Points to consider when conducting Genealogical Research

  • When conducting family history research, you are gathering information from the past that can never be proven to any great extent. Your most successful claim of having in your possession an accurate genealogy, is that of the genealogy of your mother's mother and so forth, that's if all of the mothers were all biological mothers.
  • All genealogical research should be conducted in a way, that by the evidence given by certain genealogical records, a mostly accurate genealogy can be assumed if not proven. The further you go back in time, the less like that your ancestry can be proven. Some parts of a genealogy can only be assumed.
  • Genealogical research can be conducted in two ways, the first is to seek out evidence for a particular ancestors, which is Adduction, the second is to eliminate other people of the same era as your ancestors from being a candidate, which is deduction, where you seek out evidence to prove that you have the wrong person as your ancestor.. As an example, you come across a baptism of a possible ancestor. The next possible step is to check the burial register for a burial for the child that was baptised. If you find a burial that fits, then you will have to look for another baptism for your ancestor. If you find no burial for the child baptised, then you can continue assuming that you have your ancestor.  

Adduction >  Proven or Assumed Genealogy  < Deduction

  • Don't just collect information on your direct ancestry, The information relating to the sibling and cousins of your direct ancestor may give you the vital clues that will lead you to having in your possession a more accurate genealogy.
  • Don't take for granted the accuracy of information that is given to you from your elderly relatives. Time can blur their memories or what information is given could be of half truths, so to keep you from knowing about the skeletons in the closet. After being given such information, go and research what they have said, and then go back to them with your researched information (if any) you have found. A mentioned of one name, which they may not have heard spoken for over 50 years, can released a flood of memories.
  • Don't take for granted the accuracy of information that is given to you from your  fellow researchers. Some genealogist in their eagerness to find their ancestors will start researching particular families of an era that are of no relation to their own family.
  • Don't believe that if your family practiced a certain religion that they were always of that religion. Also remember that marriages were only valid pre 1837, if they were performed with an Anglican, Jewish or Quakers ceremony.
  • Listen to what people tell you and consider their advice, for it's merit or demerit. If someone suggest that there is an error in your research, check into it, see if the suggestion is a valid one. This gives you the opportunity to try some probable deduction.
  • Don't believe that the way a surname has be spelt is the only way that it can be spelt. Some of my ancestor's surname is commonly spelt Frusher, this surname has also be spelt Frasher, Fresher, Frucher, Froushar, Froushard, Froucher and Thrusher, and there are plenty more variations.
  • Don't believe that an ancestor age, that is stated at marriage, death, burial, in a census or from another source is correct. The same can apply for where born.
  • Always record the source of any information that you find. Also when sharing information to a fellow genealogist, provide the source of such information. This which I am very guilty of with dire results.