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08 January 2015

Are You Seeing the Shadows?

That one record you've found, a deed, a death certificate, a will, an estate settlement, probably was created because something else happened. For some documents it may be obvious what caused the document to have been created. But a deed? Why was the property being sold? Was the couple planning to move? Had they fallen on hard times? If a guardianship was filed and the parents were still alive, what was the reason? Was there an inheritance that someone didn't want a parent frittering away?

Always ask if what you are seeing or have located is just the shadow of a larger event. Records weren't created in isolation. And even if you know what caused a document to have been created ask yourself what other documents might also have been created.

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