Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Rookie Mistakes

My genealogy began in 1999 with reading some books and articles and then diving right in. I made all the rookie mistakes.  Some are easily corrected once found – they just take time and patience. My most serious rookie mistake was in not recording sources of the information I found. 

Years ago, I decided to postpone my search for my children’s Bohemian paternal ancestors because I was frustrated.  I concentrated on my own Polish ancestors because I know much more about them and I had a place to start. Now that I’ve picked all the low-hanging fruit for my family, it is time to get back to Bohemian research for my kids and grandkids.

The big issue is that I have not yet been able to identify where the Filek family lived in Bohemia.  Since they left their home country in the mid 1860’s, borders have changed as various rulers came and went.   It was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, part of Austria, part of the Third Reich to name a few. Names of towns and villages changed depending on which nation claimed the territory.

As I look back at my notes from my original research, I find a list of towns that apparently seemed likely at the time.  Why did they seem likely??? Nothing in my notes tells me where I came up with this list.

Even the most casual source note is important. Something as simple as “information from Grandma” is better than nothing. Source detail and validity will improve as data and facts are found. 

Even experienced amateurs can make mistakes. Is it time for a review?  Here’s an article from about Rookie Mistakes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

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