Re: FH7 Evidence Based (Source-driven Data Entry) Templates

Jan Murphy

Hi, Dennis --

Re: your comment:

On Thu, May 13, 2021 at 8:56 AM Dennis <dpb.genealogy@...> wrote:

 This is purely a hobby to keep busy in my retirement and if those that follow have to do more in-depth research to find the source , then so be it. In a decade the internet as we know it may not even exist. EE/GPS may be eclipsed by another take on the subject.

I am a hobbyist, too, but I'm also a fallen-away academic and a researcher, so I can't help digging deeper into things.  I bring my love of jigsaw puzzles and logic puzzles along with me.  But just because I like 1000 piece jigsaws doesn't mean that everyone has to do them.  Choose whatever level of work you're comfortable with!  

I like to look at that quote from the beginning of EE to remind myself not to get caught up into the fine details of templates, but rather to think about whether I understand what I'm looking at.  

As for the GPS, my motto is simple. If the pros have a tool I can use to keep from shooting myself in the foot, why shouldn't I use it, too?  I break the five elements down into simpler language, like this:

- you don't want to search so narrowly that you miss out finding the goodies about your people
- understand your sources; make notes about what you saw and how you found it
- look at all the sources you find as a group, not just one by one
- if sources disagree, try to figure out why that might be
- write up what you concluded and why, so you can remember what you were thinking

Put in those terms, does the GPS sound that bad?    

The same goes for the Evidence Analysis Process Map.  It seems intimidating at first, but once you start using the process enough, it becomes easier to think about.  It answers the question "How do you know what you know?"

One more link from the Evidence Explained website: EAM & GPS: Newsflash! Siblings, not Twins

Even if you don't want to do a full-out deep dive, a simple thing we can do for analysis is to make a timeline for a person by putting all the sources we have for a person on a timeline in the order the records were created, not in the order of the events described inside. Delayed birth records -- birth certificates issued in the USA in the 20th century, for people who were born before statewide registration began --  may have been issued later in life, and listing them when they were applied for or granted shows at a glance how far removed they are from the person's actual birth.  

Hobbyists may not want to use the GPS and the Evidence Analysis all the time (though keeping a research journal to record your thoughts may be useful).  But if you have a hard problem to crack, why not use tools that can help?  That's the way I see it, anyway.  Personally, I think Mills' approach for evidence analysis is sound and will hold up for a long time. 



Jan Murphy
Moderator Pro Tempore

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