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My Biggest Family Research Blunder
May 1, 2010
10:51 am

My biggest reserach blunder happened when I first published my family research on the Internet ten years ago. I wrote that my great-great-aunt Hannah Cobb Davis shot-gunned to death her first husband, Eliza Davis, while he was beating her (she was supposedly pregnant). The story goes that he died from his wounds, but not before telling the authorities that Hannah shot him in self-defense. She never stood trial for his death. This story came from a great-aunt who spoke with authority and knew Hannah's family, and because of that I assumed it was factually correct. Years later I learned through the family grapevine that this story was not only incorrect, but offensive. Ouch! It was never my intent to hurt people when I published the story so I removed it from my website. But I can't forget it. I really want to make things "right" with the Davis family, but because they were offended by the story, I haven't had the nerve to reach out to them for their version of it. I've considered researching it, but will there really be much documentation, for example, a newspaper story, regarding this incident? Hannah and Eliza lived in Jackson, Tennessee. Did the Jackson Sun cover the black community in the early 1900's? Considering the hurt feelings the story caused, maybe I should just leave it alone?

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