The Rootsonomy blog recently had a great article about 5 research mistakes family historians want to avoid.
The short list is:
1. Don't believe everything you see or read.
2. Always document WHERE you got EVERY fact in your tree.
3. Avoid making assumptions.
4. Don't rush backward in time.
5. Don't assume you are related to Abraham Lincoln.
And, do read the full article both for the accompanying images and further details about each research mistake.
Let me add my 2 cents (maybe with inflation now 5 cents) to the first item! Even “original” documents contain errors! Just because information is found on a “primary” document (e.g. a birth certificate) does not mean it is accurate. My grandmother’s birth certificate had 1 piece of data that was correct – every other data point had an error of some kind! Given that, go for a preponderance of evidence before you draw a conclusion on a birth date, a birth place, what a person’s name is. We so often want to dot the Is and cross the Ts and yet what do you do when every document has someone’s name “differently?” What is their “real name?” The one listed on their birth certificate? The one mom called them by? The one they used? The one on official documents? Which is truly their name?
What “common” research mistakes would you like to warn your fellow genealogists and family historians about?
copyright © National Ge
Society, 3108 Columbia Pike, Suite 300, Arlington, Virginia 22204-4370. http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.
NGS does not imply endorsement of any outside advertiser or other vendors appearing in this blog.
Republication of UpFront articles is permitted and encouraged for non-commercial purposes without express permission from
NGS. Please drop us a note
telling us where and when you are using the article. Express written permission
is required if you wish to republish UpFront articles for
commercial purposes. You may send a request for express written permission to [email protected]. All republished articles may not be
edited or reworded and must contain the copyright statement found at the bottom
of each UpFront article.
Think your friends, colleagues, or fellow genealogy researchers would find this blog post interesting? If so, please let them know that anyone can read past UpFront with NGS posts or subscribe!
Suggestions for topics for future UpFront with
NGS posts are always welcome.
Please send any suggested topics to [email protected]