This new series will attempt to correct records, one family branch at a time, that have mushroomed across the online genealogical communities.

Ok… I’m not going to claim that I don’t have any mistakes in my enormous tree on Ancestry. I’ve been working on it for many years now and I have a number of “working theory” lines in there.  (I generally try to note them as such, although I don’t doubt I may have missed it a few times).

That said, there are some errors that I see CONSTANTLY on Ancestry while researching my own tree. I am not going to name the accounts I’ve seen these on because a) I’m not trying to embarrass anyone and b) tons of people are reposting the same bad information to their trees so I have no idea where it actually started. It’s an easy mistake to make. Anyone might be guilty of this! (Myself included!)

So here goes… The first entry in the East Carolina Roots Family Tree Fact Check.


WRONG INFORMATION: Richard Furney Gaskins & Saphronia Venters (Saphrona “Fanny” Venters)

(Please note, both versions are used. Also, there really was a Furney Gaskins who married a Saphronia Venters, but they don’t belong in this generation.)

CORRECT INFORMATION: Furnifold Gaskins & Fannie Ipock

Do you spot an immediate problem in the image below? (Scroll down for the answer.)

Of course you do! Although sometimes when folks get in a hurry adding hints to their trees on Ancestry, they miss the little details — especially when there are supposed pictures of ancestors involved!

If Richard Furney Gaskins was born in 1820 and 1862, and that’s his picture, then he was a trendsetter to beat ALL trendsetters, because those fashions are from the early part of the next century! (And that’s to say nothing for his wife who is obviously also a fashion-forward-thinking gal!) Also, those are some mighty crisp outdoor photographs for what would likely be around 1845, based on when they were supposedly born and their appearance in the photos.

Ok… so we know those pictures don’t belong with the people in that generation. But pictures aside, are those even the right people? No, they’re not.

The correct individuals should be FURNIFOLD GASKINS and FANNIE IPOCK.

Furnifold GASKINS was the son of Adam GASKINS (or ADAMS GASKINS) and Elizabeth BLAND of Craven County.

I have not yet been able to identify the parents for Fannie IPOCK, although she is named as Furnifold’s wife on William GASKINS, one of their children’s, death certificates. William’s death certificate says he was born in South Carolina, but both of his parents were born in Craven County. There is an oral tradition in the family that he came from South Carolina, so I can only assume that Furnifold and Fannie went to South Carolina sometime between 1840 and 1850, but then they were dead (or something had happened) by 1860 because all of their children are living in various homes in Pitt County.

The best listing I have found so far of their children is in an article titled “GASKINS LINEAGE OF MORRIS ELWOOD ELKS” in the Craven County Heritage Book. (See image below. There is one error in it, however. Harmon GASKINS’s wife was Elizabeth SQUIRES, daughter of Amos SQUIRES.)

Furnifold and Fannie’s children were as follows:

  • Susan, married Weeks H. Clark (son of James “Jimmie” Clark and Winnifred Lancaster.)
  • Bettie, married Benjamin F. Stokes (son of Hardy and Polly Stokes, or Hardy Stokes and Gilaney “Laney” Adams.)
  • William, married Brittania Dixon; (daughter of John Stanley Dixon and Mary “Polly” Mills; I come from this line.)
  • Richard T., married Elizabeth Smith (daughter of Cullen and Sukey Ann Smith or Lakey Ann Smith);
  • Adam, married first Elizabeth “Bettie” Edwards (daughter of Abner Edwards and Sarah Jane Nelson)

As far as I know, only William Gaskins’ death certificate names both parents. See below.

So who are the folks in the lovely pictures above?

Turns out they are the real FURNEY GASKINS and SOPHRONIA VENTERS, only they were born many decades later.

Furney Leon GASKINS (b. 28 Sep 1879, d. 15 Mar 1943) was the son of the Adam GASKINS & Bettie EDWARDS mentioned above. (So he was the GRANDSON of the Furnifold GASKINS who was married to Fannie IPOCK.)

Sophronia VENTERS (b. 22 Feb 1879, d. 25 Jun 1962) was the daughter of George Washington VENTERS and Mary Eliza STOKES.

This is said to be their wedding picture.

Sophronia Venters & Furney Leon Gaskins, 1898