My Ancestor Never…

“Never say never,” may sound like a tired and oft-used saying, but sometimes there is a bit of truth to it. Applying it to your genealogical research can be helpful as well.

If in your head you ever think to yourself, “my ancestor never did x,” ask yourself “how would my research change if my ancestor did do x.?” Don’t carry this to the extreme and decide that your ancestor flew around the sun and returned, but other things such as “my ancestor would never have moved away for a few years, my ancestor never would have gotten divorced, my ancestor would never have had an “early” baby, and my ancestor never would have been arrested” may not be as true as you think.

The word “never,” and the unwritten assumptions that flow from it, can leave us with research hangups.