APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2007-09 > 1190137402
From: "Craig Scott" <>
Subject: [APG] E: Origin of Practice of Keeping Family Records in Bibles
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2007 13:43:22 -0400
That a quarterly electronic periodical, entitled _Quantitative Genealogy_ be
That the purpose of this periodical will be to:
Study the behavior that goes into the creation of records;
Study the patterns of record creation;
Study the evolution of record collection;
Examine the underlying causes for creation of specific records;
Create a quantitative understanding of records, records series, and record
Convert "anecdotal evidence" into quantitative evidence; and
Provide the place where genealogy-driven interpretative studies can be
That initially the periodical will be available electronically in two
1) ad based, free subscription
2) non-ad based, for fee subscription
3) annually available on CD for a fee, but requires fee subscription
Infrastructure costs to be borne initially by Heritage Books, Inc. for a
period of three years with the idea that after three years the project will
be self supporting.
That an editorial board of nine members will be established to accomplish
article acceptance, peer review, and the other sundry tasks associated with
maintaining the high standards necessary for a scholarly publication.
Persons interested in belonging to this board should submit vitae to:
65 East Main Street
Westminster, MD 21157
Target of January 2009 for first issue.
I want to be on the editorial board for the three years that Heritage Books
provides funding. If anyone doubts I am qualified for this position, talk to
Thanks, I have always wanted to get this done, but didn't think anyone but
about three or four of us cared. Seems like the right time and the tools are
in place for everything but the content. <G>
Please pass this on to all that you think might be interested.
Craig R. Scott, CG
Midnight Madness is September 28, 2007 in case you were wondering.
Craig R. Scott, CG
President and CEO
Heritage Books, Inc.
65 East Main Street
Westminster, MD 21157
2266 books in print and growing. Visit www.HeritageBooks.com
From: [mailto:] On Behalf
Of Elizabeth Shown Mills
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2007 12:14 PM
Subject: Re: [APG] Origin of Practice of Keeping Family Records in Bibles
>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
scholarship. 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
The thoughtful responses from Dave, Kathleen L. and M., Richard, Christine,
Sharon, and Barbara are exactly what I had hoped the question would
Incentive or motivation is a major issue. Those of us who take clients
derive no income from research projects of this type. Those of us who are
academics are in departments other than "genealogy," and the
research-and-writing we are expected to do is therefore in another field.
Because we have so very few academic programs in genealogy, there is a
dearth of students doing seminar papers, master's theses, and doctoral
dissertations to help build this kind of literature base.
Too, as Kathleen L points out, it *is* a matter of how we have been trained
>"Training isn't just a matter of skill development, but also of the way one
views/thinks about one's work, evidence, and the world in general. If one
expects genealogists to take on something beyond what they're currently
doing, then there needs to be appropriate training aimed at those new
But, as Kathleen goes on to say:
>I conduct mini-studies like this all the time, but I was trained to do
quantitative research; most genealogists are trained to do case studies.
Our field does now have a significant number of Kathleens and Christines and
Karens and Carolyns and Daves (and Elizabeths--at least two of us :) who
*have* been trained to do quantitative research. But, as Kathleen says, our
teachings focus primarily on case studies. Some of us have published
genealogy-driven quantitative studies in journals and academic presses
within other fields, but few of our genealogical colleagues are aware of
In our literature (and, often, our literature searches), there is still an
arbitrary divide between what is considered appropriate under the banner of
genealogy and what is considered "outside the field." Does it have to be
A significant number of us on this list *do* write for journals--and
underwrite research projects for those essays--knowing full well there will
be no monetary compensation. Perhaps we should be asking another set of
- If we produce the kind of studies that create a foundation for genealogy
as a discipline, where might we publish those studies?
- Are our journals ready or able to move beyond "compiled genealogies" and
"case studies" to publish--at least occasionally--quantitative or empirical
studies that provide genealogists with something more than "technical"
- Or, would the sponsors of those journals fear a loss of
subscriptions/memberships unless everything in every issue is "hardcore
- If so, would our major societies consider publishing such studies as
online offerings, separate and apart from their journals?
I suspect we have a goodly number on this list, like Christine, who are
intellectually challenged by the kind of projects that would provide
theoretical and interpretive foundations for our field--if there were a
venue in which their work could be published.
Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
Advanced Research Methodology & Evidence Analysis
Samford University Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research
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|[APG] E: Origin of Practice of Keeping Family Records in Bibles by "Craig Scott" <>|