Chart Those Things That Do Not Agree

Sometimes making a chart of conflicting information can help in analyzing it, noticing trends, and in reaching a conclusion. It may cause you to notice sources that have been overlooked and, at the very least, gives you a summary of what you know to share with others.

This chart is for the place and year of birth for William Ira (or Ira William) Sargent.

Check out “our Organizing Genealogy Information” class this March–starting later in the month.Additional details are contained in our blog post.



5 thoughts on “Chart Those Things That Do Not Agree

  1. Nancy Vining

    I looked for my husband’s grandmother and all that was known was she was Polly or Pollie Davis married Nathaniel Friar Vining. An Aunt made an association of a Davis family living near the Vining family on a Census record with a female child Polly. Still we searched for years – going on oral history that she died and was buried outside a church fence when her son was about 6. I finally located a MARRIAGE record on the name of MRS. N. F. Vining and State death records showed that she died near Mayo, FL and the death certificate showed husband as Nathan F Vining told the doctor that he would bury her himself so the body was given to him. This is her, now I need to find which church might have records of burials with her name and his. TRY TO FIND OUT WHAT THEY CALLED THEMSELVES,. We never searched marriages on her formal married title…… If we had charted, would that have helped see the patterns?

    1. michaeljohnneill Post author

      It might have. Sometimes just charting things out helps to keep a person organized, particularly when information is inconsistent or confusing.

  2. mary hammond

    So, on your tree, do you say birth date is c. 1838-1845? That’s quite a range. I would be inclined to give less weight to the dates/ages gathered once he entered the poor house/asylum. My g-grandfather’s birth year was way off by the time he was committed. But he had told hundreds of lies all along.

    A chart like this would be easier for me to use if the entries were in chronological order as to the date the info was gathered, thus moving his death record to the very bittom, and the hospital record in order with the other poorhouse/asylum records. Do you make these in spreadsheets, where you can sort by any column? I’d sort by column 1.

    Only one supposed birth date includes a month. That seems significant to me. That date might carry more weight, at least in my eyes.

    1. michaeljohnneill Post author

      I’ve narrowed it down to early 1840s (roughly 1843-1845).

      Like you, I’m not as inclined to give as much credence to the information given when he was institutionalized as either he might not have been certain or his children (or whomever) did not know.

      The chart was posted as an image, but it’s made as an actual table so that it can be sorted in whichever way you want.

      The census asked for a month and a year. It may be more correct, but it may have been a guess to appease the censustaker (or maybe not).


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