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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

An Easy Mistake

Errors in genealogy sometimes stem from the commonality of certain names among contemporaries—names like "John Smith, "Mary Brown," ... and "Sibongile Dlamini."

A woman of that name died in Swaziland last month. Actually, two women of that name died last month in the same hospital, in the same week, at the same age, and were taken to the same mortuary. You can guess what happened next.

The Tjapile family were the first to claim their relative. After satisfying themselves that the documents in their possession belonged to their relative, they took the corpse for burial, unaware that it was the wrong one. Maria Tjapile said they were convinced that the corpse was her daughter’s until four days after the burial.

“Police arrived to alert us that we had buried a wrong corpse,” she said. [Link]

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