How to Find the Truth about a Family Story

Family traditions are like onions. They have a core of truth, but we have to peel back the layers to get to that core. Layers of confusion, embroidery, and even shame. Yesterday we looked at five reasons why family stories have strayed from what Grandma would call the “straight and narrow.” Today, we offer a six-step game plan that will help you uncover that core of truth in your family stories that provide a path into your past. ...
When to Use Derivatives or Originals: Here's a Crib Sheet
Researchers are always cautioned to use the best sources possible. Ideally, we’re told, that means original records created by informants with primary (first-hand) information. That guidance is sound. But when a project involves hundreds or thousands of documents ...
EE Sun, 11/04/2018 - 17:46

Citing Locational Data

“I wonder,” our inquirer asked, “Why do citations to family artifacts not include our file numbers?” Great question! In fact, we could ask this about a lot of things. These days we all capture images of the documents we use. We have our filing system to maintain those images—sometimes physical but usually electronic. So why do our citations not include the image IDs, the e-folder name or notebook number, etc.?

Getting Real about Those Derivatives

Oh, how we love records that are neatly typed and nicely indexed. Sure, we've heard all those admonitions about consulting original records rather than derivatives. But let's get real. When somebody lived in thirteen different counties in 5 different states, that's a lot of records to plow through. When the records have been "processed" and published, we're going to use those published versions, right?

Ready-made Citations?

Prefabrication is a wonderful concept. Like most concepts, it has its uses—as well as undesirable consequences. In a recent thread on EE's Facebook page, a commenter writes: “It’s best to go with the citation any site recommends at [as] it will most likely lead to continuous access no matter how the site changes over time.” For the record ...