Monday, December 4, 2017

GenDoc Study Group: Chapter 12


Mastering Genealogical Documentation Study Group
Chapter 12 – Identifying Offline Publishers and Repositories
Marceline Beem

Reference:
Jones, Thomas W. " Identifying Offline Publishers and Repositories." In Mastering Genealogical Documentation, 125-133. Arlington, VA: National Genealogical Society, 2017.

This week’s chapter focuses on the where question – identifying publishers for offline sources and repositories of unpublished works.  The section on provenance was very helpful to me, as I have not used that very often, if ever, in my citations.
  
The provenance of a record refers to explaining who originally owned a record and how it got to the person who now owns it.  Discussing a record’s provenance isn’t required for every source, but it is helpful for unique documents in private ownership.  The discussion is included as a brief comment after the citation, and helps other researchers evaluate how reliable the information is for answering the research question.

In our homework for Chapter 6, I discussed my father’s ordination certificate, which he received in 1972.  If I cite this when writing about my father, I could include an explanation about how I received the document, or its chain of custody:

Certificate received by John A. Beem in 1972, and filed in personal papers by his wife, Betty A. Beem.  Received by the researcher, the daughter of John & Betty, from Betty in 2015.

Dr. Jones mentions that often researchers use provenance to locate an original record and then cite that original record, with no need to include a discussion of provenance in the citation. However, in the case of my father’s ordination certificate, this is the original record and very likely, the only copy. A discussion of the provenance would lend more credibility to the authenticity of the evidence.

My revised citation would now read as follows:


Christian and Missionary Alliance, Certificate of Ordination for John A. Beem, signed by Rev. Keith M. Bailey, committee chair, dated 15 Feb 1972; privately held by Marceline Beem, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Melrose, Florida, 2015. Certificate received by John A. Beem in 1972, and filed in personal papers by his wife, Betty A. Beem.  Received by the researcher, the daughter of John & Betty, from Betty in 2015. 

For an explanation of how I crafted the citation itself, refer back to the Chapter 6 homework.


Monday, November 13, 2017

GenDoc Study Group: Chapter 10



Mastering Genealogical Documentation Study Group
Chapter Ten – Numbered, Grouped, and Subgrouped Offline Sources

Marceline Beem



Reference:
Jones, Thomas W. "Citing Absent, Hidden, Obvious, and Perplexing Dates." In Mastering Genealogical Documentation, 95-112. Arlington, VA: National Genealogical Society, 2017.


This week’s chapter focuses on crafting citations for offline sources.  When the document or artifact cited is part of a group of documents, there are multiple levels to cite. Dr. Jones uses the analogy of nested Russian dolls to illustrate his point. The citation may group the nested levels from largest to smallest or smallest to largest, depending on the context.  My example this week will look at a receipt in a probate record from Putnam County, Florida.  









The receipt is for the purchase of limestone for the tombstone for James Baldwin, ordered from James S. Clark & Co, dated December 11, 1884.  The nested levels are

1. Putnam County, Florida
2. Clerk of Circuit Court
3. Probate Files
4. Probate packet 274, James Baldwin, first filed in 1884
5. Receipt from James S. Clark & Co. for limestone

In my blog post Where was James Baldwin Born?, I cited this source as follows:

Putnam County, Florida, probate file no. 274, James Baldwin (1884), receipt for limestone from James S. Clark & Co., 11 December 1884; “Florida Wills and Probate Records, 1810-1974,” digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 23 September 2016); the petition is imaged as p. 839 of Putnam County Probate Packets 236-277.

Today I would revise this to include the second layer - the Clerk of Circuit Court.  Because the Clerk of Circuit Court is responsible for many types of records, I am also revising the citation to indicate that I am viewing the probate files.  With this information, the first part of my citation now would be

Putnam County, Florida, Clerk of Circuit Court, probate files, #274 James Baldwin (1884), receipt for limestone from James. S. Clark & Co, dated December 11, 1884