Thursday, September 29, 2005

Question about referencing other's references

From: roll1959@charter.net
DearMYRTLE,
I enjoy your Pod-Casting, and your blog. I have a question, and wonder if you can help me. Maybe other's may have it as well.

I received a copy of my wife's genealogy that one of her aunts did, but it is all on paper. I scanned it in onto my computer, but I have a question about the references that it has in superscript in the text, and then it has a listing of references on the last pages.

How are the references [to be] posted that are from another searcher's listing? Do you place the source that the researcher did; example "Descendants of ...", or do you add the reference that was listed itself; ex: "Grand Rapids Press Obituary, Sept...."

DearROLLIN,
GREAT question, kiddo, and ol' Myrt here has an easy answer:

"REPORT ON WHAT YOU LOOKED AT."

This means that you cite the aunt's book title "Descendants of John Paul Henry" with author, and publication date/place, because THAT is the source you've viewed.

IF she included a photocopy of a marriage record, and an obituary, then you ADD those as additional sources, because you looked at them.

IF you spot-checked her work by looking up a few of the documents she listed for each generation in her endnotes, ADD those sources because you looked at them. This lets those that follow know that those cited sources do exist, and that you would transcribe them the same way your wife's aunt did.

SUCH SPOT-CHECKING must be done. We can't accept the "hearsay" genealogy book without verifying that our direct lineage and supporting document are indeed accurate.

WHEN IT COMES TO CITING SOURCES, let those that follow know EXACTLY what you looked at to arrive at your lineage assumptions. Where dates/names are at variance, use the information from the original sources, because your wife's aunt probably just made a typo when creating the genealogy book.

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FOR FURTHER READING
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Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian.
www.Genealogical.com Printed: 1997, reprinted: 2005. ISBN#: 0806315431

Mills, Elizabeth Shown. QuickSheet: Citing Online Historical Sources.
www.Genealogical.com Printed: 2005 ISBN#: 0806317612

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,
6023 26th Street West PMB 352
Bradenton, FL 34207
http://www.DearMYRTLE.com

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