One Thing Right or One Thing Wrong

Documents often contain multiple pieces of information potentially given by multiple informants. Even one informant can be knowledgeable about some things and not about others. Just because one piece of information on a document is wrong does not mean they all are incorrect. Just because they got the first nine pieces of information correct (that you’ve checked) does not automatically mean the tenth piece of information is correct.

There’s always shades in terms of how much is accurate and one has to look at each piece of information separately based upon who the likely informant was and how likely they were to know it.

I’ve been reminded of this while working on a Civil War veteran who gave two significantly different sets of family information in his pension application.

Share