Researching Tidbit: What is the Reason for Conflicting Data?

How often have you seen a variety of dates, names and places for an ancestor while researching? For this, there can be many reasons.

Dates for example: In some religions, it was more important to record a baptism date than a birth date and often those two dates were used interchangeably. Which calendar was being used at the time of the event for your ancestor? Julian or Gregorian? Who recorded the date? Someone once said “the further away from yesterday and the closer to today, the more likely that date may not be the correct one.”

And while collecting family history is so very important, use that information as a starting point for your research and accept the fact the it is not fact! Document, document, document . . .

If a primary source is not available, gather as many secondary sources to come up with the best possible date. (Remember, while a death certificate is a primary source for a death, a death certificate is a secondary source for a birth date.)

Coming up – conflicting information on geographic locations and family names.

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