Genealogy: Cite and verify every source

By Barry J. Ewell

I was given copies of some genealogy information for Christmas in 1990, but I didn’t pay too much attention to it for 14 years.

As I reviewed the materials in 2004, I found one genealogy line had ended in the late 1700s in North Carolina. I began the process of becoming familiar with the line and finally decided that I would like to see if I could extend it. Within a few weeks of research, I cracked the puzzle and was able to start moving the line out. Over a period of two years, I extended it several generations. I had carefully documented my research and was quite proud of what I had done. Continue reading

Genealogy: Tips for documenting your sources

By Barry J. Ewell

Do it right the first time! Whether the source is a newspaper, journal, court record, personal interview, letter or church record, write everything down while you still have the source in your hands.

The following are a few of the lessons I’ve learned about the value of documenting your sources:

Sources you can rely on. No one has a perfect memory, and some sources will have worse memories than others. The only source you can rely on is an “official” one: birth, marriage, death documents and other confirmable databases and indices. Even if Continue reading