Can You Date Precisely?

There are things that researchers will not be able to pinpoint precisely. No record might exist that provides great-grandfather’s exact date of birth–and March of 1874 may be as specific as you are going to get. In some locations and time periods, the best you may be able to do is approximate a year of birth. Other researchers may wonder where you got that precise birth date when there are not many records…so be prepared to have a source.

It may also not be possible to know where an ancestral event took place. Again, if there are no records determining locations may require the researcher to admit that only a general area of where the event took place may ever be known.

My ancestor who was born in 1835 in Ohio’s place of birth will probably only be known as specifically as Coshocton County. There are not records during the time that provide more detail and family records and other materials do not include more precision.

Keep perspective though. Bigger concerns are that you have this ancestor tied to the right parents, sibling, spouse, children, etc. A date of birth that is not specific is not always the end of the genealogy world.