Locations can cause all sorts of research difficulty, especially when an indexer or database creator uses a location that’s not quite the “correct” one or at least not the one the locals know.

Several of my ancestors attended a Lutheran church a mile from where my grandparents lived in Hancock County, Illinois. It was near the town of Basco and locals referred to it as the “Basco church” to distinguish it from the Lutheran church in the county seat of Carthage a few miles away.

When Ancestry.com included the records of this church in their “U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Records, 1875-1940,” they used Carthage as the location, not Basco. I never thought of the church as being in Carthage–largely because it is not.

When looking for any place rural, consider that an indexer or database creator may have used a different larger town as the location.




One response

  1. No wonder there is so much confusion in all the trees. If locations are arbitrarily changed, how do we ever figure out where anyone lived?

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