TMG-L ArchivesArchiver > TMG > 2010-12 > 1292806734
From: "Darrell A. Martin" <>
Subject: Re: [TMG] Always specific names for specific events? Bad idea.
Date: Sun, 19 Dec 2010 18:58:57 -0600
References: <201012171432.oBHEWxkZ012827@mail.rootsweb.com> <2010121795233.861204@Terry> <201012171518.oBHFIZ76001812@mail.rootsweb.com> <4D0B9B48.firstname.lastname@example.org> <4D0BDDFA.email@example.com> <4D0C3441.firstname.lastname@example.org> <001c01cb9eba$63f6b790$2be426b0$@net> <4D0CDCCB.email@example.com> <4D0DF536.firstname.lastname@example.org><4D0E1B4E.email@example.com>
On 12/19/2010 8:48 AM, Rick Van Dusen wrote:
> Darrell A. Martin wrote:
>> - In some of my messages, I assume but do not make clear that I have
>> concluded that the person who appears in one record is the same person
>> who appears in another. I must make that decision to determine how to
>> proceed with data entry. Lee weighed in on this point, to good effect.
> Yes, I have already stipulated to the merging of different names into
> one person to be in some cases "conclusion". I maintain that in more
> cases than not, this "conclusion" is obvious (perhaps to the point of
> being not a conclusion?).
Yes, the identification of a person
found in one source with a person
found in another source is always a
conclusion. It can be an obvious
one, in which case the only debate
is about theory. But there is no
such thing as a conclusion that is
so obvious that it stops being a
> However, I've seen that some people do more "concluding" than others.
Isn't THAT the truth [grin].
>> - The most frequent place where these things seem to cause trouble is
>> in the entry of census records. I wonder how many people would enter the
>> name for "Beth" in the following common example
>> Dutton, John HOH
>> Jane Wife
>> Adam Son
>> Beth Dau
>> Charlie Son
> Okay, I'll argue here whether this is a "conclusion" or whether the
> surname being the same as the last actual entry is a fact supported by
> the documentation itself.
I don't think the word "fact" can
be used appropriately here. That
the intent of the source is that
Beth's surname is Dutton, is a
reasonable, even an obvious,
conclusion. However, the only
"fact" is that the record says
what it says.
> We know this to be common practice in the US
> Census 1850 and later, and it can be considered "conclusion" only in the
> most borderline way. (And in fact, in most cases, there is a ditto mark,
> which standard reading would take as meaning "it's the same as the
> above", which removes any "conclusion".)
You are quite right about the US
Census practice, and quite wrong
about that meaning that, reading
the record as "Beth Dutton", is
not a conclusion. It is not what
the record *says*.
It would be *theoretically*
correct for someone who believes
in entering the data "just the
way the record reads" to put the
ditto mark in the surname in
TMG. It would also be ridiculous
and, most likely, ineffective.
(I don't think TMG would accept
one double quotation mark as an
One enumerator I encountered
(may he roast, like chestnuts,
on an open fire) ALWAYS blanked
the surname of EVERYONE except
the Head of Household. This is
true even when one of the house-
hold members is enumerated as
the father-in-law of the HoH,
and said FiL is known from other
records not to have had the same
surname. It is also true, in one
case, of a servant, who is the
person I *was* interested in....
This discussion takes on
importance only in the unusual,
sticky, situations. Then, it can
help immensely to keep in mind
what you are doing -- even in
the theoretical, technical,
sense. Most of the time, though,
"it don't mean nothin'."
|Re: [TMG] Always specific names for specific events? Bad idea. by "Darrell A. Martin" <>|