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You Know It's Time to Double Check Your Sources When . . .

We have all enthusiastically entered newly discovered information into our family group sheets, computer programs, or notes without taking the time to carefully examine them or cite the source.


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Type: Article
Resource: GenWeekly
Prepared by: Terry Prall
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I'm sure we have all enthusiastically entered newly discovered information into our family group sheets, computer programs, or notes without taking the time to carefully examine them or cite the source. As you go back through your data later on (something that is HIGHLY recommended), you are amazed at the information you had earlier recorded.

You may also be distressed at what you find on your family posted on internet sites. Someone has erred in reporting up three generations of your family and has cited some rather dubious sources, if any, for the dates and events. I have about given up trying to get great-uncle Harry moved from a possible relative's family to his rightful place with Grandmother Bess Catherine and great-aunt Pansy Nell. I have him with his actual family in the census and city directories. No matter, there he is online with the wrong family!


(1) Great-grandfather (born 1710) and great-grandmother (born 1686) were married in 1715.

(2) The first child of your 5th great-grandparents was born in 1824. They were married in 1740.

(3) Great-aunt Harriet (1899-1976) married Great-uncle Simon (1893-1925) in 1927.

(4) The birthplace listed for your 10th great-grandmother, born in 1592, is Plymouth, Massachusetts.

(5) Your great-grandfather was born in 1897, when his mother was 63 years old.

(6) Quincy Vann (born 1695 in Virginia and died 1777 in Maryland) was a private with the 3rd Pennsylvania Infantry at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781.

(7) Jakob Laurenz and Katrina Jansen, who emigrated from the Netherlands in 1885 with children Jan and Maria, were married in Louisville, Kentucky in 1916.

(8) Hiram Lancaster, your 11th great-grandfather, is recorded in the family genealogy written in 1903, is recorded as the progenitor of your entire New England line. He was the father of 37 children by nine wives. Three sons named Hiram survived into adulthood. There are no surnames given for their wives, however their given names match those of three of the elder Hiram's wives.

(9) The John Smith you have listed as your great-grandfather is listed in the mortality 1880 index as having died childless.

(10) Your cousin sends you the pedigree charts for the family traced back seven generations. Your 4th great-grandmother was born in 1784 and her father was born in 1612.

Have fun with your research, cite your sources, and double-check the sources cited by others whenever possible!

Source Information: GenWeekly, New Providence, NJ, USA: Genealogy Today LLC, 2005.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Genealogy Today LLC.

*Effective May 2010, GenWeekly articles that are more than five years old no longer require a subscription for full access.

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