Category «How To’s, Hints & Tips»

They Might Not Be Buried Where They Died

Do not always assume that someone died near where they are buried. It is very possible that they died while travelling or living a distance away with a relative and were returned “home” for burial.

That death certificate or death record may be several states away. I recently located a man who lived the last few years of his life in California, but had spent the previous thirty years in Nebraska. Nebraska is where he was buried, but California is where he died and where his death certificate was filed.

© Michael John Neill, “Genealogy Tip of the Day,” http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com, 24 Aug 2012.

Enumerated Twice in a Census?

Depending on their family and work situation, there is a chance that an ancestor is enumerated more than once in a census. The census was not necessarily always taken “on just one day,” so individuals who moved around the time of the census may have been listed by two enumerators. Individuals who were living in one household and working as domestic help in another may show up in twice–once in each household.

© Michael John Neill, “Genealogy Tip of the Day,” http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com, 22 Jun 2012.

Naming Patterns?

Some families name children according to naming patterns and other families do not. Names being repeated in a family can be clues to connections, but they should be used as clues and not as facts.

And just because other families named the oldest son for the paternal grandfather does not mean that your family did.

© Michael John Neill, “Genealogy Tip of the Day,” http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com, 24 Jun 2012.

Try and Do It Right

We don’t try and “do” genealogy accurately because it is a game to see who is the most accurate and to see who can “judge” another’s work. We try our best to be as accurate as we can be in order to reach the most accurate picture of our ancestors as possible.  Often as we learn new information our picture of our ancestor changes–at least slightly. When we do shoddy work and research by grabbing whatever we can without analyzing it, we can indicate great-great-grandpa had wives he did not have, lived in places he did not live, and lived a lifestyle he never would have lived.

Sure, it takes longer to be as accurate as we can be. And all of us will make mistakes–beginners and experienced researchers alike.  But do you want your descendant to merge your life with that of your cousin of the same name whom you cannot stand? Do you want your descendant to create a picture of you that is completely and totally inaccurate?

Our ancestors deserve that option as well.

© Michael John Neill, “Genealogy Tip of the Day,” http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com, 30 Oct 2012.