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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Assembling the Genealogy Puzzle with Threads of Information

Death bed pronouncements were not uncommon
Genealogical research data comes in threads.  A little bit here and there.  However, the real genealogy is assembling it and drawing logical conclusions.  This process can be confusing at times, but there are a few things to remember.  First, the dates should work.  I use a formula which seems to keep facts in the proper perspective.  Estimate 30 years between the date of birth of the parent and the child.  Estimate 20 years after the birth to arrive at the probable marriage date.  Then 65 years from birth to arrive at a death date. This formula will keep the generations separate.  The use of the family group sheet is essential for entering information as you prove each generation because you need to know if you are dealing with a progenitor or cousin.  Second, keep a running record of where the ancestor resided throughout his years. People having common names frequently get confused with other people.  Third, carefully note the marriage dates.  In the old days, after the death of the spouse another marriage usually occurred, especially if the children were young. And, it was not uncommon for the wife to specify her approval of relatives and neighbors from her death bed.  This is why you see so widowers marry sisters.  Also, imagine being alone on a farm with all of that work to do and nowhere to go.  The family was important to keep together and people simply did not wish to be alone.      

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