Using Original & Derviative Sources
Using Original and Derivative Sources: How to Evaluate Evidence
Finding the sources to reconstruct the lives of our ancestors is only half the challenge; the other half is understanding what those sources say. This lecture defines and discusses original and derivative sources, and explores their importance, challenges and relative reliability. One case study drawn from Only a Few Bones, a True Account of the Rolling Fork Tragedy and its Aftermath, together with two other examples, demonstrate how to derive the full informational content from a source; the importance of knowing the origin and purpose of the source; how to analyze and correlate the information in order to resolve conflicts; the difference between information and evidence; and how to test hypotheses to learn the true facts for each ancestor. It culminates in an understanding of the "Genealogical Proof Standard."