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Archive for October, 2009

Give Your Documents the Third Degree

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

When questioning your documents, there are more questions to ask than just if your Aunt Maude might have “corrected” a few things in the family Bible. Who created it? Did the author have any first hand knowledge? Did the author have any reason for bias? When was it created? Calendar changes and different ways of […]

Do Your Documents Have a Shady Past?

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Historical documents are complex things. Far more complex than we might first expect. Each document exists as at least two separate things—first as a physical object, and second as a collection of information, independent of any physical form. In two earlier posts (Don’t Believe It! and Genealogy Without Documentation Is…), I’ve discussed a few things […]

Seeing Like a Pioneer

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

To try to understand the people that I’m researching, I like to try to think like them and to look at my surroundings like a pioneer. Often that means thinking like a pioneer in the forests of eastern North America. The next time you are walking in the woods, try this experiment. Do your best […]

Authors, Authorities and Reading in Focus

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

One of the most exciting things in researching any topic occurs when one stumbles across an unexpected bit of information, information that seems beyond the topic but that is interesting nonetheless. In a perfect world we would live happily ever after with our new found fact firmly in hand—but the world isn’t perfect. Authors are […]