I am sure that at some point in our life each of us has set out for a destination knowing that we knew exactly how to get there without any questions. However, somewhere on the road we took the wrong fork in the road and ended up at a different location. This same thing applies to our genealogy travels along the way. We should use our GPS in determining where we are at in our research. Develop your own Genealogy Planning System to help you along those narrow roads that are filled with potholes just waiting for you to fall into and get stuck.
I have heard from friends who have been doing genealogy for many years and who have gotten sidetracked and ended up with the wrong ancestor. After spending many, many hours of research they discover that they have the wrong person in their tree. The real ancestor lived in the same general area as the wrong ancestor that just happened to have the same last name but were not kin to each other. Always look around the general area where your ancestor lived to see if there are any others with the same last name of your brick wall relative. People in past years did not travel and/or move as much as we do today.
Genealogy Planning System
Know the road that you plan to travel before setting out on your travels.
Look at all the options that you can use in your search.
If looking at online sources, make sure that there are source documents to back up the info.
Watch out for those awful potholes along the way.
Follow your natural instinct: if you feel that something is not right, recheck it.
Celebrate and do a happy dance when you know that you have the correct ancestor.
For more GPS settings, plan to attend the RR Genealogy Club that meets for programs every first and third Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. of each month and on the second Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. for individual help sessions.