When I went into the room, I pushed the door in and away from the trash can that I had moved a little to get by it. Then as I was going out I pushed the door away from me toward the trash can. I had not moved the can far enough for the door to swing both ways. So, it turns out that I was the only one that moved the can. I had to laugh at my thought that someone moved the can in my way. It was a foolish conclusion based on circumstantial information.
In our genealogical research, we often do not find solid documented evidence; and we have to make reasonable conclusions based on circumstantial information that often leads to false assumptions and conclusions. This is also compounded when you want the evidence to prove these conclusions to be true facts! When we have only circumstantial evidence, we need to ask what are the facts? Then try to piece all of the evidence together to reach a reasonable conclusion. Accepting weak evidence for fact can cause you some serious stumbling blocks to go back in time about your family.
- Written by JGWest.