Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sources? What's That?

There's nothing like being at the forefront of genealogy education. James Tanner reports from his front-line duty aiding a patron at a Family History Center:

"We focused on one family where the ancestors of both the husband and the wife were missing. I asked her where she had looked for information about her family and she gave me a blank look as if to say, what did I mean where did she look."

Read the whole thing over at Genealogy's Star. I don't always agree with Tanner's theoretical ideas, but his point here is spot-on: when we talk about the importance of "sources" we may think we're starting at the beginning, but we are already assuming a whole lot of stuff that many newcomers to genealogy do not know.

That would explain why so many emails to proprietors of unsourced trees go unanswered. And it shows once again that teaching is something that it is easy to do -- or appear to do -- but it is hard to do well.

Harold Henderson, "Sources? What's That?," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 31 January 2013 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

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