Not everyone agreed. For instance:
* Denise Spurlock commented: "Randy, I agree with you that the entries in a family Bible are an original source. If you were looking at a transcription of the entries, that would be derivative. The evidence provided by those entries is direct evidence of the date of the event (whether birth, marriage or death). What needs to be considered carefully is (to quote EE) "the informant's degree of participation or knowledge." Although someone certainly was present at their own birth, their knowledge of the event is secondary."
* Elizabeth O'Neal said: "I was also in Warren's class that day. I believe his point was that even though the person in question was present at her own birth, she did not have the mental capacity to know and understand it at the time it was happening. Thus the entry was made "after the fact," and thus, derivative. Also, he commented that the copyright date on the Bible was well after the date of all but one of the children's births, hence making those derivative. Not sure I agree with that.
"Personally, I think it's half and half: original information about the children's births, since the mother would certainly have been present at those (although not in the best frame of mind, from what I know of MY experience!), and derivative about one's own birth, and in this case, the birth location of the spouse. But I'm not sure I would want to argue any of this with Warren! ;-)"
* Eileen said: "If her parents recorded her birth in a bible they owned at the time of her birth (which they may have) that would have been an original source. Then if they parents got a new bible and copied the information to the new bible that would be a derivative source. In her case, her birth date is hearsay, so to speak, since she really was not aware of it at the time. To me the purpose of original versus derivative is the validity of the data. Even her parents could have made an error when copying information over to a new bible."
* Bart Brenner noted: "Interesting discussion! It seems to me, considering the arguments on both sides, that this becomes a judgment call for each of us. This is my "Pirates of the Caribbean" approach... The categories are guidelines, not rigid laws. Their function is to help us as we seek to resolve conflicts and develop sound, reasonable, and coherent conclusions."
* Dave noted: "This is why genealogists don't typically use the term original and derivative "source". We usually discuss "information". The handwritten bible is an original source. No question. If i go out and buy a bible and start putting in my family tree, the bible will still be an original source. If someone copies the information, it becomes derivative.
"Note, there is no discussion of the veracity of the information. Doesnt matter. Original refers to the source itself, the tangible thing. To qualify the data we talk about primary and secondary information. Bibles are usually secondary, but some information may be primary. If the author recorded the bitths of their children as they were born, its primary."
"Kay is also right ("this is secondary information and can't be relied upon to the degree that a source based on primary information can be"). Very large numbers of people did not know their own birth-date, and large numbers of parents did not know such a date, much less have a written record of it. I know of a relative who simply did not believe his official birth record because his name was not on the hospital certificate (many children were not named the same day as born)! "