Like a lot of your readers I have become addicted to family research, and although I am relatively new to this fascinating hobby (only two years) it is clear how important it is to share lessons learned with others.
One of the first lessons I learned while tracing my family tree in India is that it is easy to dismiss baptisms which are a generation out. For instance, the transcription gives you a baptism record of 1877 and you are looking for one in the 1850s, but when you look at the original document you see that it was an adult baptism and the date of birth is 1852. I have discovered two adult baptisms in my family, both for ancestors aged 25.
The other, and in my view more important, lesson has been understanding how transcribers may misinterpret an original document. The most recent one I have discovered is that surnames beginning ‘Fl’ are often mistranscribed as starting with an ‘H’, so the surnames
Editor Replies: Thank you for sharing these tips William. It’s not just human transcribers who can get certain letter combinations confused. I have also found that optical character recognition (OCR) struggles with some older printed material, and have sometimes adapted my searches accordingly. Have other readers found other letters or letter combinations regularly mistranscribed?