TMG-L ArchivesArchiver > TMG > 2004-01 > 1074442987
From: Terry Reigel <>
Subject: RE: [TMG] None Use of Sureties was [First citation - primary citation]
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2004 11:23:07 -0500
On Sun, 18 Jan 2004 10:06:21 -0500, Cheryl Chasin wrote:
> When I first began using TMG several years ago I used
> sureties because I thought I was supposed to. I stopped
> for two reasons. One is that I realized that sureties
> assigned to a source were not automatically transferred
> to a new tag citing that source, but had to be assigned
> separately. I can see the logic in that in some cases; a
> death certificate might be a "3" for the death date but a
> "1" or "2" for the birth date. But as default behavior
> it didn't make sense to me. Why bother assigning a
> surety at the source level at all?
To me it has no value - I don't do it.
> The second reason (and to me the more important) is that
> the numeric level doesn't provide enough information to
> me to be useful. If I'm going back and looking at
> research I did a couple of years ago, the number "2"
> doesn't tell me much more than I can glean from the title
> of the source. I prefer more detailed notes about any
> errors I found or other information that affects the
> general reliability of a given source. Trying to figure
> out whether a source "deserves" a 1 or a 2 is to me just
> a lot of wasted effort. I'd rather make a note of what I
> think of the source, and move on.
I agree they are not all that valuable. But I assign them to citations
anyway, because I do find it helpful in looking at a tag with a lot of
citations to be able to see which ones provided data for each field.
Then when I want to recheck a field, I can only open the cites that I
used for that field.
My numeric system rating system is simple and almost automatic:
3= Original source (for that data item)
2= Secondary source that I think would have good reason to have
accurate information, including those that seem careful and generally
1= Other secondary sources
In any case, I state in the CD what the source said about the data,
unless all source cited show the same data, and that data is exactly
what I entered.