Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Mysterious Pardon

...Pardon Tanner, that is.

Every so often, someone compares his or her personal family records to John Tanner's FamilySearch Family Tree entry and discovers that their copy of the family records has a child of John and Lydia Tanner named Pardon Tanner, born 1820. Pardon is not in Family Tree, so they go ahead and add him.

The problem is that as far as anyone has been able to discover, he does not exist. My dad removed him from the family tree today. I've removed him from the family before, as has Karen Bray Keeley.

Here is my explanation for removing him from the family, as added to John Tanner and Pardon Tanner's discussion section:
John and Lydia Stewart Tanner did not have a son named Pardon. There are no known trustworthy records for the existence of this child. RonT provided a copy of the family bible in the Memories section above. The family bible lists Lydia's children as: William, Mathilda, Willard, Sidney, John Joshua, Romela, Nathan, Edward, Edwin, Maria Loisa, Martan Henery, and Albert. (All spellings from the record.) Lists of the family from the 19th and early 20th centuries do not mention a child named Pardon, and sources within the family state that John and Lydia had twelve children.

John Tanner had a brother named Pardon Tanner (L6G9-6S3), born 1791. William Tefft Tanner (LZY8-STR) and Lydia Foster (LHRF-CWS) had a child named Pardon Tanner (MBPD-GH5), born 1820, died 1824. Elizabeth Tanner and Newman Perkins had a child Pardon Perkins (K236-P41), born 1824.

William and Lydia Tanner's son is probably the Pardon mistakenly placed into the John and Lydia Tanner family.

I don't know who first speculated that John and Lydia had a son named Pardon. A Pardon Tanner was sealed as a child to John Tanner and Lydia Stewart on September 2, 1975 in the Logan Utah LDS Temple. I have never seen a valid reason for anyone doing that. No one has ever provided documentation.

Until someone can provide an actual document from the nineteenth century (burial or church record) showing his existence that proves that he is the son of John and Lydia and not of Joshua and Thankful or William and Lydia or Elizabeth and Newman, please do not add him to the family.
A reliable and contemporaneous source would be one created at the time this purported child was born or died. Lacking an actual record of his birth or death, a family record created in the 1800s would work, something like a family Bible. The family Bible record provided by Ron Tanner does not show a child named Pardon.

I will add the images of the family Bible in a subsequent post.

This "Pardon" was most likely created by someone thinking William and Lydia Foster Tanner's child belonged to John and Lydia Stewart Tanner, or perhaps someone speculating the existence of a child in the 3-1/2 year gap between Louisa Maria and Martin Henry. There may have been a child at this time, but without any record to prove his existence, we can't create historical reality by speculation.

• • •

Although no temple work needs to be done for this family, here are some things that do need to be done.

(1) Source and correct all entries for all children and grandchildren and their families. Please do not make changes unless you have documentation to back up your changes. Documentation does not include personal genealogical records, unless you have family records created at the time of the events, but documentation does include vital and government and church records and certain histories. 

(2) Collect and write biographies for all family members, including the women, and place them in the "Stories" section of each entry. Collect and add photographs from family members and historical societies such as Daughters of Utah Pioneers. Remember to include a note about where you got the story or picture and get permission if anything is still in copyright. 

(3) Research and source related families such as the Bentlys and Stewarts and Beswicks and Teffts. 

(4) There are plenty more sources available on John Tanner and his family including tax and government and land and military and church and legal records. Many of these require more work to find than a quick search on FamilySearch, but they are available and should be added as sources to Family Tree.

This was originally posted on February 15, 2015. Since I wrote it, Pardon has been added again to the family (perhaps more than once?) so I expanded the explanation to reflect the family Bible that Ron Tanner somehow located and added to John Tanner's entry.

"Washington County Farm" by UpstateNYer - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons—

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