Week 28: Mistakes. Genealogy research mistakes are wonderful learning experiences. They can be blessings when they show you how to improve your genealogy research. Which Week genealogy research mistake in your past has provided the most benefit to your present? How did you discover the mistake and what steps did you take to correct it? Sharing about these experiences will help others who are figuring out their own ancestral paths.
Well, as many of you know I am pretty new to all this. Right now I can only think of one mistake, but you know there are probably plenty out there that I have yet to find. (psst.... if you find one let me know!)
My largest mistake was an assumption. You should never assume anything, because you know what that makes out of you and me right? My assumption involved my two George Bennett's. Yes those same ones you have been reading about here and over at Family Tree Firsts. I had wrongly attached my husbands GG, as he was called, to the wrong parents.
In my research I narrowed his parents to two families. George and Augusta Bennett or George and Kate Bennett. They both had children with similar names to what my father-in-law remembered of his aunts and uncles. They were both born in Manhattan in February 1897. They both were of Irish father's, but only one mother was Irish, which made me pause. My father-in-law stated he was of Irish Decent. When I questioned if he knew about a German mother he was stumped. He only knew that they were Celtic in origin.
Right there, that moment, is when I discarded the George and Augusta line. Particularly since I had 2 George Bennett's living in Hartford. I just KNEW they couldn't be the same person! We all know how this ends right? Three months of research (and I am thankful it was not more) was gone because I was trying to link GG with the wrong family.
Once I had found the correct family all the pieces fell into place and made so much more sense. Especially after a third question and answer session with my father-in-law where I asked just the right set of questions that set off a cascade of memories.
Lesson: Investigate all possibilities, but never, I repeat never, jump to a conclusion. Oh, and don't thrown the other line away just in case you were wrong!
photo credit: reinvented via photo pin cc