There are several things a genealogist can do to create their own stumbling blocks. One of those things is to assume that every family is the same and that the dynamics in your family are how every family functions.

In my family every one knew everyone else’s age. No one’s age was a secret and shading years off your age was futile because someone would call you out on it. It had nothing to do with genealogy at all. I later learned that not all families are like that.

It also took me a while to understand the dynamics of larger families (I have one sibling. My father had one sibling and my mother had no siblings who lived beyond infancy). They can be significantly different that smaller families.

Some families encourage children to remain in the area where they grew up for their entire lives. Others encourage them to seek work and opportunities where they can find it no matter how far away that may be. In some families the mother is the glue that holds them together. In others, it’s the father. And in others it may be a grandparent, an aunt or an uncle.

When researching a family remember that not just the names and vital statistics may be different from your own. There may be other differences as well.



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