Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Always Cite Your Sources

I wish someone had drilled this into my brain when I started researching my ancestors:  Always Cite Your Sources.  The thing is, I wouldn’t have understood the importance of this at the time, and later I didn’t see it as important because nobody else in my family seemed interested in genealogy.

Has this situation changed?  Not much, really.  But I have found a new audience – myself.  I have managed to find so many ancestors – and so many potential ancestors – that I need to have sources for each one. When I come back to Ancestor A, after working through Ancestors B thru Z, often I find myself thinking: “That’s a useful ancestor.  She actually links in with Ancestor M.  Where did I find out about her?” And I   Innocent until proven guilty? Nah.  ‘Nothing to do with me’ until proven otherwise.
have been sent so much suspect information through the years, that, instead of jumping for joy at the new connection I have made, I regard Ancestor A with the narrowed eyes of misgiving.

So, if you’re just starting out – please, please, cite your sources.  Even if you think I’m ever so slightly insane right now, do it anyway.  Your ancestors will thank you later.

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