Alternative Potential Parents

One of my 4th great grandfathers (Richard Cotterell) lived in a Devon (UK) village in the 1700s. He was born in 1754/5 but there were two baptisms of a Richard in the village in 1755 just 4 months apart. So his parents were either Adam & Ann or Charles & Sarah. I can’t find any records that will clarify which couple were his actual parents. Maybe one day I’ll find something, or there is always the outside chance of a DNA match with a descendent of one of his siblings that would clear things up. In the meantime, is there any straightforward way of including the two potential families and their ancestors in RM & keeping it clear that they may not belong in the tree (at least not in that position on the tree) OR is it better (or less confusing at least) to stop that ancestry line at Richard and add a note setting out the above? Any advice will be gratefully received.

I would go with a Note describing exactly what you have found. RM does of course allow more than one set of parents but this is normally used for Adoptive and Biological sets of parents. I personally wouldn’t use it for unproven parents.

1 Like

Thanks for that Terry.

I have several instances like this where there are alternative possible parents. I don’t then add either or both sets of parents. I add my findings and conclusions to the notes. I have a ‘Research Note’ note for this and similar conundrums.


Thanks dartimon, that’s helpful.