MPG Study Group 2 Chapter 4 Homework
My Chapter Four Homework Assignment
Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013), 6. [Book available from the publisher athttp://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/mastering_genealogical_proof ]
“Dear Myrtle’s” Mastering Genealogical Proof 2 Study Group
Practice, Practice, Practice!!!
I love Thomas W. Jones approach to teaching us in his book, Mastering Genealogical Proof (MGP). He uses the “Math Book” approach. Do you remember back in school how you would read the chapter, answered the questions at the end and were able to review your answers in the back of the book? That is his approach. The KEY was to practice what you read until it became second nature to you.
Chapter four was one of those challenging practice session that I couldn’t grasp right away. Math was never my strong point even in school. They teased my I couldn’t add 1 +1 and come up with 2 unless it was in the metric system. I did learn at my own pace with PRACTICE, PRACTICE and ore PRACTICE. That is what I did with chapter four in MGP. It didn’t help that I was dealing with the springtime “bug” that was circulating in my neighborhood; making it more difficult to concentrate. I did learn. Here is my take on what I learned.
Dr. Jones reminds us in each chapter the importance of remembering the basic and must have reasons for citations; Support your genealogical proof summary by:
- Reasonably exhaustive search of all available records, newspapers, Bibles and any other sources you can think of
- Use the less error prone, original or as close to original source, as possible
- Cite all components positive or “negative” you have searched
- Use a narrative whenever possible to explain your findings.
When you first cite a source you use the long form of genealogical citation. Later sources can be cited with the short form. Does that sound confusing? It did to me until I learned this trick.
(Remember this in my take on how to cite my source as I have read this chapter. I welcome any feedback that what I have preserved is correct or needs further tweaking. After all the purpose of this Study Group is to learn from our mistakes until it becomes second nature for us.)
Dr. Jones teaches us the importance of answering five questions regardless if published or unpublished:
Who: author, compiler, or note taker
What: Title of the source, book, Bible, Newspaper, Journal article, etc.
When: Date of creation
Where is: Where did you find the source, repository, newspaper, online, etc.
Where in: Where is it located in the source; page, web address or is it not noted
My trick to distinguish between long and short citations and Reference/source lists is as follows:
For Published Sources
The long form answers all five questions, used when you first cite a source answering all five questions in the order listed above: Who, What, When, Where is and Where in.
(Willis M. Kemper, Genealogy of the Kemper Family: Descendants of John Kemper of Virginia, 1899 Chicago: George K. Hazlitt, page 79)
The short form is used for later citations of the source answering three of the five questions; Who, What, and Where in.
(Kemper, Genealogy of the Kemper Family, 79.)
The long form minus the page number is used for source lists answering four of the five questions: Who, What, When, Where is.
(Kemper, Willis M., Genealogy of the Kemper Family: Descendants of John Kemper of Virginia. Chicago: Geo. K. Hazlitt, 1899)
The above citations are for published sources. If the source is unpublished the same five questions are required but in a different order.
The long form answers all five questions, used when you first cite a source answering all five questions in the order: Who, What, When, Where in and Where is
(Willis M. Kemper, Genealogy of the Kemper Family: Descendants of John Kemper of Virginia, 1899, page 79, Chicago: George K. Hazlitt.)
The short form answers the questions; Who, What, When in, the same as for published sources:
(Kemper, Genealogy of the Kemper Family, page 79)
The source list citation can be listed several ways answering questions Who, What and where is; Where, what, when and where is; or What and Where is.
The bottom line is; If you use a source do the best you can in making a citation to answer the five questions. If someone who follows your work can find it you have done your job.
On the other hand, all sources that will be published for a scholarly journal require you follow the Genealogical Standards for Citations that Dr. Jones has mentioned in his book. I personally would seek help from a professional.
It doesn’t matter what type of source you have, journal, book, authored, unpublished, websites or interviews; ALL require that you try to answer the five questions of citations. Not all sources will have answers for t all five questions; you answer the questions you can.
Practice! Practice! Practice is the best way to become comfortable with source citation. I am still at the practice stage. I may always be there but that is okay with me because I am citing my sources to the best of my ability. When it is time to publish my work I will seek help from a Genealogy Professional who is proficient in Source Citation.
Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013), 6. [Book available from the publisher athttp://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/mastering_genealogical_proof ] , Chapter 4, Appendix A and Appendix B.