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Top 10 Genealogy Mistakes to Avoid


3 of 10

We're Related To... Someone Famous
It must be human nature to want to claim descent from a famous ancestor. Many people become involved in genealogy research in the first place because they share a surname with someone famous and assume that it means they are somehow related to that renowned individual. While this may indeed be true, it is very important not to jump to any conclusions and begin your research at the wrong end of your family tree! Just as you would research any other surname, you need to start with yourself and work your way back to the "famous" ancestor. You will have an advantage in that many published works may already exist for the famous individual you think you are related to, but keep in mind that any such research should be considered a secondary source. You will still need to look at primary documents for yourself to verify the accuracy of the author's research and conclusions. Just remember that the search to prove your descent from someone famous can be more fun than actually proving the connection!

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