Sources are a common concept for many sciences. There is also a science called source study.
First, you need to determine for yourself what you see in front of you, which source is in front of you? The document itself or an extract from it. Original or translation.
Secondly, the information that we get from the source is written down from the words of a witness or from other people’s words. Often this relates to the age of peasants in revisions, which were recorded according to the words of the elder, and not each specific family member.
Even worse with certainty when it is not known who provided the information for the documents.
And thirdly, what we get from this information from the source. Evidence, the answer to our original question or its absence, a negative result. Or neither this, nor that, but the floor is the answer, the answer that needs to be combined with other sources in order to understand in which year the person died.
A negative result is no less important than a positive one. Since a combination with other information from other sources gives new clues and facts.
By asking such questions you will not lose. It doesn’t matter how much official paper, there may be errors in it, because it was written from a hearing, someone else’s handwriting. There may be thousands of reasons. You can lie about yourself in your autobiography, and sometimes it was even necessary.
From the above, three conclusions can be made:
- It’s better to have several sources for each fact.
- Always consider the possibility of error.
- Do not do letters.
In the genealogy there are practically no iron-right documents, and also in ninety percent of cases there is no malicious intent, we can safely rely on some general laws.
Good luck in finding.