There are some basic rules in life that cannot be broken. Following these rules will instantly make you a better genealogist.
- You cannot be baptised or christened before you were born. There may be some cultures out there that do not follow this rule, but for most of us this rule applies.
- You cannot be buried before you die. Well, you could but it would be illegal and downright scary. This rule of course does not apply to vampires or zombies.
- You cannot be in two places at once. Unless you are an undeclared identical twin trying to fool people.
- If the ‘father’ was in gaol when the baby was conceived, he is not the father. Unless it was a very accommodating gaol.
- Similarly, if the ‘father’ died more than 9 months before the birth, he is not the father. Except of course, if science was involved.
- Sharing a surname does not mean two people are biologically related. If it did, the Smith family would be one very enormous family tree!
- Women rarely give birth before they are 12 or after they turn 50. If there are children beyond those ages send them back to their rightful homes! There are variations based on nutrition and time period, and trends are changing but its still a useful guide.
- Events close in time tend to occur in the same country. A man is unlikely to be buried in Pennsylvania USA if he died in Paddington NSW Australia.
Now go out and slay those online family tree myths!