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When was the last time you reviewed a conclusion you reached a year ago? Two years ago? Is it possible you made a mistake? Were you using limited references? Is it possible that new records or indexes have come online that might give you more information and cause you to re-evaluate your conclusions from years ago?
A correspondent a few months ago asked me about a person I had researched five years ago. She questioned the person I thought was the father of the common ancestor. In looking over her research, I ended up agreeing with her conclusion, but for different reasons than she gave.
Review what you’ve done before–the perspective of time may give you cause to change your conclusions. Or not. But it never hurts.
Remember that witnesses to a will usually cannot benefit from the will or from the estate. The same is true of appraisers. A brother usually could witness a will–if the testator had a wife and children, the brother wouldn’t have an interest in the estate.
Remember that transcribers of records are supposed to copy a record or a source the way it is written–not what the record “should” say. If grandma’s name is Susannah and her marriage record lists her as “Susan,” transcribe it as “Susan.” If grandma gave the wrong place of birth on her marriage record don’t “fix it” when you make the transcription, copy it as it is on the record.
You can (and should) make a notation somewhere that the information is incorrect, and state how you know it is wrong. But don’t edit and correct what was on an original record.
It may be difficult, but remember when reading or analyzing any document that unless it was created during your lifetime, there might be some cultural, historical, economic, or legal events impacting that document or causing it to be created. Don’t interpret a 19th century document with a 21st century mind.
Remember that everyone was a beginning genealogist at one point or another. You may have to be patient with someone who is just learning. An extra dose of patience may be necessary if you are both researching a family where people married more than once, had spouses with similar names, etc.
A land warrant usually means that someone is entitled to a certain acreage of property, without giving any real specifics about where that property is. Warrants are issued for several reasons, with the most common reason being a reward for previous military service. A land patent transfers title to a specific piece of property to an individual.
10 is the lucky number.
The first ten responders to this offer can get a year of Casefile Clues for $12. After 10 have been sold, we’ll stop taking orders. Follow this link to process your order and see if there is still time.
There is more information on my weekly newsletter at http://www.casefileclues.com.
Sometimes it can be difficult to get the wrong name out of your head–especially when you have only one spelling or rendering of the name to go on.
I was stuck on Emma Olenbaugh. She was only found in one census record. Turns out Olenbaugh was not her last name–Osenbaugh was.
Could a change in one letter make all the difference?