What Sort Of Brother?

If Abner is referred to as the “brother” of Barnabus, consider that they could be:

  • full brothers,
  • half brothers, or
  • step brothers

The majority of the time, “brother” does indicate a biological relationship. But there are exceptions.

More Than One Hamlet

Some countries, especially ones that are the result of the “merger” of several smaller ones, may have towns, villages, spots in the road, that have the exact same name–or a very similar one.

Make certain you are aware of whether or not “your village” is but one place with that same name so that you search in all those places, not just one.

Pictures of Ancestral Buildings?

Don’t neglect to take pictures of buildings that might have been a significant part of your ancestor’s life: their home, barn, church, school, etc. Do not always assume the buildings will be there forever and you can “always get a picture.”

But in small towns make certain you get the “right” church. No matter how small the town, there can easily be more than one local denomination.

Your Genealogy Concrete Needs to Cure

If you’ve made several discoveries on a family, let them “set” for a few days and work on something else. While it can be tempting to work as fast and furiously as we can, that’s how mistakes can be made and time and money wasted. I find it good when I’ve made a lot of discoveries on a family to write up what I have found while it is fresh in my mind.

And then put it aside for a few days.

A fresh eye is more likely to catch errors, see additional clues, or just see ways to make the analysis you’ve written stronger.

Let your genealogy concrete cure before you drive that big old research truck over it.


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Flip that Envelope Over

Years ago I scanned the photograph and had not looked at the original in years. It had been even longer since I had looked at the reverse side of the envelope that held the original photograph. There on the back were the names I had written down as my great-aunt told me who the people were.
Never hurts to flip things over and look all around. Maybe you really didn’t lose what you thought you lost after all. tiopoftday-flip

Border Awareness

Constantly be aware where the nearest political borders are to your ancestor’s place of residence.  An aunt met and married her husband in Germany in the 1840s, a few years before immigrating. His naturalization indicated he was from a different German state than she was. A quick look at the map indicated that her place of birth and his were not that far apart–what separated them was a political border.


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Mixed Up the Year and the Age?

The reference to Sophia (Derle) Trautvetter in her son’s biography says she died at the age of 77. It should have said she died in 1877. It’s a relatively easy mistake to make, and to a genealogist it makes a difference. Sometimes errors are simply errors and nothing more.

And sometimes it is helpful to try and determine if there’s a relatively easy explanation for the error. Becomes once in a while that’s all it is. 1877


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