Sunday, November 20, 2011

SOURCES: Who provided the info - Part II

Yesterday's blog post included suggestions for Suzi when citing multiple locations of published or manuscript info about an ancestor. One example she mentioned duplicated information initially provided by a cousin. Now, Ol' Myrt here would like us to consider...

Beginning researchers may not realize the provider of information in multiple  records may be the same person. For instance, isn't it logical that the person providing the family info on a death certificate is the same person who handles funeral home details and orders the tombstone?

We don't want the accumulation of data provided by one witness published in many places to weigh too heavily, compared to other sources of information about the ancestor.

Mr. Myrt reminds me "Who is the source of the source?"
Alma Oades Player born 1862-1929 SLC, Utah
Family photo in author's possession.

Let's look at the information provided on a death certificate and the tombstone for my great-grandfather Alma Oades Player who was born in 1862 in Salt Lake City. He died there in 1929 and was interred at the Salt Lake City Cemetery up in the Aves, as the locals call that neck of the woods.  Alma was preceded in death by his wife Mary Elizabeth (Wright) Player in 1903.
Note Acel Richardson is listed as informant on Alma's death certificate. He is Alma's son-in-law. I knew Acel having visited with him and Nora in their home several times. Acel was a take-charge man. Did he also provide the information for the tombstone? I tend to think so for these reasons:

In conservative Utah, men tended to take the lead in the 1800 and 1900s. When Alma died in 1929, women in the US had enjoyed the right to vote for only nine years. Alma's sons Warner (from California) and Shirl (from Washington) had to travel great distances via train for the funeral and were not on hand to make the funeral and burial arrangements. Daughters of Alma included Bertha, who died young in 1897, Lucile, Eth, Mable and Nora. Acel Richardson was Nora's husband. They lived on the west side in Salt Lake City, very close to Alma's home.
Department of Health. Office of Vital Records and Statistics
    Death certificates (Series 81448)  Entry 12487--PLAYER, ALMA ODDS - 1929

Who provided the information for the tombstone? I'd have to look at sexton and gravestone company records to come to an accurate conclusion, but it is logical at this point to think the informant was Alma's son-in-law Acel Richardson.
Original photo taken by author.
I've limited this discussion to just two of the items collected on Alma Oades Player. Information from additional record groups over the lifetime of this man must be gathered to gain a better picture of who he was and how he interacted with other members of the Player family.

SOURCES: Who provided the info - Part I
SOURCES: Who provided the info - Part III
SOURCES: Did you view it personally

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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