Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A to Z Challenge – J is for Jumping to Conclusions

It is very tempting and much too easy to come to a conclusion before we have all the data. Click genealogists do this when they see a familiar name on someone else’s family tree and simply add new information to their own tree.

DON’T DO THAT!  (Sorry for shouting.)

Same name, same location, year is off by only 1 or 2. Must be the same person. Could be the same person, but it could also be a different person from a different branch of the same tree. Be sure to check sources both the other person’s sources and your own.

Having said that, I do engage in reasoned speculation.  Evidence points in a certain direction, but there is no real proof. There are varied opinions on whether to put speculative data in an online tree.  I do that hoping that someone will either corroborate my conjecture with proof or prove me wrong.

How do you handle your “educated guesses”?


  1. I just chose two blogs at random on the A to Z sign up page and it turns out both are about genealogy. Maybe this is a sign for me to actually start the research I keep saying I want to do.

    My father-in-law has done extensive research on his family and has spent hours and hours matching names, birth/death/marriage records. It's fascinating to find out where we came from.

  2. Thanks - I learned that lesson the hard way, following the wrong line. Now I am very careful.

  3. Mary, I love the way that you think!

    I hate to admit that I was a "click" researcher when I started out, but now it is an irritation to see the incorrect trees on Ancestry!