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Tip: Watch out for the use of county names

  • 19 August 2020 11:58 AM
    Message # 9176099

    As I research my family in the Dunmore , PA & Coal Mining regions, I notice a consistent "mistake" being made by the immigrants, or perhaps the scribes.   Instead of recording the name of the town they lived in, a county name was used.   This seems to have happened frequently within vital records, but I've seen it in other records, primarily before World War II.

    For example, I found some of my cousins in Dunmore, PA vital and military records as expected, but others were noticeably missing.  At first I thought perhaps they were living elsewhere, but on a hunch, I examined the entire Dunmore file, line by line.  In those times Dunmore was growing, but still a pretty small town.  There were about 80 pages to go through, which was pretty manageable.

    Wouldn't you know it, I found about five people, who had their location noted as "Lackawana" (as in, "Lackawana County").

    When you start running out of leads, go to the original source document itself.  You then have the actual context in which things were written, and can make better sense if this is correct.  

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