Memorable Milford


About researching and fact checking history

Respecting History

Much has been learned in trying to tell history using modern media. This site combines several of our lifetime loves for stories or interesting trivia with technology to gather the little known Milford tales into one place. Rare photos including President Kennedy in front of a White House fireplace believed to be of Milford marble and a poster for a 1916 silent movie shot in Milford that no longer exists and the first advertisement for a computer both made in Milford are here.

We respect history by recognizing there are enough true stories that there is no need to resort to fabrications, embellishments or fanciful tales. Starting with the facts, fascinating details are revealed to tell the story, not the other way around of starting with a story and relaying tidbits that sound good but don't accurately portray past events.

A fondness for old ways is not a reason to fear progress, Milford boasts numerous technological advances. Elsewhere in the country, the Amish uses cell phones for business with the rest of the public. The pioneers and innovators of Milford serve as inspiration for the people of today to create tomorrow's history. We encourage visitors to have a lifelong curiosity to ask questions in order to learn more about any topic.

research principles

The principles we use in researching local history can be valid when fact-checking other topics from genealogy to current events. Fact-checking sources can be as basic as a dictionary to see if a claim is consistant with when or where it purportedly is from. For example, history sources should be close to where the events occurred. A website registered in a foreign country is not the most reliable place to trust. Subtle spelling errors of foreign postings are further clues such as British spellings about American topics or specifying something like a price as $100 USD instead of the American #100. The spelling or phrasing is not of the time frame in a purported historical document or a regional way to say something. "Ye" used the no longer used letter "thorn" as ᵺe or Ýe. When handwritten, it looked similar to the modern letter of "y" but was pronounced the same as 'the'.

In researching Milford and history affecting Milford, we compared various historical and contemporary accounts for where they agreed with each other rather than agreeing with what we thought we knew. Often the best sources were not from a well known figure. For instance much of what has been learned about day to day life fighting the Revolutionary War did not come from Generals but from a private from Milford serving under Washington. His details such as the weather matches other accounts and adds to the stories of more weighty matters by the leaders.

What is the consensus of collective majority of experts over outliers seeking to make a name for themselves. But be cautious of total agreement. On average, a yes-men is lying half the time.

General information sites such as Wikipedia actually can be as valid as standard print encyclopedias. Entries without much interest are less accurate due to fewer independent editors interested or knowledgeable acting as a peer-review check. Conversely, some high interest pages get overly detailed from drawing partisans or fans of the topic. "Original research" is discouraged with a request to provide better sources.

Anything that is DIY is never of the same quality and is disrespectful of the work from experts in that field. (Someone knowledgeable in one subject can be ignorant in another.) Independent research may be passable enough for internet memes to be mindlessly shared. DIY research is like paint-by-numbers to a Da Vinci, drunks doing karaoke to a best selling musician or a web builder app to an experienced webmaster's design. 55% of Americans get their news from Facebook. But only 18% of Americans trust news they see on Facebook all/most of the time.

We tend to believe what was recently heard because it is easier to recall. Look for patterns or consistency that collaborate with other excluding outliers.

The first question we would ask in checking out a subject was whether we had a basic enough understanding of the topic to question the expertise of those working in that field. Because no one is an expert in everything we used experts only if the aspect of this site was in their respective fields whether for their technical expertise or the knowledge of historians to fact-check the past. Don't ask questions of experts with answers above one's comprehension level.

Our curiosity has sometimes resulted with instructors considering us expert enough that they can not teach any more beyond what we have taught ourselves.

We make use of several areas of expertise to reduce subconscious bias. Money oriented or business of viewing situations as "Follow The Money" miss the motivation of volunteers or those focused on information such as historians, researchers or scientists. One story of a local aviation pioneer's press release of the first flight lacked collaborating evidence such as reliable witnesses or a photo of that plane in flight was to discorage competitors. The first news reports are often in-accurate before sources can be verified and collaborated. People tend to put more credence in the first version of a story they hear and dig in to what one believes even harder when presented with the actual facts that unfolded. Other motivations may be a competitor/adversary. We attempt to separate legends and old wive's tales from what multiple sources agree upon.

We seek sources that independently agree with one another such as not being word for word duplicates copied from the same source. We try to be aware of bias whether intentional as in partisan sources or forms of unconscious bias such as confirmation of automatically rejecting anything contrary to what one already believes or occasionally re-checking that an expert is still accurate to guard against the perception bias of a first impression. Independent confirmation or confirmation bias.

We're open to alternative perspectives besides the official version of events written by the winners or modern retellings meant to sell books or an agenda. This site is a starting point for visitors to explore interesting topics on their own using multiple sources. Any first or second-hand stories will be welcome.

We ask what were the social and political influences of how the history is told by when history was written. For example, monuments erected may be to re-frame events away from the unpleasant reasons stated by accounts or records from that time.

Search tips

The public is more familiar with searching but the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) industry works to make websites closely match what people searched for. A previous version of this site once had an article about the new metal trim around the chimney on a colonial era home which showed up in internet searches as "Colonial Women Flashing".

Questionable articles tend to use uncomplicated sentences putting more weight on adverbs, adjectives and phrases acting as word modifiers. Skimping on punctuation or quotations without attribution, often with a disproportionate amount of slang.

Search wide and narrow the results of irrelevant words after using the ~ symbol to show similar words use the - symbol on the searched word to produce a list of just the similar words. Starting a search with very specific words often shapes the results to confirm what one already thinks they know instead of learning what experts have determined.

Ways to evaluate how authoritative or credible a source is whether they provide references to back up what is stated. Experts in their field may have difficulty explaining their knowledge and use ghost-writers to put it into simple language the public can understand to sell books or speeches. Besides paid articles, the comments may also be paid. Extreme words or scenarios often utilize what is known as FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) to scare people to buy a product such as medical or insurance or an idea.

Blogs or internet memes are usually opinion vs fact based.
The url of blogs often have /wp-content/, /wp-upload/ or /blogspot/ in them.
They don't have a customized tiny icon in the address bar but have the standard Wordpress icon of a "W" in a blue circle or for Blogger a "B" in an orange square.

Snopes Correction
Russian phishing but no caviar
A whois search will list when a site was registered and by whom if they haven't made the info private.
One of many criteria search engines use to determine a higher page rank is the age of a site. Perform another search of using the Wayback Machine for of how the site has changed over the years. Drastic changes of what the site is about seen in screen captures before and after gaps in the timeline indicate the site expired and the domain might have been bought by another company. Google trends graphs the popularity of a topic as a relative percentage of itself which is a less meaningful measure than the actual number of people interested in it.

Reliable sources

Snopes Correction
Snopes correction email
For historic purposes the multiple sources we utilize include original documents, old newspapers on microfilm and interviewing other historians or oral histories of people involved in the more recent historical events. Museums on historical figures are excellent sources and we checked presidential libraries for photos confirming a local rumor.

One nationally known fact-checking site thanked us for catching an error. Making corrections is an indicator of high journalistic standards. When fact-checkers fact-check each other, even if they have different political leanings, they come to the same conclussions.

These resources are useful besides looking at historical stories.


One oversight may not be enough to question a review but several of these criteria are clues they are fake:
5 or 1 stars in reviews
multiple similar postings on the same day
overly positive language
negative review by a competitor
Fake users often do not have a profile about them or use a celebrity photo, real people are more likely to use their own.
Fake review details often focus more on telling a story about their experience with names of people over the product itself.
Liars tend to use smaller words to keep their story straight.
People are more prone to complain calling into question if a reviewer only posts positive reviews.

A list of genealogical resources are on the families page.