Those “Complete” Compilations Fail to Mention…

I’ve been working on some of my New England families and have used a few compiled genealogies as “a starting point” and something to give me some direction. I know they can contain errors and omissions.

Errors and omissions can always create research frustrations. Perhaps the one that is most frustrating to me is the reference to a female that includes her date and place of birth and death, but only lists one marriage–the one deemed “relevant” to the genealogy being compiled. Researchers can overlook things, but if the only marriage listed is not the “last one,” it makes me wonder how they found the death or probate information without knowing her last name at death. Chances are either they copied the information from someone else or neglected to include the other marriage(s) because those relationships either resulted in no children or none who were biologically related to the family whose genealogy was being compiled.

My personal preference is to include those other marriages, basic information on those other spouses, and some basic information on those children as well. The problem is that I did not compile the materials I am using as a starting point.

Even when it looks complete, it might not be. And a female, at least in the United States, is going to die under the last name of her final husband.

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