A lot of my ancestors made mistakes. Or rather, they made the same mistake. They didn’t leave behind clear and accurate information about who they are.
Would it have been so difficult to make sure the census taker wrote down their full names? Could they not have provided a consistent age and birthplace to each enumerator? If they weren’t home, I’m sure they could have tracked down the census taker and verified that the information given by the child/neighbor/farmhand was correct.
County clerks in Alabama and Georgia, just to name a few, made some pretty big mistakes, too. I mean, come on, would it have been so difficult to add a couple of extra lines to the marriage license and include the happy couple’s birthdates and parents’ names?
State leaders should have been on the ball as well, and started collecting birth and death data way earlier than they did. It would have been helpful information to have, to keep track of population growth and shift over the years.
And did anyone at any level even consider fireproof vaults for important records?!
If only sheer force of will could get this message back in time. We could all turn on our computers tomorrow and find a nice surprise of dozens of new and more complete resources for our genealogy.
My mam-ma always said, if wishes were horses, beggers would ride, but that never stopped me from begging for a horse!