Sometimes we have to conjecture about a relative in order to move our research forward or at least get ideas of what other records could help us. Be careful with whom you share that conjecture as sometimes speculation suddenly becomes a “fact” for which you become the source. If you include speculation in your research notes, clearly  label that speculation as speculation.

Otherwise you may inadvertently convert your own speculation to fact.



2 Responses

  1. No kidding! I’ve had that happen at I’m positive two speculations I entered into one of my relative’s “facts” as SPECULATION! were made into facts by ancestry and now come up when that person is searched. And then I made my tree private unsearchable. I would love to have it available for others but not at the price ancestry charges both in money and accuracy.

  2. I keep seeing (online) the name of my ancestor’s grest-granddaughter as his 2nd wife! He was dead before she was born! She was the “old-maid family genealogist” and I feel that her name was written on some notes as a source, but later someone else mistakenly assumed she was a wife. The error was then repeated over and over.

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