Benjamin Bullock: How Do We Know What We Know?

As we work through the process of adding more information about our family, it is important to ensure that each fact can be supported by evidence. This evidence can take many forms e.g. birth, marriage & death record, newspaper obituary, will, to name but a few sources. This helps us answer the question, “How do I know that fact?” In doing my research into the family of Benjamin Bullock, I have found sites and family trees stating facts about Benjamin and his family which are unsubstantiated.

1. A number of sites show Benjamin’s name as Benjamin John William Bullock. When I contact the owners to ask how they know this, the most common answer I receive is they got it from someone else’s family tree. No one has produced any evidence to show how this conclusion was arrived at. The large number of documents which I have accumulated show Benjamin’s name to be, simply, Benjamin Bullock.

2. I have come across family trees naming Benjamin’s parents. To the question, “What is the evidence supporting the conclusion as to who his parents are?“, there has been no response. To this point, I have seen no evidence linking Benjamin to any parents. This continues to be a brick wall which I hope we will break through someday.

If the family trees we build to share with others are to have any value and not be just wishful thinking, they must be based on a firm foundation. Each fact in the chain must be solid. For each fact, the answer to the question, “How do I know this?” must be based on reliable sources which can be cited to substantiate the fact.

Building a family tree which is a true and accurate history is hard work.  I hope we can help each other build a better picture of Benjamin Bullock and his descendants.