28 November 2010

I have been looking through some published cemetery records and noticed why, several years ago, I made some mistakes in identifying cemeteries and the counties in which they are located.

The six volumes in the Pittsburg County OK Cemetery Records series each deal with an area in Pittsburg County. When I was identifying Civil War veteran burials back in the 1990s, I identified all the veterans in the series as buried in Pittsburg County. I just today found out why I received several letters stating that I was right about the cemetery but wrong about the county where several veterans were buried!

Once again I had ASSUMED a book title told it all. But today I noticed the line at the top of each page. That line listed the name of the cemetery AND the county the cemetery is in. Included in one book were cemeteries across the county lines in Latimer and Atoka counties.

So my advice to genealogists everywhere...NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING when it comes to genealogy records and compilations. ALWAYS look at the following:

- Table of Contents
- Preface (introductory comments and explanations)
- Subtitles
- Headers and footers for each page
- Footnotes
- and any other explanatory notes and paragraphs.

Checking all parts of a book or document will prevent mistakes and misconceptions and perhaps enhance you research with additional and more detailed information that would normally be missed.

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