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Source type for family stories


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#1 ke4tch



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Posted 03 December 2015 - 09:09 PM

Thanks for all the great posts, from a newbie. After lots of reading about sources and citations, I plan to start over, attempting to accurately record what I found and didn't find. Looking at several online Ancestry databases, I see a lot of Scranton families and can see how family history can help distinguish between them (e.g., the Scranton who wrote a letter inviting Lincoln to Rochester NY might be related to others in NY as early as the 1790 census, but you would have to trace them back to Connecticut to make any connection to my grandfather).

I remember that my grandfather died in Florida, living with his eldest daughter. This connects George born abt 1874 who lived in NY in 1940 and has headstone shared with his wife with birth date no death date in NY to George who died and was buried in Florida. Would you record this as Personal Knowledge?

My mother and her sisters often spoke about Grandad leaving Iowa for NY, they followed about a year later with their mother on the train. So is this secondhand? There was no 'formal interview', rather it was something they spoke of when reminiscing their childhood. What type of source would you use for this?

Similarly, there were many times that my Aunt Hester told the story about when she tried to get a copy of her birth certificate and learning that her name was Ester, and that another girl born the same time/place was a Hester supposed to be Ethel; apparently my grandparents weren't aware of this. What type of source would you use for this?

There is also a story that my g grandfather was poor and g grandmother was royalty so they came to the US to get married. I do NOT plan to record this unless I find some sources, believing the part that they immigrated from Germany and settled in Iowa, and using those as clues in my research.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

#2 Renee Zamora

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Posted 04 December 2015 - 09:32 AM

I use Personal Knowledge when someone living tells me something and then I write it down. It is listed under the name of the person telling me it. Then I record when I received that information and what it was. I have also copied the Personal Knowledge source template and added other fields that I wanted to it.


Those family legends may have value. Keeping the name of the teller together with what they said could offer some good clues. With them separated out by the informant it can over time help you see how reliable they were or not.


#3 ke4tch



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Posted 04 December 2015 - 02:50 PM

Thanks Renee!