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Extract and confirm all the information on a record

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With the availability of so many records online now you can become inundated with all the historical records you collect and not pay attention as you should to the details on each record. Have you met with a challenge in documenting an ancestor? The real quest in genealogy research is to extract the details from a record and use that information to locate further information and resources. To illustrate the importance of taking a look at each detail on a record, take a look at the information gleaned from the death certificate of George A. Tucker.

To really be successful at using the information provided on historical documentation, you really need to be highly inquisitive and resist taking information at face value. This is illustrated in several numbered extractions taken from the death certificate mentioned above along with the questions or conclusions that came to mind. Not every numbered item on the death certificate is included below.

  • (1) Place of death: Richland County. Was this were George lived? No, he was documented on each available census living in Union County.
  • (4) Address: 1501 Manning Ave. Why was George listed as living at this address when he actually lived Union County? It was discovered that George’s oldest daughter, Otis Vance, took care of him during his illness. This was her address.
  • (10) Married: This does not say widowed, so his wife was living at the time of his death.
  • (18) Father: Epps Tucker. This is not the full name of George’s father, but he was known by this nickname. According to oral history and historical documentation (a will), his name was George Epps Tucker.
  • (19) Mother: Martha Talley. Martha’s maiden name was not Talley. Her maiden name was Sims. She was never married to Epps Tucker, but this was their child. Interracial marriages were against the law during this time period. George A. Tucker also was the name of the father of Epps. Oral history, census records, and wills were used to confirm this.
  • (20) Informant: E. W. Vance, the son-in-law of George A. Tucker. Always contact the informant or family of the informant to learn more. George was living in his home while his wife, Otis cared for George, her father.
  • (21) Burial: Union, SC. What is the name of the cemetery where George was buried? According to oral history, he was buried in the family cemetery at Maple Ridge Baptist Church. No headstone exists, so this must be researched further.
  • (22) Funeral home: Manigault. Locate the funeral home record, and look for a newspaper obituary.

Hopefully, you are able to see the value of weighing each piece of information on a record. Do not shy away from doing because you do not know how to use the information. Ask for assistance. Post your questions below. Get the next update from the National Genealogy Examiner: Click here.

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