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Monday, August 4, 2014

No Fudging in Genealogy

Genealogical research is a precise science.   The facts must be correct for it to work properly! One little mistake with the names or dates can mess you up for generations. That is why each stage of the research must be our best effort before establishing the next progenitor.  There are genealogists out there who unilaterally accept other people's information without checking out the facts for themselves.  Because every member of the family is not always discovered,  even the published books are suspect for errors.  Therefore, instead of pushing that book aside, one should do what they can to substantiate all of the sources. No one really finds all of the sources, so there is always a dangling chad somewhere. As the information is gathered from census records, old bibles, cemeteries, pensions, and county court houses, we have a plan of comparison before us.  It is like a crossword puzzle, except that we are comparing a death certificate with a tombstone, bible entry and the estate of that person.  All of the facts assembled, there is a good basis for arriving at acceptable truths which will not impair the next stage of research.  This is what we want -- a good, solid foundation.  When checking variable dates from many resources, the most recent date is generally accepted above all others.  That is because the more recent records tend to contain better entries. In the census, there are age variables before 1850. During 1850 to 1870, you get an age of each person.  However, in 1880, the month and date of birth is added, as well as the number of years that person was married, and the place of birth of all persons, as well as the parents. 
A person's last will and testament contains the last wishes of the testator.  You can bet your bottom dollar that he named all of the children, siblings and other relatives in the bequests. If someone is missing, there is a reason. This is something not to overlook, as it makes for more interesting stories. Find out why so-and-so was not mentioned but searching all of the court house records where the decedent resided, includes deeds and tax records. There are bits and pieces of information there which you need to see.  Georgia Pioneers has a vast collection of old Wills and estates, genealogies, bible records, pensions, and so on and is the largest resource for Georgia records on the internet.

FREE help with finding your ancestors! Become a member of the Pioneer Families Community, and enjoy the benefits of a network of genealogy experts: including access to all eight websites, books written by renowned Georgia genealogist Jeannette Holland Austin, and personal help with your research for any family in GA, NC, SC, or VA. A full year of membership with all these benefits (and access to 1.5 tetrabytes of genealogical data) for less than $13 a month, compared with up to $45 a month at
  7. (Graduates database from ca 1830 to 1925)
  8. (Digitized Wills in counties of: Carter 1794-1830; Jefferson 1802-1810;Johnson 1839-1900;Unicoi 1878-1887; Washington 1779-1800)
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