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Archiver > apg > 2006-02 > 1140456507

From: "Mills" <>
Subject: RE: [APG] Cite Your Sources!?
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2006 11:28:52 -0600
In-Reply-To: <MAEHLLOJMNHDFFACMJIPOEELCIAA.kaitken@rpl.regina.sk.ca>

Kenneth wrote:

>Amy, Gladys and Donald are right on the money.


All the discussion about whether a tombstone should be treated as "this" or
"that" illustrates exactly why genealogists now separate the SOURCE
(original or derivative), from the INFORMATION within the source
(primary=firsthand; secondary=secondhand). Original sources can have
secondhand information. Derivative sources can have firsthand information.
Any source could have both kinds of information even in the same sentence.

As for whether something is EVIDENCE, that depends upon what the research
question actually is. A source may give firsthand/primary information about
the person we are researching, but it may not be relevant to a particular
problem we're having with that person. If we decide the information *is*
relevant to the question, then it is evidence of some sort. If it directly
and explicitly answers the question, its direct evidence. If it's relevant
but doesn't answer the question outright--instead, it has to be combined
with information from other sources to construct an answer--then it's
indirect evidence.

Craig, with regard to your original question about various kinds of public
records and how they should be evaluated, it might help you to get a copy of
the following syllabus material:

Helen F. M. Leary, Elizabeth Shown Mills, and Christine Rose, "Evidence
Analysis," in *Virginia: Where a Nation Began: Program Syllabus, 1999 NGS
Conference in the States, Richmond, Virginia* (Arlington: National
Genealogical Society, 1999), 41-48.

For this double-session that Helen, Chris and I gave jointly, we canvassed
all those who regularly lecture and write on the subject of genealogical
evidence, to arrive at a set of principles and definitions that were common
to the field. There you'll find guidelines for evaluating official copies,
duplicate originals, exact images, and other species in that can of worms
called "evidence."


Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
*Evidence: Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian*
*QuickSheet: Citing Online Historical Resources, Evidence! Style*
*Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers,
Writers, Editors, Lecturers & Librarians*

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