Evaluating Websites

19 May 2014
WWW-land is truly a wonderfully wacky world. We find gorgeous sites filled with garbage. We find tacky pages filled with Gospel Truth—or as close to it as any historical researcher can get. How do we ensure that our online efforts are healthy ones?

What Kind of Sinners Are We?

18 May 2014
"When you catch an adjective," Mark Twain supposedly wrote to a twelve-year-old boy, "kill it. No. I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them—then the rest will be valuable." Constance ...

Church Creations & Publications:

17 May 2014
A YouTube video for history researchers suggests that church records be considered vital records. EE gasped: Hunh? Aside from the fact that churches rarely maintain records of births and deaths ...

A Vision of Britain through Time

15 May 2014
Historical maps. Statistical atlases. Travel Accounts. Census reports. Historical descriptions. All searchable by place. Take ...

Detecting False Documents and False Assertions

15 May 2014
"Historians look for anachronisms, whether of language, form, or content. ... Sometimes, for example, it is possible to show that a particular 'hand' did not exist when ...

Per Capita vs. Per Stirpes

14 May 2014
Laws of heirship, across time and place, have generally dictated estate divisions by either "per capita" or "per stirpes." The jurist Henry Campbell Black has defined the differences this way:*

Federal Records for Local Research

13 May 2014
Last Tuesday, we thought about the less-fortunate Americans of yesteryear, urban dwellers who left few records, and we brainstormed the kind of resources we might be able to find on them in local courthouses and town halls. Today's test takes a different tack ...

Censuses & Visitation Dates

12 May 2014
For most national censuses, the year of the enumeration is a standard part of the citation. The visitation date, on the other hand, is ...

Handling Quotations

11 May 2014
Most writers love quotations. They capture the "feel" of a document. They express the thoughts of those we're studying. They can provide important perspective, as provided by other writers. They also introduce a host of questions and even more opportunities for ethical and legal transgressions—starting with these five ...

Research & Privacy Issues

10 May 2014
Citations that involve living people must respect privacy. In our working notes, we record the name and contact information for each person we interview and each person who ...