APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2006-02 > 1140454748
From: Holly Timm <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Cite Your Sources!?
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2006 11:59:08 -0500
It is my understanding that a source - an item from which we obtain
information - is original or derivative. The information within the source
is primary or secondary and many sources contain both primary & secondary
information. A tombstone would generally be an original source, regardless
of when it is placed [unless it is specifically a copy of an earlier stone]
although some or all of the information on it may be secondary.
I think some of the semantic difficulties arise from the use of the term
source to include both the item [tombstone, death certificate, etc.] and
the data within [death date, birth date, parents names].
At 10:19 AM 2/20/2006 -0500, Margaret Waters wrote:
>My understanding of the terms used to describe sources and evidence comes
>from Thomas Jones' article in the March 1998 issue of the NGS Quarterly. A
>source is anything and everything a genealogist might use to try to
>determine "facts" about an individual or family. Sources provide "evidence"
>that can be used to try to figure out the "facts". I think the terms,
>original, deriviative, primary, secondary, etc. are more useful when applied
>to evidence rather than sources. One source can provide multiple types of
>evidence. A source is usually a tangible object such as a tombstone, deed or
>book. "Evidence" is the mental process of analyzing what information the
>One tombstone may have been placed by a daughter who took care of her mother
>until her death. If the daughter ordered the stone shortly after her
>mother's death, the date of death on the stone is very likely to be
>accurate. This piece of information might be noted in a discussion of the
>"evidence" as shown by the tombstone. Another tombstone may have been placed
>by a grandson because the original marker disappeared. A discussion of the
>"evidence" in this second case would point out the long time delay between
>the death and the placing of the stone. It is even possible that the
>grandson never knew his grandparent. In both cases, the tombstone is the
>source. The various adjectives are more appropriately applied to the
>"evidence" found in a source.
>Now I've taken my turn to go out on a limb.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Kenneth Aitken" <>
>Sent: Monday, February 20, 2006 8:47 AM
>Subject: Re: [APG] Cite Your Sources!?
> > In my ignorance, I'm going to speak up on this issue and declare that the
> > gravestone is an riginal source.
> > Bear in mind that as you say, sources are original or derivative. And that
> > fact is independent of the information contained-- i'm a little shakey on
> > that point. So an original document can contain primary or secondary
> > information.
> > My thinking is this. A father goes into the county court and registers the
> > birth of his son. A clerk charged with this task writes down the
> > information. A son goes into the monument carver and gives him the
> > particulars on his father for the gravestone. The carver, responsible for
> > his work, writes it down. Both are original sources.
> > In both cases the informant could misinform the recorder. In both cases
> > recorder could make mistakes. In neither does this factor change the fact
> > that a record is being created.
> > So, shoot me full of holes>
> > Ken
> > --
> > Kenneth G. Aitken
> > Family History Education Services
> > 2426 Dewdney Avenue East
> > Regina, SK S4N 4V5 Canada
> > www.genealogy-education.com
> > ==== APG Mailing List ====
> > The Association of Professional Genealogists
> > http://www.apgen.org/publications/apg-l/index.html
>==== APG Mailing List ====
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|Re: [APG] Cite Your Sources!? by Holly Timm <>|