Why Was The Record Created?

Do you know the original purpose of the record you are using for your research? It most likely was not genealogy. Land deeds were created to transfer real property, tax records were used to document the wealth of an individual so that taxes could be collected, court testimony was used to gather evidence to make a decision in a specific case, etc.

Why a document was created impacts the information it contains and how reliable that information may be perceived for genealogy research.