How Did the Wrong Family Info Get There?

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You may think you have everything correct as far as names, places, and dates for all the individuals on your family tree, including the extended families … but there could be some wrong information there or every individual who does not belong to your family tree. So how does that happen?

First, did you inherited a family tree or information from another relative? If so, they may not have completely verified all the names and information. Second, if you gathered the names etc. and started based on relatives living and what they recalled, what we think we know may not actually be true, especially if we are talking about the past events and people. You are dependent on peoples’ memories or even family hearsay. Yes, you can gather this information but you then need to check everything out, every detail.  

Third, either you or another researcher could have by mistake typed the wrong spelling of a name, placed the wrong state name or the wrong date. You might not catch such a mistake for years. Also if you are reading and drawing information from handwritten documents, many mistakes can be done. It is very hard to accurately transcribe handwriting, including very recent writings. A good habit is to proof your work the next day before starting a new entry.

Fourth, never depend or use only one source, no matter what that source is, including the family Bible records. I have never found a 100% foolproof source, whether it be B-M-D records, obituaries, military records, censuses, church documents, city directories, etc.

Fifth, by expanding to research not just your own direct lineage (parents-grandparents-great grandparents, etc), but the extended family members (aunts, uncles, cousins, great aunts and great uncles). A good deal can be learned by researching the families of your direct lineage and helps catch any mistakes.

Related Familytree.com blogs:

Severe Genealogical Mistakes

Human Error

Never Assume

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