How to tell if some information is right
I basically have found errors of one type or other on most documents. So
since scripture says the truth is established by 2 or 3 witnesses, After I
find a tree with the information, I try to find a census, Bible info, Birth
record, marriage record, land purchase, military record, etc to back up the
tree. If I don't find one or 2 of those, I don't post it in my tree on
line. I have a miscellaneous McCrory tree that I keep on my computer and
when I connect it to something that I already have, I post it on my website,
ancestry and rootsweb. I also let everyone in my mccrory researchers'
address book know.
I expect the dates on the documents to line up with reality. IE: Girls got
married and had babies at age 12 & 13 back then; girls did not have babies
when they were under the age of 12; men usually got married between the age
of 18-30; occasionally boys got married as young as 16; it was not unusual
for Mom or Dad to live with a child when they got old; during the civil war
and American revolution kids as young as 12 and men as old as 70 fought in
the war out of necessity or because they were healthy enough (Caleb was 80
when he fought for the promised land); never say it could not happen or
something out of my paradigm should be impossible because it could.
Just because I can't find something does not mean it's not true or that the
person does not exist. They just may not belong in our tree. After I
decided they did not belong, I found 5 or more years later that they did
because I did not see that infant on the census page with their parents - he
was at the top of the next census page.
I discovered that a military record can tell you more about a person than a
census. It gives their birthday, color of skin, height, build, color of
hair & eyes, disabilities after the war, if they are married and how many
children they have at the time. It also shows if they can read and write or
not. Up until the Korean war, even though you signed up for the draft, they
did not make you go if you were the sole provider of your family.
That's just a few things I have learned sense 1956. The greatest asset to a
tree is living relatives and fellow researchers who keep in touch with each
other. Love my research buddies.