Two Rules to Break in Genealogical Research

Two Rules to Break in Genealogical Research, by Elizabeth Shown Mills

“The Name’s the Same” Rule: Identifying people is a significant challenge for historical writers—particularly people who played minor roles in an event or lived low-key lives. When we encounter records that bear the right name, in the right place and time, it is tempting to assume the record applies to our person of interest. The[…]Read more

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Citing Indexes & Finding Aids

Citing Indexes & Finding Aids

The following article describing the factors involved in citing indexes and finding aids in one’s genealogical research has been excerpted from Elizabeth Mills’ groundbreaking book, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, Third Edition Revised, with the author’s permission. “In the framework of history research, an index is usually a tool, rather than[…]Read more

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Genealogy Citing Image sources

Citing Derivatives & Imaged Sources: The Basics, by Elizabeth Shown Mills

The following essay was excerpted from Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, 3rd ed. Rev. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2017), p. 47, by the author, expressly for “Genealogy Pointers.” “The range of materials and media in use today defies standardization. When we examine a publication to define the elements that need recording,[…]Read more

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Citing Online Materials: The Basics, by Elizabeth Shown Mills

Citing Online Materials: The Basics, by Elizabeth Shown Mills

Online sources are publications, with the same basic elements as print publications. This core principle applies whether we are using a commercial site, a website created by an individual, or a social-networking site such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Within this framework, we have just four basic rules to remember: Rule 1: Most websites are[…]Read more

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Proof Argument

Proof, Proof Statements, Proof Summaries & Proof Arguments, by Elizabeth Shown Mills

In the following excerpt from her acclaimed book, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace. 3rd Edition Revised, Elizabeth Shown Mills explains that the terms proof, source, and evidence have different and distinct meanings. Moreover, a proof argument in genealogy must consist of a number of demonstrable components. Whether we are reading Ms.[…]Read more

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Genealogy Tips

Genealogical Facts, Assertions & “The Truth”

[Excerpted from Elizabeth Shown Mills, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, 3d ed. rev. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2017), pp. 18–22, §1.4, 1.11.] Our latest excerpt from Elizabeth Shown Mills’ classic work, Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, is one we would all do well to contemplate regularly as we  conduct our research,[…]Read more

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genealogy evidence analysis

“Family History Standards,” by Elizabeth Shown Mills

Excerpted from Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace,3d ed. rev. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2017), pp. 18–19, §1.5. “Modern family history (aka genealogy) draws heavily from law in its handling of evidence. However, family-history standards require a higher level of proof than does most litigation.  The justice system demands that a date[…]Read more

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