Evidence Analysis Issues

Using a diagram to show a multigeneration network of family marriages - citation of the documentation

I am writing a proof argument (for my own files and blog at this point) that relies in part on a diagram of a complex 5-generation network of marriages between the descendants of 3 "founders" across 5 states.  I am struggling with documenting this thoroughly and efficiently without overwhelming the resulting diagram and the text of the argument. The diagram shows 19 marriages in 5 generations.

Referencing Differing Surname Spellings

Hi EE,

This question probably would have worked best in a writing forum, but what is the most straightforward and clear way to discuss a person in a proof when sources spell the person's name (given or surname) differently, as they often do? 

I find that some authors:

use quotation marks within the sentence when referring to the differently spelled name to the source, others add [sic] after the varied spelling, and others use neither of these, perhaps supposing the reader will pick up on this by simply reading the citation.

Wrapping my Head Around the GPS

I have no trouble understanding the five items involved in the GPS when it comes to ancestors more than 2 or 3 generations back. Often there is not a single record that states who someone’s parents are and in some cases, those records may be incorrect. Like an incorrect surname of a parent. Or there may be more than one person with the same name.

Where I have trouble is applying the GPS to myself & my parents & some of my grandparents. 

Missing dates

In this revolutionary war bounty land claim, the widow requests an award of land. Fairly straightforward, and it's part of the pension file, no big deal. BUT a closer look makes me wonder. The page is here but is a paid site. 

There are no dates for either her husband's death or her marriage. The clerk didn't write them in, or she didn't know, or ...? She is illiterate and so will be trusting to those around her for what she signs, but not having dates seems off. 

Mountain / mole hill?



Death certificate

Not really an issue just some food for thought. The death certificate is from Auschwitz. It contains a wealth of information, address in The Netherlands, father and mother, and cause of death (heart attack).

The first item to consider is the certificate number of 21427 for the year 1942. The implication is that by August the camp has had 21000 deaths that were recorded. As 17 August is the 229th day of the year, that implies a death rate of over 900 per day.

Personal Knowledge for Names and Birthdays - Primary vs. Secondary

Hi, I'm curious about how I should classify my personal knowledge of another person's full name, maiden name, and birthday. Let's say my mother, for example. I obviously was not present at her birth, but I have celebrated her birthday with her every year that I can recall. Does that give me primary knowledge of the day, but not the year? Or would my knowledge be considered entirely secondary information?