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03 March 2012

Who and Why?

When interpreting information on a document, think about who created it and why it was created. Those reasons impact how accurate the information is. Taking every document at face value may eventually leave you with genealogy egg on your face.


  1. Yes! Sometimes the informant on a death certificate does not know accurate information, such as the parents of the deceased.

  2. I have an uncle who according to the 1900 census was born Dec 1899. On his Social Security application he stated he was born Dec 25, 1898; on the WWI draft he gave Dec 25, 1900 as date of birth. Consider the reasons for the inconsistent dates!