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Anne Wilson
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While recognizing the importance of correct information and dates, especially as an aid to further research, I'm also aware that, no matter how precise and fanatical we can be about confirming data, it can still be incorrect. My own marriage date is recorded incorrectly in the state records, as is a friend's date, discovered when we retired and had to produce marriage certificates for proof of beneficiaries for death benefits. We were at the wedding and know what is correct, but we cannot fix the incorrect date in the state's records---not allowed. All we can do, for future generations , is record the true date and note that the state record is wrong. Also, my husband's grandmother was never born, but apparently died twice, as the names on her birth certificate and that of her sister's death certificate were switched. Her sister had died the same week as her birth and the local doctor accidently switched the names on the two certificates, a mistake undiscovered until a security check was done on my husband's grandmother when she applied for a government job as an adult. Mistakes happen in the "official" records, even in these fairly recent events, so how can we ever be 100% sure that all of our information is correct, especially 100 or more years ago? We can't. All we can do is be as careful as possible in analyzing our sources. I'm just pointing out that sometimes even the "official" records are the ones in error, something to consider when analyzing sources. Let's make sure that we use the best available sources, but we'll probably never have everything 100% correct, no matter how careful we are.
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