What Is Genealogy
Why Study Genealogy?
How Far Can You Go?
3rd Party Stories
Cite Your Sources
3rd Party Stories
How much do any of us really know about any of our families? How much of what we think we know is accurate? People's testimony about their parents and brothers and sisters is usually fairly reliable because they were eyewitnesses to much of what has happened in their lives. However, most of our recollections about more distant relatives and previous generations such as grandparents are likely to be less accurate, because in these cases we are usually simply repeating stories which we have been told.
This is summarized by an obvious but important rule in genealogy: although all statements should be documented, the greater the separation in time and place between a researcher and an ancestor, the more necessary it is to corroborate personal testimony with supporting information from other sources.
For example, let's imagine that your mother claims that her maternal great-grandfather and great-grandmother were Josiah Dearborn and Sarah Ann Wells, who were married in Wood County, Texas. You may have heard many times the colorful tale behind this marriage. Your great-great-grandfather, the son of a Yankee farmer living in Effingham, New Hampshire, ran off as a young man to the California gold fields in 1849. Later, he moved to Texas, where he practiced law. There he met a beautiful southern belle, Sarah Ann Wells, a young widow. He and Sarah Ann were eventually married in Wood County, Texas. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he was forced to join the Confederate cavalry, but later he deserted to the Union forces. After the war, he returned to Texas to find that his wife had died, leaving their little daughter behind. Met with an inhospitable reception in Texas, he moved with his daughter to Shawnee County, Kansas, where he lived thereafter.
As a family historian, you could have at least two reactions to this story, which has been repeated by four generations.
Copyright © 2006-2018, Answers 2000 Limited
CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.
CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE,COMES FROM AMAZON EU S.à r.l. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.
Disclosure: Our company's websites' content (including this website's content) includes advertisements for our own company's websites, products, and services, and for other organization's websites, products, and services. In the case of links to other organization's websites, our company may receive a payment, (1) if you purchase products or services, or (2) if you sign-up for third party offers, after following links from this website. Unless specifically otherwise stated, information about other organization's products and services, is based on information provided by that organization, the product/service vendor, and/or publicly available information - and should not be taken to mean that we have used the product/service in question. Additionally, our company's websites contain some adverts which we are paid to display, but whose content is not selected by us, such as Google AdSense ads. For more detailed information, please see Advertising/Endorsements Disclosures
Click privacy for information about our company's privacy, data collection and data retention policies, and your rights.
In Association With Amazon.com
Answers 2000 Limited is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
In Association With Amazon.co.uk
Answers 2000 Limited is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.
As an Amazon Associate, our company earns from qualifying purchases. Amazon, the Amazon logo, Endless, and the Endless logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.
All trademarks are property of their respective owners.
All third party content and adverts are copyright of their respective owners.