Who Was Feeding That Information?

The death notice, obituary, death certificate, and tombstone all have the same date of birth for great-grandma. This probably does not mean that you four totally separate pieces of information provided by four separate and independent sources. What you most likely have is one person who gave the same information four times.

Remember that before you think that just because four sources “agree” that they are correct.

License Does Not Guarantee A Marriage

While most couples who took out a marriage license did marry, it is always possible that they did not. If there is a record that a couple got a license, indicate in your records that it is a license date, not a marriage date. Even if they did marry, there’s no guarantee that they married on the same date as the license.

And clearly indicating that the date is a license date tells others (and yourself) that the marriage record has not been located.

Track Your Process?

Do you keep track of what databases you use and what people you try and find in those databases? Or do you just keep entering in names, hoping to find something eventually? Knowing what you have already looked for in a database helps you to formulate new searches and strategies. Research logs are not just for manual searches of unindexed books and local records.

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Did Grandma Approximate Her Place of Birth?

Some immigrants, when providing birth or origin information in their new country, may have provided a town “close” to where the were actually from or were born. Some might have thought that no one had ever heard of their actual place of birth and instead gave a nearby larger town–perhaps the local seat of government or town where most business was conducted.

What’s The Real Order?

In viewing some marriages as listed in the Bourbon County, Kentucky, marriage register for the 1815 era, it was easy to see that the marriages were not listed in the register in precise chronological order. In looking at the entire set of pages, it became clear that they were listed in the order in which the minister or Justice of the Peace brought them in as the entries were clustered by the name of the officiant.

There may be a reason why things appear “out of order.” You may not be looking at the right part of the record in order to determine what the order actually is.

Daddy’s Not Around

Remember when analyzing family structure and possible migrations that the mother has to be in the same place as the child on the date of birth and the mother and the father in the same general area roughly nine months before the birth.

Dad didn’t have to be in the same location as the mother was when the child was born.