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From: Judith Lipmanson <>
Subject: Re: [TMG] Mills' Evaluating Evidence
Date: Sun, 25 Sep 2005 19:37:42 -0400
References: <><005f01c5c21d$6b9e6530$6401a8c0@gatewaysystem>
In-Reply-To: <005f01c5c21d$6b9e6530$6401a8c0@gatewaysystem>


Hate to admit this, but after writing my original post I plowed through
my bookcases and found Mills' book. It was one of the first I bought and
read it quite some time ago. Forgot I had it.

Nowhere does she talk about the SIE template system. I'm guessing it
will appear in the forthcoming book. Meanwhile, would recommend reading
the article in either of the two journals I referenced below. It's

By the way, the SIE Template is not a scaled system. It is based on the
idea there are three facets to the reliability and validity of our
genealogical information: Sources, Information, Evidence. Each has two
objective sub-categories, and the researcher selects one of the entries
under each. The final choices constitute a simple, objective, and
meaningful analysis of the quality of that information.

In the article, Mills even suggests how it can be implemented in
genealogical software.


Karenhappuch wrote:
> From: "Judith Lipmanson" <>
>> "AVOTAYNU", the International Review of Jewish Genealogy, has a piece
>> in the last issue (Volume XXI, Number 2, Summer 2005: 10-12) by
>> Elizabeth Shown Mills. It is a reprint of her article in "Genealogical
>> Computing", April-June 2004, and is titled, 'A Template for Evaluating
>> Evidence.'
>> In short, it sets out a better method for evaluating the reliability
>> of genealogy data, and replaces the current system of 1-5 scaled
>> Sureties. This is the first I'm aware of her system, and am much taken
>> with it. I've never been comfortable with Surety scaling and feel I've
>> done a haphazard job of using it. I do plan to change to the new
>> template, and to go back and implement it somehow in my TMG data I've
>> already entered.
>> Several questions:
>> 1. Is everyone/anyone else aware of Mills' newer system -- and more
>> important how many people are using it? I don't have her book, and
>> instead have been using Lackey, The Chicago Style Manual, NARA Styles,
>> etc.
> I've read Mills' comments on surety on another mail list (APG), but
> don't recall her mentioning a "template" or "system". I do recall that
> one or more TMG users contributed to that discussion.
> .
>> 2. Does Mills' publication, "Evidence! Citation and Analysis ......."
>> contain more information on this method of rating the reliability of
>> information or does it pre-date this approach?
> No, it doesn't. It discusses analyzing evidence, but not any type of
> scaled system as with sureties. Mills is writing a new book which will
> replace "Evidence!...". In the meantime, I suggest to obtain a copy of
> Evidence!
> Barbara
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