The BIG reference was The Chicago Manual of Style, the sixteenth edition is available in hardcover (affiliate link) and electronic subscription. Fundamental part of any researcher’s library…assuming they ever want to write up some of their research. So, check, I have it on the shelf (along with various other style guides).
The genealogy companion to that is Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace (affiliate link) by Elizabeth Shown Mills. A digital version is expected to be launched this month (this is the kind of good tidbit you get from the Transitional Genealogists Forum which I mentioned last week, this tidbit had been posted by the esteemed author herself). Parts 1, Fundamentals of Evidence Analysis is fundamental to being the outstanding genealogist that you are. (Or outstanding reader of genealogy blogs that you are.)
Other core references are The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy (affiliate link) by Val D. Greenwood and The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy (affiliate link) edited by Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (sadly, who left the earth-bound genealogy community on 17 February of this year). Note that the current edition of The Source is also available in wiki format with Ancestry.com.
Core chapters in The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy (affiliate link) are chapter 1, Understanding Genealogical Research; chapter 4, Evaluation of Evidence; chapter 7, Organizing and Evaluating Research Findings; and chapter 9, Computers in Genealogy. This book also leads you to Genealogical Evidence: A Guide to the Standard of Proof Relating to Pedigrees, Ancestry, Heirship, and Family History (affiliate link) by Noel C Stevenson.
Also in this lesson, a chapter on “Evidence Analysis” by Donn Devine in Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians, (affiliate link) edited by Elizabeth Shown Mills was also recommended reading. (Remember, folks, this is the textbook for the ProGen Study Group that I’ve talked about before.) Reading this chapter leads the researcher to the following (there’s many more but these are the ones accessible to all my peeps):
- “Evidence and Sources–And How They Differ” by Donn Devine in Ancestry Magazine
- “Building a Case When No Record ‘Proves’ a Point” by Elizabeth Shown Mills in Ancestry Magazine
- “Evaluation of Evidence” by Kory L. Meyerink originally in Ancestry Newsletter
- Genealogical Standards of Evidence: A Guide for Family Historians (affiliate link) by Brenda Dougall Merriman
- An older Onboard Skillbuilding article was mentioned that is no longer in the Skillbuilding section of the Board for Certification of Genealogists (BCG) website but “Guidelines for Evaluating Genealogical Resources” by Linda Woodward Geiger is available
I’m still working through all of the material and making little diagrams (yes, related to what I’m reading). And we can talk more about this later. But I wanted you to get started on the same reading so we can really dig into it later.