Friday, July 20, 2018

How to validate those 'shaking leaf' clues

Finding clues in a genealogy search in these modern times on All Things Online is easy. Pointing a browser to any 'shaking leaf' clue and finding plenty of information is the easy part. Determining its validity to your own search is not so easy.

While I work to determine if two of my relatives were among those hung during the Salem Witch Trials - a clue that came from information I found while searching for information about my great-grandmother's past - has not been easy. The names are very similar to many of the same time and the same as others in my own tree.

However, there are two factors I am using to help determine if my "John Proctor" is the same one hanged on August 19, 1692.
  • First is the hanging date. Any record for John Proctor after August 19, 1692, especially his own death date, most likely rules out that 'John Proctor' as being my ancestor. Validating a very old date is not easy and is one of the most critical factors for any genealogist.
  • Then there is the Will. I have only found one reference to the John Proctor that was hanged as having written one prior to his hanging, but I have not found a copy of that document.
For budding genealogists, these two facts can ensure a high-quality entry of a very old 'shaking leaf' clue.

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