25 March 2013

Why I'm No Big Fan of Immediate Data Entry

I'm not a big fan of "immediate" data entry and in rushing to determine the precise nature of family relationships. In many cases, records are not clear about the nature of a relationship between two individuals or among a group of individuals. Connecting them to other people in a database when the relationship is not known only leads to additional confusion.

The 1850 and 1860 enumerations for Michael Trautvetter in Campbell County, Kentucky, are a case in point. Both list a Margaret(ta) in the "spot" where a wife would be.

1850 U S Census, Michael Trautvetter, Campbell County, Kentucky.

1860 U S Census, Michael Trautvetter, Campbell County, Kentucky.

But more work needs to be done. Hasty analysis could indicate both of these references are to his wife. That may be correct, but there's additional information that indicates "Margaret," could be one wife, two separate wives, a wife and a sister, or possibly something else. Just looking at these two census enumerations does not provide me with enough information to draw any conclusions about who "Margaret" is.

And that means I am not ready to enter in any relationships in my database.

Citation reminder: We are a strong believe in citing genealogical source material in the spirit of Evidence ExplainedHowever, we choose not to include properly formatted citations in these blog posts. There's always enough information in the post to create a citation and full citations are included in my how-to newsletter Casefile Clues. 
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