Newbury Branch meeting 13th January 2021, conducted on Zoom
Speaker: Chris Broom
Use original documents;
Look in more than one place;
Use online research guides;
Revisit online datasets regularly;
Create plausible scenarios and then set out to disprove them;
Keep your trees private online;
Be a good ancestor: record your own life, including voice recordings.
Make moral judgments on the past;
Be fooled by your own preconceptions;
Do it all online;
Adopt a scattergun approach;
Do it all yourself: get help;
Take other people’s work on trust.
Pitfalls to watch for:
Names wrongly recorded:
Variations of the same name;
Casual use of “ditto” on the census;
Anglicisation of foreign names;
Conufsion of births and baptisms;
Illegitimacy and step-parenthood.
Adoption of step children;
Multiple marriages and bigamy.
Absence from home;
Accident and illness.
Duplication of names;
Changing parish boundaries;
Changing street names and numbering;
Transcription errors, especially with initial letters.
Wild cards in searches;
Idea of brickwall as a haystack;
Surname cluster analysis.