Those Quick Conclusions

Avoid jumping to a conclusion based on one document or a statement made by another researcher. This is particularly helpful when things don’t make sense or seem a little off. A correspondent told me that a relative was a bigamist, marrying his second wife after his first wife apparently was too old to have children. The document he sent me was admittedly somewhat confusing, but confusion doesn’t mean that the ancestor in question was married more than once.

Further research indicated that the ancestor was not a bigamist at all, but instead had named his oldest son after himself. It was the oldest son who married the woman that my correspondent thought was the ancestor’s “secret family.”