Friday, July 17, 2015

Not a Blind Man

I thought I was onto something new tonight in my genealogy. A record was suggested for one of my ancestors -- the 1880 Schedules of Defective, Dependent, and Delinquent Classes. I clicked on it, and it all looked promising. The name was right, the county was right, the economic status fit.

I almost decided that my ancestor was totally blind due to an accident with gunpowder and was only partly self-supporting. It was plausible. I was so close to merging the document into my family tree. It would have been careless family history, but I almost did it. Instead, I decided to double check two inconspicuous numbers -- the page and line number the individual appeared on the regular 1880 census. I checked, and the blind man's numbers didn't match my ancestor's numbers.

I went ahead and looked for the blind man on the regular census to double check that there were indeed two men of the same name in the same county. Yes, there were, and the two men were even of a similar age. Yet, they are not the same person. I almost didn't take that "extra step" but by taking a few additional minutes, I avoided adding incorrect information to my ancestor's biography. So, I am glad there is nothing new to report (for that ancestor) tonight.

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