The Little Differences Matter

It is always advised to compare a record of your ancestor to others in the same series of records. How does the amount of detail compare? If the document is a death certificate, is it filed in the same time frame after the death as the others? If it is a handwritten baptismal entry is there something about it that is different from others? Whenever you are confused about a document, look at similar ones to get a reference point.

You can’t know what’s unusual if you don’t know what other ones look like.

Like this phone from my childhood. It sat on top of a box of toys in my Grandparents’ home for years. I thought they came with a red O. They don’t. Grandma painted it that way so I’d quit hitting it and getting mad when the operator popped out. The phone was different from others and there was a reason.

The differences in records are a little more important than trying to stop a two-year old from hitting the button on a red phone. Or maybe they aren’t any more important, But they are clues.

Genealogy Tip of the Day book is here and it’s not written to help you research your “famous ancestors.” It’s written to help with all of them. Learn more about it and get your own copy.

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