A Name, a Date, and a Place


Diego Homem Black Sea Map 1559

What does it take to accurately identify one individual? Let’s start with this example from the FamilySearch.org Family Tree. 

Is this person adequately identified? If you look closely at this entry (you can click on the image to enlarge it), you will see that there are no sources cited. The date is a year indicating that no exact birth record has been discovered. Without a source, the accuracy of the date and place are also called into question. Where did this name come from? If we go to the family for Sarah Pain, we see the following;

Again, if you are aware of what is going on with the Family Tree, you will see some interesting things immediately. 

Just as a quick check, there are no sources for the child shown, Henry Norman, that show Henry’s parents.  I could just detach these parents of Henry Norman especially, as the warning icon shows, he is supposedly born after his father’s death. If we continue to look at what is actually documented in the Family Tree, we will also notice that none of the records listed for Henry Norman contain any information about his birth or death. Should I detach the record for the parents? I presently do not have any information showing that the names of the parents are wrong. For this reason, I usually leave the information attached in the Family Tree until I have more information that clarifies the record. 
Now, if we are going to adequately verify Sarah Pain, we need to do some more research. A quick check using Findmypast.com finds 22,053 records for people with the name "Pain" or "Paine" in England within two years of 1676, the date recorded for Sarah Pain’s birth. There are 1,108 records for people named Sarah Pain in the same time period. But once we add the place, the number drops dramatically to only 14 records. There is one record for Sarah Pain christened at Bury St. Edmunds in 1677. This record also has the names of both of her parents. Interestingly, this record came from FamilySearch. 

The name, date, and place all agree and are consistent with the information and sources already in FamilySearch. So I believe I can attach this record. But there is still nothing showing a child or a husband. Looking further, There are four people named "Sarah Pain" who died in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England about the same time. The dates are 1726, 1732, 1734, and 1765. None of these four records show a spouse or children. There is not enough information to decide which, if any, of these records is our Sarah Pain. However, searching on Ancestry.com I find the following record with her parents identified. 

The only valid way of moving back one more generation is to find a source record that identifies the parents of an ancestor. 
So now, if I keep working on this line either I will find enough information to establish this generation or I will not. As long as there are no records showing births (christenings), marriages, and deaths that have consistent locations, the information here is incomplete. 

Source: Genealogy’s Star http://genealogysstar.blogspot.com/

Posted On: May 8, 2021 at 02:21PM