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Replies: 35


Posted: 1354926852000
Classification: Query
Edited: 1354927671000

Thank you for sharing your workflow with us. I'm sure many will find it helpful. I'm not going to respond to most of that because I think it deserves a forum topic of its own. That, and the thrust of my comments weren't intended as a criticism to your research and documentation methods.

I emphasized citing the exact URL in a citation based on my own personal experience. I'll share a little about that. I'm the fortunate recipient of two researchers in my family that came before me by several generations. The first did most of her research roughly between 1920 and 1940, the other roughly between 1950 and 1970.

In both cases I inherited handwritten and typed documents, family group sheets, hand-drawn charts, copies of correspondence, notes, and photos. There were very few copies of official documents, and very few specific references to these documents or other sources like newspaper articles. Still, it was clear from the sources I inherited that each had consulted many resources. Unfortunately, it came to me documented only in phrases and words like "courthouse records", "kirkebok", "archivo dello stato", "comune", etc.

Although I knew and respected both of the women who did the research, I was still not content to take what they had written at face value. I independently researched everything that they had researched--only to discover that they had both been quite academic in their approaches and true to the materials they had found. Had they given me a little more detail about their sources, I probably would have been content--after personally verifying their research to my satifaction--to cite the researchers' work as my source.

I hope to pass on my own research to someone like me in a future generation, and I don't want that person to go through the same thing that I have. I want the quality of my work to speak for itself, so that new territory can be explored instead of time wasted on work already well done.

It was with this in mind that I emphasized the importance of including a URL in a citation (for an online source) rather than relying on the "repository" to convey the location of the record. Not everyone will have the knowledge to know how to find the record when given the domain name, nor will everyone have a paid subscription to access the record in question. Yes, you and I may have local copies of the records, but what good does that do someone 50 years after we've died? Did he or she inherit the copy? Was the source of the copy fully documented? Did all of our research come to that person in tact? (Our MS Word documents and FTM files might be so old by this time that there is no way to open them.)

Maybe those who inherit our work will only be able to access part of it. Who knows? My argument is that the quality of your work will be determined by the quality of your source documentation. My own choice in that regard is to leave no rock unturned or t uncrossed. My successors may never know me, but at least they'll recognize and appreciate the quality of my work. :)

I'm leaving a bit to be read between the lines here, but as an intelligent and thoughtful genealogist, I'm sure you have understood.

More to come in a bit. This was a response to the non-essential stuff.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
MarcoScavo 1354760812000 
MarcoScavo 1354762123000 
kj_norway 1354763810000 
kj_norway 1354763920000 
kj_norway 1354765168000 
MarcoScavo 1354807078000 
KATHYMARIEANN 1354817164000 
MarcoScavo 1354926852000 
MarcoScavo 1354929423000 
kj_norway 1354944508000 
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