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Re: 3 different William Phillips blended into one
Posted by: Robert Phillips (ID *****1841) Date: December 27, 2012 at 04:17:05
In Reply to: 3 different William Phillips blended into one by Terry Litvan of 20467

When two or more persons with the same or similar names get confused with one another and their data is merged by a family historian, we call it conflation. It happens a lot, especially with those who are inexperienced.

I have seen the same thing happen with an Israel Phillips, born 1737, Rhode Island, who became a Quaker after the French and Indian War. He married and moved with his family to New Hampshire in the 1760's, and then to New York State in the 1780's. Yet, some have him confused with an Israel Phillips who was from Rhode Island and served during the American Revolution, and died in Vermont. Others have him confused with another Israel Phillips who died in Ward, Massachusetts. Actually, he died in Saratoga New York about 1822/23. So, they have him dying three deaths, before they were able to resurrect him no more.

With the proliferation of internet genealogists and internet postings of genealogy, copying undocumented and unverified information is spreading like the legendary plague of locust in ancient Egypt. One also needs to beware of unscrupulous persons who pass themselves off as professional genealogists, like Richard Ripley, who pass along or even sell inaccurate and misleading information.

Bob Phillips
Mesa, Arizona

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