10. Be Skeptical and Critical

When you discover a French record published in a review, it is necessary for you sometimes to be critical and skeptical and to validate if this record was indeed found. Indeed, during the compilation of this work, the author discovered that some findings in France were false. Here some examples:

A migrant came from St-Fanville where he was baptized 19-11-1634. A first search for St-Fanville among the towns surrounding the place of origin was without results. One ends up realizing that the ancestor was buried the 19-11-1687 in Ste-Famille and was 53 years old! Thus, in this case, error on the date and the place of baptism.

It was published that the parents of Abraham Martin, husband of Marguerite Langlois, were Abraham Martin and Sarah Auchinleck. In fact, the first were born around 1590 and the seconds around 1620. The source of this error is an American who did not understand the meaning of a French text.

It will thus be necessary for you to check among all the records about your ancestor to see whether the day and the month are identical to that of a record found in France.  In that case, while this is possible, be more skeptical.
 
Many families find noble roots because a researcher found another family whose member carries the same first name. It is a common error that does not take into account the popularity of certain surnames and first names and confusion is easy, especially for a beginner.

Certain lines are invented by descendants and are published as is in many peerage books. Let us recall that the nobility had certain privileges and that in addition to the social status, it gave important financial advantages, hence several cases of imposture. Personal boastfulness is another factor.

The credibility of the author and his/her level of skill in genealogy (at times of publication) are sometimes important factors to balance the value of a discovery. The precise mention of all the records (parish or notary and date) is thus important to make it possible to validate the source, as well as the indication of partial information merged from several original documents. The publication of a copy of the record is also a good point.


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