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03 April 2014

Where Did Grandma Get Her Information?

Grandma "knew" where and when she was born because she was told by someone, not because she remembered.

That's something you should remember every time you see a place of birth given for someone that's provided by someone who was not there at the birth.

And it can be even worse if the person providing the information on Grandma's place of birth wasn't even born until Grandma was near middle aged.


  1. Bible records that were kept during the time of births were always the best way to find information on family dates. Bibles used to be an important source of records for marriages, baptisms, divorces, and births. Not so any more. I would venture to say most don't even own a Bible today or have one in their family! Sad. I found cemeteries to be a good source as well but one of my great grandfather's birthdate was wrong on his. Obits are great also.

  2. In my case my grandmother, a very precise woman when it came to recording information and being generally organized, failed when it came to her own parents' birthplaces. For reasons I'll never know she thought her mother was born in TN and "knew" her father was born in Vader, IA. In reality her mother was born in KS and her father was born in Nevada (pronounce Ne-VAY-da), Iowa. We won't get into how much time I wasted trying to find these g-grandparents in the wrong places. Lacking a family Bible I relied on the multiple written records she provided over a period of many years only to find they were all wrong, so keep in mind even a relative's notes of their first-hand experience of their own parents can be incorrect in odd ways.

    Diane Goodboe