I wrote a little story about my Grandma Neill on my personal Facebook page. The details do not really matter.

To me and to others who knew both my grandmothers it likely was obvious to whom I was referring. People who didn’t know both of the reasonably well had no idea which grandma I was referencing. Veiled or missing references do not always matter in off-the-cuff Facebook posts. However, in writing or materials that will hopefully be read by others and by individuals long after the writer is deceased, clarity and specificity does matter.

Don’t neglect stating “the obvious” in any genealogical writing you do. Your reader is someone who does not have any knowledge of the individuals involved. They may also not be aware of local history, customs, or geography either. It may make your writing seem a little heavy, but that’s better than leaving the reader perhaps jumping to conclusions that are not correct or being unable to determine to whom you are referring.

You are writing your genealogical information up to preserve it. Most likely you are not writing it up to create the next great novel.



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