I’ve been into Ancestry.com off and on throughout the years. When we got pregnant, I became more interested in mapping our genealogy for our son. Then when we got posted to London, I was even more interested since most of my ancestors are from Scandinavia and the UK.

Along the way I happened to notice that a lot of my ancestors were dying in Y, Somme, Picardie, France…people from all over…that weren’t remotely French…and probably didn’t travel much. I thought maybe there’d been a historic battle, but then I Googled it (gotta love the internet) and found out that it’s much less exciting. So here is the “secret” of Y, Somme, Picardie, France, posted by another Ancestry.com user…

Well, I finally “cracked the code” on Y, Somme, Picardie, France. … here’s how it happens that masses of people supposedly died in a tiny commune.

1. An amateur genealogist who isn’t particular about form is entering information about an ancestor. When he comes to the field that asks for the PLACE of DEATH, he realizes that he doesn’t know the year-has absolutely no idea.

2. Somehow unable to just leave the PLACE of DEATH field blank, the genealogist feels compelled to enter SOMETHING in that field, so he enters “Y”, as in “yes”. (Like “yes, my 28th great grandfather definitely died at some point in the past (duh!), I just don’t know when.”)

3. When “Y” is entered in the PLACE field, “Y, Somme, Picardie, France” pops up first in that sometimes-helpful drop-down list that appears next to the place field.

4. The person entering the info isn’t paying enough attention and unknowingly ACCEPTS “Y, Somme, Picardie, France”, and doesn’t notice that instead of “YES” for place of death, it’s now “Y, Somme” etc.

5. WE see it, accept it without question, and duplicate it, and on and on it goes….

So I guess none of my ancestors actually died there. But it looks like a cute place. Might have to add it to the list of places to visit anyway.

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