There are those who say that one should never admit that they were once ignorant. I say it’s better to admit that you were and that you learned from it than to suggest that you never could have been wrong in the first place. When person A wants others to think that person A has never made a mistake and will never make a mistake, I tend to avoid person A.

There’s nothing wrong with realizing that you were incorrect, made a mistake, or had something to learn. “Were,” “made,” and “had” are past tense. The key is that we are self-aware enough to admit that we made a mistake and comfortable enough in our own skin to admit to it. That’s how we correct our earlier research mistakes and do better research.

Ideally we don’t make those mistakes again.

And realizing that your confusion may stem from something you don’t know is the first step towards not being confused.

That’s what happened with this probate settlement in Coshocton County, Ohio, in the 1820s:





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