Do You Double Check Before You Post?

I was writing a blog post about a relative and was certain he was never listed with his actual given name of James in any record.

I was wrong.

He was listed as James in a handful of early records–just not ones after he became an adult.

It’s not just memory that can be wrong. Double check those assumptions you have about history before you post or share them as well–ask yourself “how do I know that? “Do some research and find out.

Sometimes when I do that I realize that I am right. Sometimes I realize I am wrong.

But I usually learn something and my research is better for it.


3 thoughts on “Do You Double Check Before You Post?

  1. Patty

    Most definitely, a reason to always double check. Boy when I thought I was working on one family member by a certain name & it took me many years of looking at the information b4 I realized I was looking at a granddaughter instead of the grandmother. The information made a lot more sense after that, which was a brick wall where I felt less than adequate because I just couldn’t see it.

  2. Dana Sutton

    Names are funny, aren’t they? A number of people in my family never used their first given name but were always known by their “middle” name. That is ok when all of the records use the same name, but there are some folks who switch back & forth or use both names. I tend to label people in my tree with the name they mostly use & explain in a comment what their full birth name is, but I would like to know what other people do.

    1. michaeljohnneill Post author

      I transcribe every document as written. That said, I refer to the person by what they used most often–if there’s any name that qualifies as being in the majority. My great-grandmother was born Frances Iona, but signed/used Fannie from her marriage on–legally, on her stone, etc. so I use that when referring to her. It’s more problematic with my Germans from the south of Germany who used call names and are Johann Michael, Johann George, Johann Adam, etc. as they may (or may not) have used Johann in the US (some did and some did not). My Ostfriesens did not use call names, but many of my immigrants anglicized their first names–I tend to use their “birth name” when referring to them–unless they used something else on their tombstone. I tend to go with the tombstone in cases like that–unless I have good reason to deviate from that practice. And that discussion is always in my notes.


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