TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM-L ArchivesArchiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2011-01 > 1295050670
From: "Michael Hait" <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] Extracts
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2011 19:17:50 -0500
This is a great start to a discussion.
To my knowledge, though, there are no standards for extracting in regards to
whether it should be only the entries of interest or the entire roll. In my
opinion, there should not be standards to regulate this. (Not sure
"regulate" is the correct word to use, but we'll go with that.)
Tax rolls and census records (pre-1950 for the sake of similarity) can be
used in several ways. For some of these, you might be interested in only a
single entry, and there is no reason to have to extract the entire roll.
Some of these records also suffer from limitations that negate any benefit
to extracting the entire roll.
As one example, suppose you are researching a family of slaves owned by a
particular planter. His tax records, and early census records, would
generally only count the numbers of slaves, possibly in age groups (though
not necessarily). This would constitute only indirect evidence relating to
the family of slaves. Therefore, what would be the point of extracting
In another example, perhaps you are studying a particular piece of land. In
addition to deeds, the tax records may provide information relevant to this
research. How many acres of land were owned by another person would not
provide evidence in your research. Again, no reason to extract additional
Further adding to this is that many tax rolls, and pre-1850 census records,
were alphabetized. Extracting nearby entries does not hold the same
perceived benefits as it would in later census records, where nearby entries
are presumably neighbors. All that proves is that the other entries had a
surname starting with the same letter of the alphabet.
All that being said, I am generally in favor of transcribing the entire
record. Notice the change in language from "extracting" to "transcribing?"
When you "extract" an entire record, you are in fact not extracting, you are
transcribing. This terminology is in fact dictated by current standards. Use
of the word "extracting" or "extract" *by definition* means that you are
only using selected portions of the original record.
The reason that I am in favor of transcribing the entire record is purely
out of selfish reasons. Transcribe the entire roll, *then publish it*!
Whether in a journal, a book, or a website, getting this information out
into the public benefits all future genealogists who might like to use the
record set in question (including yourself!). For budding professionals,
publishing the information into a book for sale also helps to provide
another income stream.
Sent: Friday, January 14, 2011 6:37 PM
Subject: [TGF] Extracts
I have received a variety of responses to my previous post concerning
extracting from a tax roll. Some suggested extracting only those of
interest, others the entire roll for use later. That concerns me. I know
our profession is somewhat of an art. But as professionals, should we not
all expect and abide by one standard? We often discuss standards and
refer to texts such as Evidence Explained for many of those
standards. Isn't there a standard for extracting a document(other than
the standard requirements for transcribing that we apply to
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