Christine Rose, Genealogical Proof Standard: Building a Solid Case 4th Edition Revised, (San Jose, California: CR Publications) 2014.
Chapter 3 of this book, Evaluating the Records, is something we need to do, for everything we might consider putting into our genealogy database. I do this several times, during the process of my data entry.
- Looking at the description of the item in question. For example: the description of an online database. Who created the record group, what was it’s purpose, what am I looking at
- When crafting a Citation (I do this up front) I need to determine what I need for the Citation, but that also makes me think and evaluate why I want to use this record
- Evaluate this “new” record as it is entered in relationship with other records for a specific Event or Fact
- Does it make sense in context with the other information or does it present conflicting information
The best example I can think about is a profile I have in an Online Tree.
It looks straight forward, the information is cited appropriately. But, this view is only showing my “current thinking” or some might call it my conclusions. But, if I were to look at the Alternate Facts (ALT Facts), I have a different view.
As each of these entries were entered and cited, they were evaluated, made sense as stand alone entries and entered, but when I put the Census Records in context of the other records, there is conflicting information.
Although my current thinking, is that this person was born in Indiana, but I need to resolve the conflicting information. The “current thinking” is that this person was born 11 Mar 1824 in Indiana, based on an email from the family researcher and a Find-A-Grave entry. There were 7 other records that indicated this person was born about 1825, 1828 in Ohio or 1829, in Indiana.
There is conflicting information, as far as I am concerned. a year or two difference in the same place from Census Records, may be OK, but in this case, after evaluating the Birth Fact, I am not so sure.
Further evaluation of the data at hand, I find that the Contributor for the Find-A-Grave Memorial is the author of the Email that I had received for this profile.
Bottom line on this one, I am not sure that my “current thinking” is correct. I am not disagreeing with the family researchers, but I know that I must find a more reliable record, original if possible, to resolve this conflicting information. I have not completed my Reasonably Exhaustive Research.