from "Along Those Lines":
Genealogical research is filled with contradictions. That is the overwhelming reason why we are looking for primary source materials, and settling for secondary sources when necessary. With secondary sources, however, we should be looking for multiple materials that are independent of one another in origin to help substantiate a fact.
. . . I always tell genealogists that there are two cardinal rules in family history research:
- Learn how to misspell your family's names, forenames and surnames–-because they and everybody else did.
- Maintain a healthy skepticism of anything you have not personally examined, traced, and/or verified.