Monday, January 16, 2012

The Importance of Validating your Research

Validate: to confirm truthfulness of something: to confirm or establish the
truthfulness or soundness of something

How can you tell if the Andrew Johnson you found is the Andrew Johnson you’re looking for? 

If you’re trying to find an Andrew Johnson that lives in a primarily German area of Wisconsin, he will probably stand out from all the Johann Schmidts and Friedrich Kemps that live in the community. On the other hand, if you’re searching for an Andrew Johnson in an area full of Swedes and Norwegians, you better have more information than just his name.

In family history research, finding the correct family connection is imperative; otherwise you’ll end up adding complete strangers to your family tree.  Once you start down the wrong road, it’s often difficult to get back on course.


There are a number of validation steps you should take that will help you prove or disprove that you have found the right person or the right family. Never just accept what someone else tells you or has in their online family tree. Find documentation.

As an example, someone else’s family tree on includes my great-great-great-grandfather Johann Ernst Theodore Landt and all of his children; however, his spouse is listed as someone other than my great-great-great-grandmother, Johanna Frederika Carolina Schroeder.  

I’ve tracked my maternal grandma’s family back to this generation through the census, birth records, death certificates, obituaries, cemetery records, passenger ship records and German church records. I know this is my family and I can prove it.

Make sure you have proof before adding someone to your family tree.

Discover your roots and watch the branches of your family tree begin to grow.

For more information on my Family History Research services, visit
and click on Family History Research.