ROOTS-L ArchivesArchiver > ROOTS > 2009-11 > 1258987704
Subject: [ROOTS-L] Questionable Trees
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 09:48:24 -0500
Even though a tree may or may not be accurate in all respects, do not discount it. It may have the clue to that elusive ancestor.
One trick that I have used and found that it works, is to make a separate tree file of all of the possible spellings and converting them to one single name. In this manner it is possible to find brothers and sisters as well as the names of their spouses. The odds of finding a given person having been married to more than one person with the same name are extremely high. For an example John Brown to Mary Smith and to Mary Smyth as well as Mary Smithe. All about the same age and in the same area. These are probably the same person and will require further research. By converting you may also find brothers and sisters as well as parents and a possible address.
In my own tree There are several known brothers, who each of them spelled their surname differently. If this is intentional or just the times. Should the person not be able to read or write, then he or she was at the mercy of the scribe.
Hand written records are very prone to be misinterpreted.