Genealogy 101: Catching potential errors

A simple typo can sure make a mess, so it’s nice to have a genealogy program that will find your potential errors

Once you managed to get the answers you’ve been waiting for from your relative, and start entering all that lovely data into whichever program you have decided on, it’s a good thing to check it periodically for errors.  After all, the more names and dates you enter, the more likely there could be an error somewhere.  Even the best typist will make the occasional typo.

Most programs these days, have nifty features that will do most of this checking for you.  Granted, it won’t tell you if uncle Pete’s birthday was really on June 3, instead of June 4, but it will catch all sorts of other errors.

If grandma Jane was entered as being born in 1890, and her mom, great-grandma Mary was entered as being born in 1895, well… that just doesn’t compute; and it will find errors like that.  Also, if you have a husband and wife who both have the same parents – it will add that to the list of errors.  (Mind you, it has been know to happen.)

Then of course, when several relatives from different branches end up with the same name, you have to be extra careful with who is married to whom.  The program will catch errors where the husband and wife weren’t alive at the same time.  Of course, it would likely catch that error twice, once by the discrepancy in the husband and wife’s dates, and also by any children born, being born after one of the parents had died, or before one of them was born.

When I ran an error check recently, it found several dozen errors, but considering I have over 12,000 individuals listed, that’s not too bad.  I have since fixed almost all of those errors.

A simple typo can sure make a mess, so it’s nice to have a program that will find your potential errors.

Remember to run the check for errors immediately after importing data from anyone else, as they may have made errors, too; and if you spot any, let them know so they can correct their information as well.