Thursday, 17 October 2013

ALWAYS cross check other people's research

A lesson I learnt from the research I was doing this week was to: ALWAYS cross check other people's research before you rely on it for definite evidence.

Occasionally when researching your family history, you may come across:

Duke of Wellington, Sir Arthur Wellesley
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Author: Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), 1814
  • A family tree which you great aunt Ethel put together proving that you are the great x8 grandchild of Arthur Wellesley, the 1st Duke of Wellington. 
  • A family rumour saying you're related to King Henry VIII through an illegitimate line.
  • Or a family tree on Ancestry or GenesReunited etc which shows your great great grandmother was one of eight children.

These are all great resources available to aid and guide our research but until the facts are proven by yourself, you do not know how accurate they are, so ALWAYS double check research which has previously been done by others. 

I recently came across some research passed down to me in which my ancestor Sarah Presswood was described as being deceased c1861 when in actual fact she was living with her aunt's family in the 1871 census instead of her own, so had been presumed to have died c1861.

Another instance I have come across is in researching my ancestor John Davidson, a boiler maker who's father was a bandsman in the Royal Marines. I became a little stuck trying to find out more about John's parents and siblings so I viewed a few family trees on Ancestry to give me some clues. In the process of double checking their research I discovered it did not quite match up as his date of birth written in our family bible was after his baptism!!! But looking at their family tree did help me uncover some facts to solve the problem eventually.

Copyright © 2013 Ruth Hogan

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