A Mistake or a Clue?

My aunt’s 1930-era death certificate has the wrong last name for her father. While the name is wrong, it does have a connection to the family–just not in the way indicated on the death certificate.

A 1900 census enumeration for three aunts in a different family includes the place of birth for their deceased mother. It is the wrong state–one in which their mother never lived. But it is the state where the mother’s parents were married a year before she was born. The location did have a connection to the family, just not as stated in the census enumeration.

There are times where wrong information is simply that: wrong. There are other times where wrong information is simply the right answer to a different question and an informant simply got confused for one reason or another.

Which is why it is important to locate as many sources as possible.