I was trying to clean up my mom’s family tree. We’re using ancestry.com because it is useful for organizing all the relationships and data, but it’s not perfect. I’m still trying to figure out how everything works.
The reason a clean-up is necessary is because somehow extra profile pages were created. A profile page gives the detailed info about one person and shows their immediate family relations. For certain people, multiple profile pages were created. It may have happened in the process of adding data from the family trees of other ancestry.com members.
In getting rid of the clutter, I have to be very careful that I don’t delete something that is important. The same names are often repeatedly used in families, generation after generation after generation. People are named after parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc. So, I look at everything very carefully.
I had gone through most of the names when I came to the Wininger/Wineinger family on my maternal grandmother’s side, and initially I was more perplexed than anything else I’d so far come across. I opened up about twenty profile pages in order to see the connections and possible duplicates. I saw the same names with the same birth and death dates, some were centuries in the past while others were in more recent history, but those in the middle were different.
It slowly dawned on me what I was looking at. When I showed it to my mom, she was able to clarify it even further. Several lines of Wineingers descended from the same patriarch, Nicholaus/Nicholas Wineinger. Four and Five generations later, three lines of descent merged again, all of them finally meeting together in the person of my maternal grandmother’s father, Rollie Franklin Wininger.
It sounds kind of incestuous, but the people involved actually weren’t that close of relatives. They were distant cousins, although not extremely distant. In the two marriages of convergence, both involve one spouse’s parent being first cousins of the other spouse’s grandparent. So, that makes the spouses several times removed.
It does look odd when the connections are mapped out on a piece of paper. Only fourteen people of the Wineinger/Wininger Clan are directly complicit in these three lines, including the originating patriarch and the final person of convergence.
In case any genealogists are curious, the following is precisely how it played out:
Nicholaus/Nicholas Wineinger fathered Andrew and John Alexander (Sr.). Andrew fathered Phillip, Phillip fathered George, and George fathered James Klepper. John Alexander (Sr.) fathered John Alexander (Jr.) and William. John Alexander (Jr.) fathered Elizabeth Ellen. James Klepper married Eliabeth Ellen, and from them was born George Alexander. William fathered John, John fathered Sarah, Sarah mothered Eliza Elizabeth. George Alexander married Eliza Elizabeth, and from them was born Rollie Franklin.
Clear as mud, eh?