.

      I am also aware of the procedure to correct a mistake on FAG. They will not work when the memorial manager chooses to ignore suggestions. If she felt she was correct all she had to do was explain where she got her information. However, she has chosen not to.


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