People who lived in the past had secrets. Just as those living today may hide parts of their lives and conceal facts about their families, so may have people who lived centuries ago. Genealogists know that first-hand information is more likely to be accurate, but just because information is first-hand doesn’t mean that it is true. Even when evidence comes from an eyewitness or participant, genealogists must search for additional records to test for accuracy. Sometimes, despite extensive efforts, determining what “really happened” is impossible. William B. Saxbe’s article entitled “Historical ‘Truth,’ Clothed and Naked: The ‘Peculiar Ways’ of Judith (Bowen) Freeman Arnold” offers an illustration.
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