Misinformation on Documents

posted in: Family History, Genealogy | 0

I was recently doing some research and discovered that one family member lied on his marriage license.

When we are doing research, we must remember that the information is only as important as the person giving the information.A Marriage Record in An Old Bible

At times the error is an honest mistake because the informer did not know the information.  While, at other times the informant had a reason to lie.

Today, with all the technology, it is much more difficult to be deceptive and lie, but these changes have only been instituted and eased with the advancement of technology and introduction of the internet.

For this family member, he had a reason to lie.  He was seventeen when he married, but stated he was nineteen.

So, why did he lie?

One, I guess he wanted to get married.

But, another reason was that his father had been in ill health for several years.  During this time, he was the man of the family and had been working to support the remainder of the family.

He was already a man and shouldering the experiences of manhood.  Adding a wife to the mix was the next logical step for him to make.  Especially, when he had found the woman he wanted to spend his life with.

Life in the 20th Century was different than it is today without all of the additional technology.  We have to understand more about life in the early 20th Century to understand this.

So, remember when viewing the records that the information is only as good as the person giving it.

What misinformation have you found on documents?  Why was the information given incorrectly?

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