JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen RE: Russian relative born in Germany, on the way to America? #general
Dear Mark,toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
As you hunt for documentation, you will find many lapses, mispellings, mistakes,
and outright inventions on official forms especially in the days before
standardized record-keeping. Even the advent of computerized records doesn't
prevent a vowel >from being dropped out of a name, or 2 record entries getting
inter-mingled. Everytime someone writes or re-enters information, mistakes can
be introduced. When dealing with people who did not speak the same language as
the clerk, mistakes happen even more frequently. Expect imprecision.
It's helpful to read up on the who-what-why and intent behind a document's
creation and how this changed over time. Unsurprisingly, there are numerous
articles and reference books written for genealogists on this subject. That may
help you find out why someone may not be included in a family group. Evaluating
the extent of a source document's reliability is a critical skill for a
genealogist. A reference librarian can help. Elizabeth Shown Mills is one well
<<After WWI, and when the woman had children, she probably decided thought it
best, to tell a "white" lie, and say that she was born in America, rather than
That assumption is a stretch at best.
Census listings are frequently imprecise or just wrong. Neighbors and children
would often be queried if the adults weren't home or didn't speak English. The
primary purpose of the enumeration is to determine how many congressional seats
should be allocated to a state. The remaining questions were not checked for
accuracy or thoroughness. Census record are sealed for 72 years. There's no
advantage to lie.
Don't forget, too, European national boundaries change. One year's Russia became
Poland or Germany the next. Answers to a census may reflect that.
Mark London <email@example.com> wrote:
Hi - Does anybody have a story about a Russian relative who was born in