Friday, January 25, 2013

Follow-Up Friday - Helpful Reader Comments

On Friday, I try to follow-up my recent blog posts by posting answers to reader questions and pass along helpful and interesting reader comments.  Here is this week's selection:

1)  On "Principles of Pinball Approach to Genealogical Research" Defined and Discussed (23 January 2013):

*  The Lurking Genealogist noted:  "I have always wondered when "enough is enough" regarding my research. I also considered the fact that I want to leave behind quality research, or at least the research to the best of my ability. It is with that in mind that for the most part, I am working on my direct lines and the siblings down one generation. If I can do that well, then I will be leaving research that others can build on. I also think that others bear the responsibility of doing their research to the best of their ability. In fact, no one person can do it all and do it well. Just my thought."

My comment:  Amen to "No one person can do it all and do it well."  As time goes on, I hope that you will continue to do more generations in your research.  You may be the only person with the information and capability to do it.

*  JL Beeken commented:  "I'm interested in all my lines but more interested in the closer generations and the generations closer to my direct lines. After 6 or 8 generations even the direct lines seem somewhat 'collateral'. Since there are several co-researchers involved in these lines, who knows where the 'endpoint' is.

"My collateral lines are someone else's direct lines and as far as accuracy goes, I do my best but when it comes down to it, I leave the collaterals to those someone else's. I've seen so much inaccuracy online (and in official records) for my direct lines, I figure that door swings both ways."

My comment:  I have essentially the same views - the closer generations are "mine" and in many cases, no one else is researching them (but that doesn't keep the persons and events from being added to someone else's family tree).  I rely on the sourced research of others for the earlier (past 8 generations before me) ancestral families.

*  mbm1311 said:  "My family is from Ireland and I'm so proud to be connecting these people together again. So I'm researching my collateral lines and FAN people (baptismal sponsors). Because it's such a big job I'm sticking to vital recs, obits and census. My goal is to create an accurate data base because I know from my husbands family that over time, some one(s) will pick up on that and do more research. With today's technology and repositories we have the chance to lay a great foundation for ongoing research."

My comment:  Good luck with your project.  

*  Barbara Renick offered:  "I teach a class on evaluating what you have found (just did so at the Family History Expo in Mesa, AZ last weekend) where I explain ten points to use to evaluate what you have found (or compiled into a family group record) and if any three of those points is present you are out of luck and need to do more support research (FAN etc.) to strengthen your compilation. Thus the "3 Strikes and You're Out" name for that part of the lecture."

My comment:  Unfortunately, I haven't seen this presentation - I think it's new.  I hope that Barbara will present it in the San Diego area sometime soon!  Or as a webinar.

*  Pam S. wrote:  "I have been reading your posts for over a couple of years and just wanted you to know that you have helped me advance my technology on researching. Thank you for all the knowledge you are producing on your website and to everyone out there."

My comment:  Thank you, Pam, I appreciate comments like this.  There are many genealogy writers and bloggers that contribute to the education of the genealogy world, and I'm happy to be a small part of it.

*  Mariann Regan commented:  "Here's my favorite among your sentences: 'Of course, they are all derivative sources - but they are all derived from 'official' records.' I think that's a very meaningful distinction. There's a vast difference between those cloned public trees on Ancestry and an 'official' Immigration record or Death Certificate. We can't double-check everything right away, and we have to start somewhere. As we deepen our searches, we can add sources. I think you're playing Well-Informed Pinball here, and as long as you're not presenting it as final proof, and you aren't, your results are helpful toward finding connections and enriching your information."

My comment:  I'm collecting evidence when I'm enriching my database.  The entire collection for a person, and for their family members, needs to be critically evaluated to ensure that each bit of evidence applies to the person and family.  As we gain experience, we learn which resources can be trusted and used with confidence.

*  Claire Keenan Agthe noted:  "I'm sure it's probably evident from the event / place to which you link this source, but reading just the source itself, I can't help wondering, Is this New Brunswick, Canada, or New Brunswick, NJ, or some other New Brunswick (Indiana)? My first thought was Maine, but there's no 'New' there, just plain old 'Brunswick.' Shouldn't the full place location be in the citation to be really clear to researchers?"

My comment:  It is evident from the place entered for the event in the database, but yours is an excellent suggestion.  I could have placed "[Canada]" in the source citation, and will try to do that on the blog also (where the place for the event is not always specified).

*  Claire Keenan Agthe commented:  "My thought on seeing the rocks and the beach, and the bundled-up women, was, 'It looks like a Maine beach.' (Growing up with NJ beaches as my reference point, I was shocked to see what Mainers consider a beach the first time I was in New England). Are you sure it's in the San Diego area? Maybe West Coast came to visit East Coast, rather than the other way around... My only experience with CA beaches was dark, coarse sand, not the light sand in the picture--but I'm sure you know more about CA beaches than I do!"

and:  "Interestingly enough, I just recently was given a copy of a photo of my grandmother and two of her sisters at a NJ beach in (if memory serves) 1931. Granted, it's 10 years later than yours, but my photo shows all three in (extremely modest) bathing suits. Your ladies being fully dressed does suggest to me that it's a beach (like Maine) that's too cold for sunbathing."

My comment:  While the San Diego area has several wind/wave carved cliffs like the picture, most of our beaches are small grain grayish sand (not the fine white sand I saw in Florida, or the coarser dark gray sand I see in the San Francisco area).  The ladies being fully dressed suggests to me that they went to the beach for sightseeing and a photo opportunity rather than swimming or sunbathing.  The air temperatures at the San Diego beaches are typically 65 to 75F in the early summer, ocean temperatures peak at about 70F in late summer, and it may have been too cold for swimming or sun bathing (I have fond (?) memories of bundling up on the 4th of July at the beach!). 

It could have been an East Coast picture, since these families maintained a correspondence, and I know that Emily's daughter visited her cousins in Massachusetts in the early 1920s.  Where on the New England coast are there wind and wave carved cliffs or rock formations like those shown? 

*  anitab noted:  "I was just looking (yesterday) at a photo of my grandmother and her sister, taken on a 1925 trip from Los Angeles to Vancouver, BC; and the thing I am struck by is the similarity in the glasses. Maybe they wore those glasses when they were in an open car?"

My comment:  You may be right - that makes good sense.  However, I know that Emily had eyesight problems and wore glasses all of her life (as have I!).

*  Jason Crews asked:  "I really wish that they would give us an option to produce the report with footnotes rather than endnotes.... Randy have you found a way to do this?"

My response:  NO, and I also wish that they would.  RootsMagic and Legacy Family Tree have footnote options for narrative reports - why doesn't Family Tree Maker?  When I want a narrative report with footnotes, which is my preference, I use RootsMagic or Legacy.  I hope that Family Tree Maker adds a Footnote capability to the narrative reports.

6)  Thank you to my readers for their comments.  I know that the Captcha "feature" is difficult to overcome at times, and appreciate your persistence.

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

jay at 1familytree said...

You should try the new SLIDING QAPTCHA , your readers will not be frustrated...

and specifically for your blogger