"If you can't get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance"
-George Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mistakes are Bound to Happen

So, Today's topic is about making mistakes and how we learn from them. So I'm talking about my mistakes and how I've learned from them.

The main one that sticks out in my mind is taking other researcher's information as correct. My GGGGrandpa George Lardie had a son, also named George Lardie. George, Jr. also had a son named George W. Confused yet? I am.

George Sr. first married a woman named Mary Chartran then Esther Beauchamp after Mary's death. George, Jr. married Harriett Coutu. George W. married Clara Secor and Clara Franklin, although I'm not sure yet in what order. Anyway, most reserachers have George, Jr and George, Sr's marriages messed up. I had George, Jr. married to his mother for a long time. When I broke out of just using internet research (another mistake to be discussed later) I started working on obituaries at the local library and death certificates. When Esther's obituary said she was a widow, I was really confused! After drawing a pedigree on a really large piece of paper, I realized that I had George, Jr. married to his mother! And that there was a George, Sr.

I had been relying on other researchers information as fact, when in fact, there were errors in other people's research as correct. Always verify your research and support it with sources. It also pays to look at those sources yourself.

Another major mistake I made as a 'newbie' is relying solely on the internet for research. This is a common mistake talked about in the industry magazines. When I started out genealogy, it was a school project to fill in a pedigree chart. Well, as a teenager growing up, one has limited funds on what can be spent for writing away and much of my time was spent writing relatives for updated information.

When I started dating my husband and met my mother-in-law, she showed me her Family Tree Maker (c) program, and I was able to find the some of my family. Then she showed me Ancestry! What a world of information that opened up for me! My husband bought me my first copy of Family Tree Maker (c) for Christmas and along with that came a free 1 year subscription to Ancestry. That started many long nights of research...and loss of sleep! I spent so much time using ancestry (and not much else) that I exhausted all the resources that ancestry had and found myself just searching the same things over and over again. I really didn't get into using local resources until about a year before I joined GTAGS. I guess the fear of not knowing what to expect and the fear of people being rude/mean kept me from checking out these resources. We all have heard horror stories about people's experiences while they are researching.

I'm sure there are many other mistakes that I have made along the way, none that really stick out right now. I'm sure there could be much more added to this entry.

Take care and good luck on your searches!
I hope you knock your brickwalls down!

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