I’m not talking about a chisel. Think about how great-grandpa’s information got on his tombstone. Someone thought they knew when he was born and so they told the guy who made the stone. Probably that same person provided the death information. If the stone was put up years after great-grandpa died, it is possible the stone has the wrong date of death. And the date of birth could be wrong as well. Tombstones are usually primary sources for the date of death, unless you can clearly tell it was erected years after the person died. The main thing is to transcribe it exactly as it is written. Your discussion of why you think it is wrong, right, etc. should be done in your notes. ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s […]
Ancestry.com, WorldConnect, FamilySearch, and a variety of other sites have submitted family trees. Virtually all of them contain errors. Some of them contain many errors. But don’t ignore them completely. Sometimes even a very careless researcher stumbles upon something that we have overlooked. Don’t take anything in the online trees without documenting it elsewhere, but consider the fact that one of them may have the clue that you need. And some of them may raise your blood pressure when you see the errors. ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s Offer for Tip of the Day Fans!
Looking for an ancestor’s signature? Is there an estate they would have been an heir to? Perhaps there is a signed receipt in the packet of estate papers. Receipts won’t be in the order books and journals, but some locations have the actual packets of papers. That’s one place to get a signature. ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s Offer for Tip of the Day Fans!
Are there any pre-1900 tombstones you have not transcribed, photographed, etc.? Look through your records, your database, etc. Put getting the transcription from the stone on your priority list. Old stones do not last forever and the information  may literally fade away before you get to it. And be careful relying totally on published transcriptions. Sometimes in an attempt to be helpful, people added information to the “transcription” that really was not on the stone. But those stones may not be as legible in five years as they are today. ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s Offer for Tip of the Day Fans!
Years ago I remember reading Family History Library Card Catalog description of the Bethany Church records for Tioga, Illinois. The film notes that the earliest records start in 1805. This confused me as I believed the church was founded in the 1850s. It turns out that one of the death entries in the register referred to someone who was born in 1805 and that’s why the records gave that year as the earliest year. Catalogers have a difficult job, especially with handwritten records in basically what appear to be notebooks. I always look through the material, especially if the time period is relatively close to what I need. Sometimes things get overlooked when being cataloged. ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s Offer for Tip of the Day Fans!
This hasn’t been posted to the blog in a while (if ever), so for those who haven’t requested it–you can request a free copy of my article “Brick Walls from A to Z” at no charge in PDF format by sending an email to brickwallsa2z@gmail.com. Thanks. ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s Offer for Tip of the Day Fans!
When you cross a poltiical line, county, state, province, territory, nation, etc. the laws and recordkeeping system may chance, in some cases significantly. Even when crossing states/provincial lines, the laws regarding what is recorded and how it is recorded may change. Learn about the new area’s records before you assume that Virginia in 1760 is just like Nebraska in 1860. That’s something of an extreme example, but it hopefully makes the point. ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s Offer for Tip of the Day Fans!
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