Following a Hunch

There could well be a dead-end relative on one or more of the family tree branches. This is where you investigate beyond the known to the unknown. It could be a relative (and you might not be sure of that) for whom you have no parents, no immigration record, no siblings. You can then form a theory.

Maybe it’s a theory based on facts from their hometown. Or maybe it’s a theory based on where they lived and those who lived near them.

Pick your theory apart, fact by fact. Verify everything you can. Add to the puzzle. Prove or disprove parts of your theory. The real key is to investigate and research everyone around that relative. True there is more work involved but it could lead you on a fascinating journey. The hunch you had on the relative may prove to be totally false and that person is not related in any form.

This is the same problem some researchers find when you copy someone else’s family tree without checking out each relative themselves. I have seen some online family trees where a person included my great grandfather, a well-known businessman in Frederick, Maryland. I checked over what they had down as siblings and children for my gr grandfather and it did not match with anything I had already proven with family Bible records, obituaries, marriage records and military documents.

So nothing wrong with searching and working on a hunch, an idea, a theory – just do not consider it is ‘fact’ until you really feel it is proved with as many sources as possible. If you still can not prove or disprove the hunch, put it aside and label it as unproved and check again in a year. The answer could now be there. 

Related Blogs:

Problems Locating an Ancestor

Success with Family Tree

Your Ancestor’s Profile

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