TMG-L ArchivesArchiver > TMG > 2011-03 > 1301268476
From: Rick Van Dusen <>
Subject: Re: [TMG] re irregular date
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 16:27:56 -0700
References: <000a01cbec8c$ce8a7c70$6b9f7550$@net> <007d01cbec90$453a3740$cfaea5c0$@net> <0LIQ003QB579JP72@vms173001.mailsrvcs.net> <4D8F6A0D.firstname.lastname@example.org><4D8FA966.email@example.com>
I have little problem with your complete package; at that point we
differ in where we put the original data, but we both keep it. To that
extent, I'll yield to your challenge re opinion vs. absolute.
In the present example, though, your approach has a big problem: We
simply do not know, and therefore have to guess, what the actual date
is; it's only recorded as Feb 29, 1767 which we know is incorrect. Only
if other documentation comes to light would I feel at all comfortable in
recording a different date.
I hold to my view that documents should be cited as saying what they
say, and I continue to disagree with you as to presenting my conclusions
at the front, but as I said above, we end up in pretty much the same
place, so it's not something to argue over, at least in my opinion.
Darrell A. Martin wrote:
> On 3/27/2011 11:47 AM, Rick Van Dusen wrote:
>> However, if (after you've done the checks recommended here) the record
>> clearly says Feb 29, 1767, even though you know this is impossible, I
>> believe it should be entered with that date (but with a sort date of Feb
>> 28 or Mar 1), since that is what the record says. And you'll just have
>> to let it be an irregular date. (You could/should add a note in the Memo
>> or in the CD stating what exactly you saw, e.g. the actual image.)
>> (A researcher is responsible for reporting his/her findings, not for
>> those findings being correct or incorrect in the original, and certainly
>> not for "interpreting" the evidence [as in this case, deciding what date
>> it "must have been"].)
> Your statement of what a researcher does is your opinion, yet you stated
> it as an absolute. I considered it, and rejected it for my own use,
> years ago. I believe I have good reasons for my choice. No doubt you
> have good reasons for yours.
> A difference of opinion on this issue must be allowed. I believe a
> researcher is responsible for evaluating the evidence he/she has found,
> and for deciding whether that evidence is correct or incorrect in the
> original. Further, I think a good researcher always interprets the
> evidence. Otherwise genealogists are nothing more than collectors of
> scraps of information, and TMG is merely a transcription storage system.
> I do not choose to uncritically record source transcriptions. TMG can be
> used that way; in fact, it can be quite effective if the user likes that
> approach. I do not, and I am not alone among TMG users. I put exactly
> what the evidence says into a citation, where -- to my way of thinking
> -- it belongs. Not it the structured Tag fields.
> In my data, the date entered into a TMG Tag is, without exception, an
> *evaluation*. It is the truth as I see it, given the evidence of which I
> am currently aware, entered in a standard format. In the majority of
> cases, there is no real difference among source, evaluation, and data
> entry other than format. When there is a difference, it involves my
> decision that one or more pieces of evidence are mistaken, incomplete,
> or require interpretation. For example, "on the day Kennedy was shot" is
> unambiguous but cannot be entered into TMG as a regular date. I would
> enter it in a Tag date field as "11/22/1963", and I believe a majority
> of TMG users would do the same (depending on the format they use to
> enter dates). I doubt whether more than a handful (if that) would
> actually enter "on the day Kennedy was shot" as an irregular date.
> In the case being discussed, having examined the history of the Swedish
> calendar and having confirmed that there was no February 29 in 1767 (nor
> would it have been reasonable for the person recording the death to
> think there was), I would go back to the original image and see if there
> was any way to prefer February 28 over March 1, or possibly to suggest a
> third date. If the original is examined (not a transcription and
> certainly not an index), it is often possible to elicit more useful
> information. My TMG Tag entry would reflect the result of my evaluation.
> Under NO circumstance would I enter "2/29/1767" because it was
> impossible for the event to occur on that date. If in the end a choice
> between 28 Feb and 1 Mar was perfectly balanced, I would use my method
> for dealing with such "tossups". They have turned out to be extremely rare.
> Lastly, and repetitiously, my citations always state the information
> exactly as I see it in the originals (excepting only that I have entered
> it on a computer). If the original is unclear, I say so. If the source
> differs from my evaluation, and the reason is not excruciatingly
> obvious, I make my thinking explicit in the citation.
|Re: [TMG] re irregular date by Rick Van Dusen <>|