Mistakes and How They Spread

I've been doing a good bit of research into some of the Gregg lines besides my own lately and recently, while searching for the name of Elsie Gregg's husband, I found a ridiculous number of records online in Rootsweb's World Connect that showed that she married first a Mr. Eves, and then second, Willard S. Gregg. Since I had just found the death record for Willard online, which clearly showed his wife as Emma and his parents as Samuel Gregg and Margaret Chandler, I knew there had to be a mistake, especially since Samuel and Margaret just happen to be Elsie's parents as well. By no particular surprise, none of the World Connect records happened to list a source for this particular mess, but it wasn't hard to figure out where it started - the infamous Hazel May Middletown Kendall book on William Gregg's descendant. Sure enough, on page 167, the mistake was there.

Kendall lists the children of Samuel and Margaret as follows:

(1) Elsie, m(1) ____ Eves, m (2) Willard S. Gregg, had Eleanor m. ___ Barnar, Elizabeth C.

(2) Elizabeth G., m (1) ____Wilson, m (2) Irwin W. Gregg, had Gertrude, Elwood

(3) Joseph C. Gregg, m (1) Sarah Gregg, m (2) Josephine Gregg, had Helen Gregg m. Henry Wilson, had Margaret m. ___Hancy, and Mary Hope


So, let's set the record straight, using information found on the death certificates and census records for this family group: 

Elsie was the oldest child, born 9/21/1868, m. Henry Eves, and died 3/21/1927. She was buried with Henry at Lower Brandywine Presbyterian, as he died later that same year.

Willard S. came next, born on 5/15/1870, m. Emma in 1894, and died 12/11/1951, a widower. 

Before I move on to the rest of the children, I need to point out that the transcription on Ancesrtry for the 1880 Census shows Daniel rather than Samuel on the record, but the actual image shows Samuel. On that census listing, we see:


Daniel Gregg M 37

Magie A. Gregg F 32

Elsie Gregg F 10

Willard S. Gregg M 9

Lizie Gregg F 7

Irwin W. Gregg M 5

I haven't been able to find out anything about Elizabeth and I suspect that Irwin either moved out of the area or died young. Neither one appears in later census reports.
Joseph was next in line, born 11/16/1882, m. Mary A. Casey 9/23/1911, daughter of Michael and Sara Casey, and died 3/19/1931. They had a stillborn infant on 6/14/1913, the death certificate identifying the mother as Mary A. Casey. His death cert lists him as being married, but does not name his wife. I couldn't find any records for any other children for Joseph. Nor could I find any other wife but Mary Casey.
The 1900 census shows Willard and his wife Emma living with his parents aloing with his younger brother Joseph C., and a sister Helen L. that was apparently missed by Kendall completely.
So, after looking at some actual records for the family, it's pretty clear that Kendall really made a hash out of this particular group, and not just with one record out of the group. She had sister Elsie married to her brother Willard, as well as Lizzie married to her brother Irwin, and,  at this point, I have no idea who the children listed for Joseph actually belong to, since Kendall assigned him two wives instead of the one he did have. All I do know is that while the Kendall book might be able to provide some clues to start a search, I would verify EVERY item before using it.