Sunday, 26 June 2016

ESM's QuickLessons A DearMYRTLE Genealogy Study Group

Hilary Gadsby

Sources, Information, Evidence
Elizabeth Shown Mills, “Sources, Information, Evidence," Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage ( : accessed 25 June 2016).         
A Basic Vocabulary for Historical Research
Elizabeth Shown Mills, “A Basic Vocabulary for Historical Research," Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage (    : accessed 25 June 2016).    

Much of what we do as genealogists piecing together what we can find about our ancestors can not be "proved" in the way that science calls proof. We can never be certain that history was how it appears to us.
This does not mean that what we create will be a work of fiction. By careful choice of source, extraction of information and analysis of those pieces of information we construct a credible case to support our hypothesis.

The information contained within a single source whilst directly answering a question will invariably not be sufficient to confirm an identity. We need to take all the information we can find and put it into context. Only when we have done this can we have any certainty that the information is relevant to the question we are trying to answer.

Understanding the terminology we use in our historical research as discussed in the Quicktips post is key to ensuring that the lineages and associated family information is as accurate as possible. Many historical documents may not have survived or details regarding our family may not have been recorded. Even when we do find references, to what we believe to be our family, we need to show due diligence and consider what inaccuracies may be present both intended and accidental.

In my blog post I discuss how I started to piece together a part of my husband's family. 
It's still a work in progress with missing parts of the puzzle. 
I need to discover more reliable sources, to provide me with the information, that I can use, as evidence, to support any conclusions I draw.

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