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Archiver > APG > 2007-09 > 1190086348

From: "Elizabeth Shown Mills" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Origin of Practice of Keeping Family Records in Bibles
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2007 22:33:45 -0500
In-Reply-To: <040401c7f990$ae73cce0$2101a8c0@CEB>

Carolyn wrote:
>Here's a post to a history list to which I also belong. Can anybody answer
this question?
Sent Friday, August 31, 2007 6:33 pm
To H-NET/OIEAHC Electronic Association in Early American Studies
Subject Genealogies Recorded in Family Bibles

> I am currently
> looking into the practice of keeping family genealogies in> Bibles. Is
> anyone aware of secondary literature on this practice during the>
> seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, especially in the Southern
> colonies?> I would be interested in any information on who generally wrote

> these> records, where in the Bible they were recorded, and the
> significance of this> practice.>> Thanks in advance,>> Megan Stubbendeck>
> University of Virginia>> John Saillant> Editor, H-OIEAHC> OIEAHC


This query points up one of the major deficiencies of our field--and one of
the reasons why other learned fields do not see our field as an equal in

Genealogical literature focuses primarily three things: (1) what records
exist; (2) how to use those records; and (3) completed family units or
solved problems based on those records.

Our literature is sorely deficient on the type of studies this historian
seeks: (a) studies of the behavior that goes into the creation of those
records; and (b) studies that delineate patterns within those records. In
other words, we are not producing *interpretative* studies based on
examining large numbers of a certain type of record to define its patterns.
We can offer "anecdotal evidence," as Dave has just done, but we have not
produced the kind of quantitative evidence that's needed to determine
whether the anecdotes are the rule or the exception.

So, why does this deficiency exist? One basic reason: *We* aren't producing



Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
Advanced Research Methodology & Evidence Analysis
Samford University Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research

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