TMG-L ArchivesArchiver > TMG > 2002-09 > 1032690393
From: "Stuart Armstrong" <>
Subject: Re: [TMG] Master Source List
Date: Sun, 22 Sep 2002 04:26:33 -0600
>I may have worded it badly. What I meant was that before one creates a tag
>one has some sort of information to put into that tag- otherwise one
>wouldn't even know such a tag was needed. The tag is merely "reporting" what
>that information is. That information has a source- it HAD to originate
>somewhere. To me a tag is nothing more than an attempt to report a piece of
I like this way of thinking about it. The genealogy model some have developed has two elements. The first element is the EVIDENCE. All evidence comes from a source. The source citation describes where you found the evidence, and, optionally, details what the evidence is. (You should keep a record _somewhere_ of what the evidence said so you can refer to it again later). The purpose of the research process is to uncover evidence.
The second element is your ASSERTIONS -- what you assert to be true or likely based on the evidence you have found and your evaluation of that evidence. Generally speaking, the assertions are what you put in the tag's date, place, and memo fields (and the tag sentence).
Actually the memo field is a sort of catch-all -- you can use it to make assertions or talk about the evidence or both. A good example of using the memo field for evidence might be quoting an obituary. By implication you are asserting that the subject of the obituary is properly identified.
If you have two different birthdates for an individual, there are two popular ways to do it.
One way is to make a tag for each birthdate, and cite the source for each. In this method, the tag is truely a report about what the evidence said.
The other way (which I prefer) is to make one tag asserting what I believe the most likely correct true birthdate is, and cite all of the sources (evidence) I used to come to that conclusion, including conflicting sources if any. Maybe my best-guess assertion of the true birthdate doesn't precisely agree with _any_ of the sources, but is a sort of composite or synthesis of all of them, giving some of the sources more weight and others less. If explanations are appropriate I may discuss my reasoning. Or (usually) I let my assertions stand without comment. If new evidence is found, I may re-evaluate all the previous evidence and change my assertions.
I don't like the word _facts_ because facts suggests something that is immutable or beyond reconsideration. In genealogy, most of our assertions are subject to change if more evidence is found.
How you implement all this is a matter of preference. But it is important to keep in your mind that Evidence and Assertions are two different things. You should never confuse them. Keep them separate in your mind and you will think more clearly. (Just My Opinion).
web page: http://cgi.aros.net/~stuarta
|Re: [TMG] Master Source List by "Stuart Armstrong" <>|