Monday, January 22, 2018

GenDoc Study Group: Chapter 17

Mastering Genealogical Documentation Study Group
Chapter 17 – Documenting on Your Own
Marceline Beem

Jones, Thomas W. "Documenting on Your Own." In Mastering Genealogical Documentation, 181-184. Arlington, VA: National Genealogical Society, 2017.

We have (finally?) made it to the end of the book! The last chapter pulls everything together and shows us how to create our own citation that answers Who, What, When, Whereis and Wherein, using a 10-step process.  I love the suggestion of crafting the citation on your ow and then looking at Evidence Explained to see how well your citation matches up. I’ve often thought about doing this, but haven’t done so yet.  Now that I have a better understanding of crafting citations, I plan to make this part of my research process.

In 1965, my grandmother traveled from her home in Erie, Pennsylvania to visit her family in Alabama.  I know this from a copy of a fishing license issued to her in Blount Springs, Alabama.  The original certificate is in my aunt’s possession.  

Fishing license issued to Marceline Thomas in 1965

Using the 10-step process in the chapter, I can answer the five questions as follows:

Who:  The state of Alabama issued the license.  The information on it was provided by Marceline Thomas, who signed the document when it was issued.
What: Non-resident fishing license, no. 18971
When: The license was issued July 6, 1965
Whereis: privately held by Sherry Thomas Schnarrs of Erie, Pennsylvania, daughter of Marceline Thomas.  
Wherein: not applicable

Using this information, my citation for this document would be:

State of Alabama, non-resident fishing license no. 18971, issued to Marceline Thomas on July 6, 1965, privately held by Sherry Thomas Schnarrs [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], Erie, Pennsylvania.  The personal information on the license was provided by Marceline Thomas, who signed the license when it was issued. Sherry Thomas Schnarrs is the daughter of Marceline Thomas.


I’ve really enjoyed this study group – both the topic and the panelists! I’ve learned a lot, but feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface.  I have other books I want to read, but am adding this one back to the reading list to study again in the near future. 

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