TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM-L ArchivesArchiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2010-02 > 1266721502
From: Ruy Cardoso <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] BCG Standard #19 + intro to evidence evaluation
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2010 19:05:02 -0800 (PST)
> From: Jeanette Daniels <>
> I believe that the "reasonably exhaustive search" needs to
> be defined to include:
> 1. Research in all original records that exist
That's too strong an interpretation, in my view, since we simply cannot know all records that exist. Under this definition, any genealogical conclusion that was altered, supplemented, or even confirmed by new evidence from original records could not have been based on reasonably exhaustive search -- something new presumably turned up, so *all* records were not covered in the first place. If that's the defintion, then what fraction of refereed journal articles over the last ten years, say, would have been based on reasonably exhaustive search? I think this interpretation creates an often impossible standard, and an impossible standard is not really a standard at all.
I'm not quibbling with the types of records that you listed, Jeanette, or objecting to the spirit of the post. I am objecting to the absolutism of the word "all." It occurs in some other parts of your post as well, but I won't repeat every instance.
> 2. Publishing of newspaper ads in the local area for home sources not in
> the possession of the genealogist or researcher.
What if the problem being studies is from, say, the 1600s? Do you think this publication of newspaper ads is a practical approach to finding home sources that have survived for more than 300 years? Even for more contemporary problems, newspapers are certainly not read as much as they once were. Should we require creation of some other types of push media to meet this part of the definition? Radio ads? Television? Billboards? Web sites? And I would again ask the question about refereed
journal articles -- what fraction involve publication of such ads?
> Searching in DAR and other societies for family bible
> and cemetery information.
DAR, at least, will do me no good on my Portuguese ancestry :-) But I saw from the rest of your post that you were distinguishing American research from foreign.
> But what I am trying to get across is that this "standard
> 19" be defined to the point that there is no question as to what a
> "reasonably exhaustive search" means.
I think that "no question" is an unrealistic goal to incorporate in a standard. If we could ever get to "no question," then we'd have no need for referees or judges or juries, and I simply cannot accept that as feasible. Can a standard narrow down the areas of judgment? Yes. Can it list the types of records that must at least be checked in given situations? Yes. But can it require research in "all records" and define "no question?" No.
|Re: [TGF] BCG Standard #19 + intro to evidence evaluation by Ruy Cardoso <>|