Since returning from Roots Tech 2012, the above question has been on my mind. In reading Blog posts this morning, I ran across this:
Actually, this issue, for me, has been around for a while. There are terms that are used within the genealogy community that I am trying to understand. Terms like Conclusion Person, Evidence Person are the other terms that I have been wrestling with.
In Michael’s blog, he makes this statement: “every fact is a conclusion”. There is where my question comes into play as the subject of this blog post.
While working with two friends and Genea-Bloggers, I realize that they enter data into their genealogy software different that what I do. I suspect that the Conclusion Person, and Evidence Person terms fall into about the same area.
Michael goes on to talk about “reasonably exhaustive search”. I have listened to him talk about that topic as well. I think that Dr. Thomas Jones, in the Inferential Genealogy program, that I have blogged about is the same subject, just a different title.
While at Roots Tech, I think I understand why I enter my data into my software as soon as I find it. It appears that my two blogging friends may not enter the data as soon as they find it. But backing up a moment, I think it may be that I started doing my family research and documenting it, with a genealogy software database. The other terms mentioned above came from work done as Genealogy Software was first being developed. I think that point would have been when PAF was the only game in town.
So, the question remains, When to enter data, and maybe what data, into my program. Every fact that I enter into my program is NOT a conclusion. I may never have a conclusion. In my “reasonably exhaustive search” I am collecting evidence as I go, in hope that I am able to reach a conclusion. But I can not say that everything I enter is a conclusion. So, does that mean that I don’t enter that data into my program.
To be fair, maybe the other issue here is that “they” are professionals, and I am a hobbiest. I am trying to find the stories about my family / ancestors.
The only way I can look toward a conclusion, is by looking at the evidence that I have found along the way. What records have I looked at, what did I see, have I looked everywhere? I record and cite the data and review that data. Look for conflicting information, information that doesn’t look right, but, for me, my program lets me SEE what I have collected. It also allows me to select the “preferred” fact. That would be the current Conclusion for that fact, but it may change with the next record I find, in my journey toward the reasonably exhaustive search.
From what I can tell, my two Genea-Blogging friends may NOT enter each bit of information that they find. I don’t know for sure, but that it what it appears to have happened.
Perhaps the real issue is the Genealogy Pre and Post Genealogy Software programs. I can see that in the many family group sheets that a cousin shared with me. Nicely hand written or typed, then one could say that what was on the family group sheet was full of Conclusions.
My question is, When do I enter data into my software? I guess that would also mean What Information goes there. OR am I confused between the Paper world of family research or the Paperless world of family research. OR is it that the professionals have an “end” to their research, for a client for example, and my work may never be “done”. I am still looking for more about the people hanging out in my tree.
Still would like to know what an Evidence Person is, and a Conclusion Person is, with the Genealogy Software Programs that we have available. OR should I just not worry about it.
I would be very interested in hearing other’s take on this “data entry” topic, either in comments here, email to me, or in your own Blog.
Thanks for listening.