Dear Myrtle is doing a Wednesday morning HOA (hangout on air) on the Quick Lessons of Elizabeth Shown Mills. I will try to participate as much as possible, but I have some healthy issues that are trying to make my life difficult so I am not sure how much I can do. This week is on:
QuickLesson 2: Sources vs. Information vs. Evidence vs. Proof
Elizabeth Shown Mills, “QuickLesson 2: Sources vs. Information vs. Evidence vs. Proof,”
Evidence Explained: Historical Analysis, Citation & Source Usage (https://www.evidenceexplained.com/content/quicklesson-2-sources-vs-information-vs-evidence-vs-proof :accessed 20 March 2016
Sources are the container for the information on them, and citations are the way we locate the source or container. We tend to put a degree of reliability on the information based on the source. For instance we tend to believe a birth record for a birth because the source or container is called a birth record. True one would expect to find birth information on a birth record, but that does not mean all the information on that record is correct or accurate or even complete. There are birth records that have the wrong name because the parents decided they wanted to call the child something else after they filled out the record and some do not have a name on them at all.
For example my grandmother had a sister named Pearl who was born in 1910 and died 7 days later. I have both of these records and neither of them has her name on it. Yet all the family records give the child a name. So in order to prove that this child is Pearl I need to look at other sources and find additional information, Thankfully my grandmother left a written record of her family that lists Pearl with the exact birth and death dates of this unknown child.
Another example of having to look for additional information is citizenship records. I have been indexing these records for a while for FamilySearch. The page with the Oath of Allegiance does not list the place of birth, but it does list the country the person was a citizen of prior to becoming a US citizen. Some people do not realize the information about the prior allegiance is not necessarily the birth place. A person born in England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Canada and other British countries will denounce their allegiance to the Queen or King of Britain and yet Britain is not the country of birth. In these cases people are misinterpreting the information. They did not understand that one needs additional information in order to determine place of birth.
In both of these examples one needed to look in several sources in order to obtain enough evidence to complete the information being sought after.