Monday, November 23, 2009

Methodology Monday with Coin-Coin

The APG Great Lakes chapter's article discussion this month was Elizabeth Shown Mills's "Documenting a Slave's Birth, Parentage, and Origins (Marie Therese Coincoin, 1742-1816): A Test of 'Oral History'" from the December 2008 National Genealogical Society Quarterly (96:245-66).

The article operates on two levels, just as the double title suggests. On one level it's a vivid reminder that "tradition" and "local lore" have an amazing amount of junk encrusted around a possible inner pearl of truth. On another level, it's a demonstration of how to prove ancestry in circumstances when many genealogists would despair. If you like indirect evidence and conflicting evidence, you'll love this article. It definitely repays rereading. Mills also lectured from the same material at FGS Little Rock earlier this fall, so there's a companion CD from Jamb Tapes, Inc., in St. Louis.

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