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31 March 2009

Sometimes an Error is an Error

A 1907 era court case involves the children of my ancestor as defendants. They are all listed correctly with the right first names in virtually every court document.

Except one.

On the deed where the judge is selling the estate, William Rampley is listed as Wilbur Rampley. William's middle name was not Wilbur and he never used that name as a nickname. What happened? Most likely a simple transcription error. When every other reference to him in the records is William and one out of thirty lists him as Wilbur, it's easy to realize that sometimes an error is just that, an error.

The problem is that when we have just one reference to an individual it can be difficult to know if a name is simply an error or something more.

Just a little something to think about.

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