Change One Thing You Think Is True

When searching an online database or index for a specific person, chances are you have entered some of these key pieces of information about that person in order to search:

  • age
  • name
  • place of birth
  • residence
  • name of spouse
  • year of arrival
  • year of death

Those key elements about a person are also useful when trying to determine if you have the “right” person in a record. But what if one of those key elements was wrong? Either you have it wrong or it’s wrong in the record. Either way it will not match.

And…a good research approach in general is to ask yourself:

If one thing that I think is true about my ancestor was not true–how would that change how I look for her?



5 thoughts on “Change One Thing You Think Is True

  1. Judy Kurtz

    If you remove an iffy date or name from your person’s page, an Ancestry search will give more possibilities, and you may find the correct data.

  2. toni

    “We” have searched for years with a gggrandfather’s b. date as 1805. No wonder we didn’t find him. He was b. 1793. Right place wrong date.

  3. Patty

    I do think about those things as well. Reader tips of the day have helped me so much. I don’t panic any more. I think about why not? I do look at spellings as well. I’ve even looked in the wrong place in the wrong state.

  4. Ann A.

    I sometimes have good results searching just for first names of one or both parents & a child if I know the residence. This is particularly useful when there is an unusual first name or the last name is indexed or listed incorrectly in the record.


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