I discovered that an ancestor of mine died in 1837 when he had barely been married five years, leaving behind a wife and three children. This obviously caused a big change in the life of his wife and children. Did his widow move back to the nearby village where she was from? Did she continue to live in the village where she had her now late husband had moved to shortly after their marriage? Did she marry again and have more children? Ancestral discoveries are made about real people who lived out the events in real time. We may focus on the record on paper but our ancestor was focused on how that event was going to impact their life.
When using a record set with which you are not familiar, think about how someone gets into the record, how the  information in the record is obtained, how the record is organized, what was the purpose of the original record, and how the original  record got from its original state to you. If possible compare the record of interest to others in the same series of records. How is it the same? How is it different? All if these issues get to how we use and analyze the information contained in the record.
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