Different Places of Birth Do Not Necessarily Mean Different Person

Any record can be wrong.  A person can provide different places of birth from one record to another. And…we sometimes can’t even be certain who provided the information about that person. Different informants can be the reason information conflicts.

Don’t immediately conclude that you’ve got “two different people” just because census records provide different places of birth. Look at the other information the record provides about that person–the age, the residence, occupation, other family members, etc.

It’s about the whole person and all the information–not just one record or one fact.

But don’t make inconsistent information “fit” just because it “fits” your theory or extends your tree further back. Analyze it, understand it, and make certain your conclusions and inferences are logical.




3 thoughts on “Different Places of Birth Do Not Necessarily Mean Different Person

  1. Jan

    And the same for places of death. I have several relatives who lived (and some still live) in a small town, and when they go to a nursing home or to the hospital, where they ultimately die, they have to go to the next town over, which was in another county. So they died in a county where they never lived. Research in the county of the place of death won’t turn up any additional records for that person, but there is a gold mine one county over.
    I’ve started making note of the place of death, place of burial, and the place they lived at the time they died. Could be the same person in three different counties.

  2. Jen

    When I was a child my mom told me I was born in Houston, TX. Probably because it was the largest city in that area so I would recognize it. Later she told me Galveston. Actually, i was born on Ellington AFB near League City, TX. At any given time through the years I may have self-reported any one of those locations.


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