Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Rules of Genealogy - What? There are rules????

There are truths, myths and  inaccurate items on the internet about Genealogy, or Family History.

There are truths and myths about Genealogy.  Old timey' genealogists are rolling over in their graves and the ones still alive are a little miffed at how easy it is to do this work now.  But is it really that easy?   If you are a CLICKER.....YES, it's easy, but not always accurate.  So before you start clickin' make sure you have checked and double checked your sources and that each document you find supports another one.

This means, for example, if you are finding a birth certificate and a death certificate and then you find a census for that person and for some reason there she is on the census, then is the death certificate valid?  Hmmm.  When you check the census from the years before, do all the kids names and ages line up?  So then you would not click on the death certificate to add it to your file, because you just proved with the census that she is still living 5 years later.
Sample Death Certificate

 One truth is that back in the 70s, it took a very long time to corroborate data.  Everything was by snail mail and sometimes it took 3 weeks to get a microfiche film to you and it wasn't correct so you had to send it back and start over.  It was also very expensive which deterred a lot of people.  Birth Certificates cost upwards of 25.00 each, as well as Marriage Certificates or Death Certificates.

Now, it's as easy as clicking the "ENTER" key - - - or IS it?  

Myth #1    Everything you read on the internet is true.   Not.   Apparently there are people who wrote their genealogy in a slanted light....without the horse thieves and skeletons in the closet. 

Myth #2 - When the United States was expanding after the Louisiana Purchase and some people were pushing west, it was absolutely normal for people to move from state to state.  False, it was actually against the norm.  It took a lot to convince people to go West.  They were comfortable where they were and they knew that a long trip would be very hard on them.  Not just the elements were at risk, people's constitutions were not as stong as one might think.  There were no food supplements, extra protein bars, unlimited reverse osmosis water, refrigeration to help preserve their food.  There certainly were no anti bacterial agents like Pennicillin.  Many died from childbirth complications.  It was no picnic.People are creatures of habit.  Usually, once they put down roots, they roost there.   I can't tell you how many cases we have researched and people had the different children born all over the country and then the last children born back in the same town where they originated.   Fact.  Many people named their children the exact same name from generation to generation.  When a new person is researching genealogy, they don't always take the time to map out the ages and make sure the parents fit the generation, so sometimes you will see a father as the child  in the next generation instead of the previous.  That's quite a simplification of the problem.

Here's a great example.  One woman was convinced that her family came from Scotland and that her Great, Great Grandfather was born in Utah.   She had his parents in Scotland, raised, married, and 3 children born there, then it showed him born in Utah in 1620.  Utah didn't become a state for over 200 years.  People didn't even venture to that part of the United States until years and years later.  His younger siblings were born in Scotland to the same parents in 1700.  That would make the mother over 70 years old when giving birth.    Take your time.  
Make sure you have the proper documents to prove your case.  

Myth #3    All Certificates have the correct names on them.  Wow.  When you die, make sure the person who really knows you fills out the death certificate.  Sometimes people guessed at names, ages, and spelling....oh, and birth dates.   So if 80% of the document is correct, you may be looking at a good document.

I hope you enjoy this - thanks to gotgenealogy.com - great little document here!

Myth #4 - The winner in Genealogy has all original documents.  
False.  Give your family the gift of life.  Make copies of precious documents and create little books for them so that they can enjoy their heritage.  Not all Genealogists are paper hoarders.  We just feel more secure if we have the documentation to prove our existence.  Why cheat the other members of your family by holding onto them until you pass.


Ask me to help you!
I love it!

Karen S Meyer

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