TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM-L ArchivesArchiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2010-07 > 1279410318
Subject: Re: [TGF] Question re "Evidence Revisited"
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2010 19:45:18 -0400
References: <firstname.lastname@example.org> <4C421C6D.email@example.com><848864FF07F34C3CBA46D369285C7606@bdf5474e5>
Thanks for trying to help me understand. (You may have a little more
work to do on me. :) ) Thinking this through, I can see why you might
include the information about the tombstone in your proof, but I can't
see it used as evidence (unless you're trying to prove he had a tombstone).
Let's say that we're trying to ascertain the age of our subject as part
of our proof argument of his parentage. We find that slip of a receipt
for the carving of his tombstone in his probate file. And despite our
best efforts walking the local cemeteries, looking for older cemetery
readings, old photos, -- turning over the farmer's sidewalk-- we cannot
find his tombstone or other record of what it might have said. We write
in our proof argument that we have evidence that a tombstone most likely
existed and that we searched as best we could for it or a record of what
it said but failed to find what we were looking for. One day that
tombstone might be uncovered, and the information on it might conflict
(or agree) with what we're trying to prove. (We're thinking the same so
far.) But for now, I don't have any information about what was carved on
that tombstone so I still don't see how the tombstone's nonexistence (or
I'd rather term it) failure of discovery can be used as evidence to
prove our case. Or conflict with it.
Speaking of destroyed records, I can see why I would include in my proof
argument that I was unable to find certain records because of fires,
floods, a clerk who neglected his duties, etc. Though, again, unless
there was another record (transcription, record copy, rerecording,
whatever) to give an indication of what information the destroyed record
contained, how can it be evidence in my proof argument? Isn't that when
I turn to other records to find information that I can use as evidence
to prove my case?
Fredric Z. Saunders wrote:
><snip> Knowing that it no longer exists *does* help proof your case, in showing a
>lack of possible conflicting evidence it may have had. (Unless of course
>someone finds it buried where it fell over, or being used for a sidewalk on
>the neighboring farm).