In genealogical research facts often have a way of becoming factoids once new evidence weighs against the old hypothesis. As a genealogist, we should stay away from declaring a research subject absolute and finished – instead we should quantify our analysis of the evidence by prefacing our statements with qualifiers.
Source analysis is an important step in the genealogical research process. While it’s often the first thing discussed by professional genealogists, it’s almost always the last thing amateur genealogists perform. It’s usually left for the time when a researcher, suffering from the effects of the “shaking leaf syndrome,” realize that they’ve attached all these people to their family tree, and all these events to those people, yet some of the facts and events of their ancestors lives simply don’t add up. And then they begin to doubt whether a person in their tree really is an ancestor. Don’t wait for that time… begin now, at the start of 2016, to first analyze a source before you use it.