QUEBEC-RESEARCH-L Archives

Archiver > QUEBEC-RESEARCH > 2004-04 > 1081807350


From: "Kevan Barton" <>
Subject: RE: [Q-R] PRDH Problem
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2004 18:02:52 -0400
In-Reply-To: <00ec01c420bf$a83d5290$6601a8c0@universil6ghn6>


This is outstanding news indeed. I applaud your efforts and agree that I've
not seen anything like the PRDH, anywhere. As a subscriber of the QRL, I've
noted a high dependence and faith among subscribers for the data on the
PRDH. I was one of them. Too much faith in a genealogical source, however,
usually means the researcher becomes lazy and then forgets to be ever
cautious about confirming secondary sources with the primary. I'd consider
the certificates on PRDH to be pretty darn close to being the primary
source, certainly the best as it gets quite difficult wading through the
original parish registers. The family view is an extraction of the
certificates and can only be considered a secondary source. It was
comparing that view with the certificates that showed the flaw in the data
basing. I do understand the demographic study needs you described.
However, the dependence people were showing for the PRDH, especially those
that don't subscribe (it appears that many that do subscribe knew of the
problem), pushed me to send the note. I could not stand by and see people
call a birth date, the baptism date and vice versa. I'm certain you
understand my motives and I applaud that something will be done about it.

On the second issue I brought up, I will still stand by what I said. The
family views built for data in the post-1750 period are not nearly as
complete as those built for pre-1750 data. That break point between
complete and non-complete certainly has a margin of error, however. I have
found many couples that do not even have a family view. I have found family
views that do not contain all the children for which the PRDH does hold
certificates. I've pondered the reason and had always assumed it was
because these families transcend the 1799 holding wall of the PRDH. People
that use the PRDH need to know these facts so they don't become dependent on
the family view as I had.

My purpose was not to lambaste the PRDH, but to simply describe its
structure and to break people's absolute faith in the data basing procedures
of the PRDH. As it appears that the initial problem will be remedied, then
my speaking out paid great dividends for both the genealogist and the PRDH.
The PRDH is truly an outstanding effort. I applaud it and am always
astounded by what I find.

I don't know if you responded to my msg sent to the PRDH or just picked up
on the thread. I assume the later. Regardless, the PRDH was sent a copy of
the thread by me. When I find wrong connections in the DB, I will certainly
post the problem to PRDH as I did this one. However, I will also let the
folks on QRL know of the problem. Just as in any genealogical finding, we
share them. That's what makes the QRL such an outstanding mailing list.
I've never seen such generosity.

Please keep in mind the QRL is for genealogical research and it is paramount
that people speak out where they find a problem as big as this one. A rose
is a rose is a rose. A birth is a birth, not a baptism, at least for
genealogists.

Cheers,
Kevan



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