Sally M. Bruckheimer <sallybru@...>
All documents have inaccuracies and, as such, we must be sceptical. If
information differs in different places, one of the things to consider(and
it is only one of several) is the closeness of the event to the date of the
record-as people would have less time to forget the exact details.
I can tell you about my gr grandfather's aunt's administration of
estate-where the filer, the oldest brother of my gr grandfather, leaves out
the name of another brother. That was not particularly important as she had
a living brother who would have inherited had her will not been found.
Anything can be inaccurate- and anything not written down is more liable to
change than something written down.
So, the difference is between a 99 year old (more or less) woman's statement
and a passenger list made when she was perhaps 2 months old. I would still
stick with the passenger list as More Likely Correct. I have seen too many
instances when intelligent, fairly well educated persons, born more than 100
years ago, did not know the dates on their birth records-and I have read
many accounts of similar things found by others.
And that is not counting the increased likelihood of an old person inflating
their age-so that they could reach 100 perhaps. So that they could be 'the
oldest in the (world, state, county, etc). The Guiness Book of World
Records does not accept a person's statement of their age and neither do
I-if it matters at all. If you want to, that is your prerogative.
We each have to evaluate the evidence at hand and proceed >from that. And
that brings me to one of my Rules of Genealogy-Rule 1: There are no rules,
this is not high school, you do what you think best-but some things will
work better than others.