Referencing reports not yet written :)

Yes I do mean that in the title. So I'm on the path of "leveling up" my own family tree (Thank You Yvette for the blog post). Let's not discuss how accurate the early teenaged researcher was and what the more seasoned researcher is now finding, let's just say some of the early work is as firm as Birnham wood.

So, I'm at James Pickering Lynn, his parents (according to the previous research) are Emsley Lynn and Mary Hammett. No birth certificate. I'm "pretty sure" this ones right, but as I'm working backwards the only source I have for the parental link is the 1850 census. And, before everyone jumps, nope, that isn't sufficient to meet the GPS as a parental link. Now, again, I'm pretty sure on this one, but I haven't written the level up report for Emsley and especially Mary as that will likely be a long proof argument.

The question becomes what should I say in the report on James regarding his parents; nothing, note it's unproven, I'm going to write it, edit after I write the next report, I write a stub report and cite it, I ...


Submitted byEEon Fri, 12/03/2021 - 12:51

cryptoref, I'm interpreting your description to mean that you are writing for your own files, not for publication. If you were publishing in a major journal, your editors would be reluctant to say, in essence, "This will  be addressed in a future publication; in the meanwhile, just take my word for it."  However, in your own private files, as you work step by step, there is no reason why you cannot add a note that "XYZ will be the subject of a proof argument that will appear in ..."

Submitted bycryptorefon Fri, 12/03/2021 - 15:49

Yes, that is the key. I'm going to "publish" on my website, for all to see, but I'm not submitting to a journal. So yes, I just need the pointer that I'm going to get to the proof argument in the course of events.

If I was submitting for a journal, I need to not mention the parents, in this case, as I do not have a proof available. And if the parents were important to the case I was building, i'd have to include the necessary proof.

Another suggestion, since you say you will be publishing the biographies at your website ...

As you know, I do a variant of this at  Rather than biographies, I'm publishing research reports, many of which are interconnected as your biographies are. Often, my reports are county-based and, often, I have several reports in progress at once—each on a different county but all related because the persons of interest lived in or did business in those multiple counties.

Frequently, an assertion that I make in one county-level report requires a citation to a discussion within the another county's report—and vice-versa. In those cases, I typically hold one report until I'm done with the other, then post them both under the same date.


Submitted byMichael Haiton Tue, 12/07/2021 - 15:52

If the only evidence that you currently have is the 1850 US census, and acknowledge that the identification of the parents is as yet unproven, then how about:

"The parents of XYZ may be ABC and DEF."

Then cite the 1850 census that documents that hypothesis.

The hypothetical existence of a hypothetical future proof argument does not change what you have actually done and/or not done, what records you have accessed and/or not accessed. We only cite what we use.

On Wikipedia, hyperlinks connect existing articles. Occasionally you run across a broken link to an article that does not exist. With the interconnecting biographies you plan for your end product, you don't want to create "broken links." You can always go back to this report and edit the citation to reference the proof argument for the parents at some later point, once it has been written (documenting somewhere, of course, the nature of the edits and the date of editing). In other words, create a link when you have created the page, but not before.