APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2008-07 > 1216769719
From: "Elissa Scalise Powell, CG" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] 1920 census going online - free - Indexes & Abstracts arenot the same thing
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 19:35:19 -0400
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Tom Kemp
> Sent: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 6:52 PM
> These indexes are not a telephone type - "back of the book" index -
> but are and need to continue to be indexes that incorporate more of
> the data in the citation presentation so that the "indexes" themselves
> become powerful tools.
Although intelligent indexes can help the educated researcher hone in on the
correct person faster, I worry about Joe Average who will not bother to look
at the original records since he will be satisfied with the data he finds.
With censuses this is important since the neighbors often give us the
answers to our brick walls. Let me illustrate with a story.
My husband's great-grandfather was the son of an unmarried woman named
Louisa Powell. Charles used the Powell name and my only clue to his father
is on the 1880 census where "Charles Nuzum, son, age 13" is listed in Louisa
Powell's household at the bottom of the list (after her sisters and niece
and nephew but before the boarders). For over 20 years I have wondered how I
could find Charles' father and was heading down the DNA pathway when a
distant cousin made me review all my findings from the beginning of time.
Not only was Louisa on the 1850 census in her parents household but they
lived next to a Nuzum family who had an age appropriate boy named Charles.
Hmmmm. How come I didn't see that before? Because I was a "baby genealogist"
when I thought I had copied down all the information I needed and hadn't
even bothered to look at the neighbors.
We all start out knowing less today than we will tomorrow. I hope we can
educate people that "smart indexes" are still just that -- indexes and not a
substitute for the original records.
Elissa in Pittsburgh
Elissa Scalise Powell, CG
CG and Certified Genealogist are Service Marks of the Board for
Certification of Genealogists used under license after periodic evaluations
by the Board.
|Re: [APG] 1920 census going online - free - Indexes & Abstracts arenot the same thing by "Elissa Scalise Powell, CG" <>|