Wisdom Wednesday – Re-examine Your Records

This weekend I gave my Visualizing Your Genealogical Data lecture at the Illinois Family History Expo. In this lecture I make a comment in 1930 there are four families living in the home of my great great grandparents, Joseph and Magdalena Kokoska.

A couple of evenings ago I decided to see if the world would explode if I sat down to research MY family in the 1940 census, rather than doing client work. Thankfully the world did not explode. HA HA!

As I’m looking for 1940 census records I pulled up both Family Tree Maker and RootsMagic databases. I started out with FTM but pulled stuff into RM because I prefer the reports there. Now I’ve been researching for over 17 years and of course there are questionable facts in my database from the early years. There are also many missing sources from that time period. I’m going to have to do major work in RootsMagic on my family tree to bring it up to snuff.

As I am looking at the database and 1940 censuses I went back over the 1910, 1920, and 1930 for the Kokoska family. Do you know what I “discovered” as I did this? Since 1910 there were always four families living in that house! My great great grandparents owned it and rented flats out to others who do not appear to be related.

When was the last time you looked over your old research and looked at your records with fresh eyes? What “new” things did you discover as you went through this process? I was surprised I had not noticed this before, but then again – I wasn’t looking for it.

You can bet I’ll make many more discoveries as I work to clean up and fully source all the old facts in my personal database. Check back to see what else I uncover.

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