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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Assumptions or Working Theories - Which is Best?

Steve asked Olive Tree Genealogy a very good question about making assumptions from details on a census.
How can one determine the relationship of individuals on the 1860 census. On the 1860 hardy county va census, my great grandfather Thomas Wilson is placed below a Pamelia Wilson, and above that a Judy Wilson. Can I safely assume that Thomas is Pamelia's son born out of wedlock? 
Steve - This is an important question in genealogy. The short answer is "Absolutely not!"

You should never assume anything in genealogy research. You can however create what I call a Working Theory, based on the facts you have found.

Continue reading the rest of my answer at Olive Tree Genealogy blog

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Questions (and Answers) About Genealogy Numbering Systems

Dan asked the following question about genealogy reports and numbering:

I am a rank amateur at this, but have adopted one of the variety of
generational numbering systems. But now i have a problem trying to
figure out how it works when a discovery is made of new and older

I am wondering what to do when additions are made to a generational

numbering system based on (starting with) the earliest known ancestor,
when even earlier generations are discovered. My earliest known
ancestor is 1David Cooper. His first child was 1.1John, and his second
was 1.2David. This David's first child was 1.2.1William, and so on.
But what happens as far as numbering is concerned, when I discover
1David's father?

The numbers here are supposed to be super-scripted but the email

program doesn't appear to like that idea.

Of course, that may be unnecessarily optimistic, but I still have to ask.
Dan - Hopefully you are using genealogy software to input your genealogy data. If you are not, you should. The program will correct your numbering automatically when you generate your report.

So not to worry. You can carry on finding more and more ancestors and rest easy knowing that each time you generate a report your software program will automatically find the oldest ancestor and do the numbering accordingly.