Lately, as you know, I have been struggling with my lineage report. By Tom Jones’s admission on the BCG videos, it is the most complex report of all that are written. Should I cite as I go along? Should I write some and then cite? What if I do not have the source for the citation (doesn’t happen often)? What if I want to include information about X but I have no source at all? What if the source is in Iowa and I cannot go there to get it?
Well, these are all issues I have faced this past few days. Here is what I did to assist with some of these questions:
- I decided to do a little writing and a little citing! It seemed like the right balance. I actually like the act of writing the citations.
- I went to my public library and copied the Elizabeth Shown Mills September 1999 NGS special edition about Evidence. I particularly liked the graphic way she defined the words sources, information and evidence.
- I asked a friend of mine in Iowa to see if they had the birth certificates I was looking for. They were supposed to be at the county level. Unfortunately they didn’t have any of them, so I have to go to the state. I might not get them for two months! She, however, did find the land purchase document for my ggrandfather’s farm and I am excited to get that!
So, sometime we just have to incrementalize what we are doing, make a list and check things off.
This will be my last post until mid-next week. Happy hunting!
What I have done since the last post: copied many of the recent NGS annual writing awards (usually lineage reports) to get ideas about my own. Big takeaway: have a theme for your lineage and do not be afraid to write narrative at the beginning to provide context.