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Lesson 2
Lesson 2
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Lesson 2
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Lesson 2

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This is the outline and script used during the powerpoint presentation on documentation entitled Creating a Legacy

This is the outline and script used during the powerpoint presentation on documentation entitled Creating a Legacy

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  • 1. Lesson 2 Creating a Legacy Welcome: Thank you for returning to class this week. I know this class may not deal with your direct goal right away. But be patient as we build a foundation for completing your goals. Opening Prayer: In our last lesson we learned from the scriptures that we are to present to Christ a record “worthy of all acceptation.” In order to have a record worthy of all acceptation, we are going to need to go through our family’s histories and clean them up. This brings us to tonight’s lesson: Creating a Legacy. We are going to be looking at some of the many places you will find information about family members and will be introduced to the process of documenting the facts. Slide 2: Quote from First Presidency 16 Jun 1995 Here is a quote from the First Presidency dated 16 Jun 1995 for all Church members. It says: “Members should be diligent in assuring the accuracy of all names submitted to the church for ordinance work.” Do you find this request consistent with D&C 128:24 about a record being “worthy of all acceptation”? This is why we are focusing one class period on this subject—our prophet has emphasized the need to do this and we should pay attention to what every prophet tells us we ought to do. Slide 3: Documentation? Why? Let’s look at reasons why this is so important. At the conclusion of the instruction part, I have an online tutorial for you to do tonight or at home if you prefer. It will demonstrate to you how to use some websites which may have records which are desirable in documenting. Slide 4: Family History Research Quotation Family History Research is more than genealogy data keeping. This kind of research should make ancestors more real to us—give us a closer connection to them and a greater understanding of their motivations. We do this by  describing the setting of the ancestor's culture, by placing them in history using a time line and by explanations about what their community was like. The things
  • 2. that were happening around them may have influenced moves they made or drove them to act in a specific way.  For example, I have a relative who was from South Carolina. He was a young man and was fighting in the Creek Indian Wars. I don’t know how he came to be fighting in a war in Alabama, but I suspect he was looking for land he could farm. Sometimes men enlisted in a war with the promise they would receive a tract of land when the war was over as compensation for fighting. He wrote to his family about his experiences and in one of his letters, he told his father and mother that the land around the Cahaba River, just south of Birmingham today, was the best farm land he had ever seen. He believed it was the most beautiful place on earth. After the war was over he went back to South Carolina and his father and mother and all of his siblings and some of the other families who lived around them moved to the Cahaba Valley and started farming. They developed the community, some becoming the preachers, lawyers, teachers, judges, and doctors in the area where my great great-grandparents were born and raised their families. Eventually my father was born and when he met my mother in California during WWII, he moved her to this same valley. Because of the research that has been done, I have the reasons why my family left South Carolina and why I was born and raised near the place where these great-great grandparents settled. There are records that verify they were either given land or bought land. Wills and probate records substantiate this information. These are documents which give proof and will stand the test of time. The point of this story is:  Trust no data without checking it out. This is one of the greatest challenges of family history research. Slide 5: Challenges of Family History Research We want to conduct our family history research in such a way that  Collection, analysis, and interpretation of information are carried out with maximum objectivity.  This means that any conditions which might introduce bias or prejudice must be avoided if at all possible.  Any conclusions should be written in such a way that a skeptical or interested investigator has enough information to be able to repeat the research and either confirm or invalidate the reported results.  Our conclusions should follow the request of the First Presidency that we “assure the accuracy of our records and they should stand the test of time. Proper documentation will result in greater accuracy. Slide 6: Documentation Allows Four Things • Evaluation of the reliability of the information. Knowing a source can help you identify information that you may want to verify with other types of records. It
  • 3. helps us check for errors and prevents others in our family from having to redo completed searches. • Replication –This provides enough information so that another person could easily obtain a copy of the record. • Tracking—This means what it says. Keep track of the research you do as you work so you do not forget what you have done. Record research efforts that reveal no information as well as what did result in information. It saves us from repeated effort. • Citation means you give credit to the researcher who did the work and made a contribution. This includes your efforts also. Use your name in a citation, not the word "I" or "me", when referring to yourself. Slide 7: What Misinformation Creates  Many hours can be wasted searching in the wrong places when information is not well documented.  Locating the correct ancestral information will be delayed as you are spending time on a wild goose chase.  Family history becomes unsubstantiated family lore. I was told once that I descended from the Lady Jane Grey, who was queen of England for a few hours. History bears record that she was not married, had no offspring and was executed before her 20th birthday. So this was nothing more than unsubstantiated family lore.  Records submitted to other databases promulgate bad information worldwide. That is the danger of using some of the websites on the Internet. People want to share their information and grab it from all kinds of places. That is great in helping you find a clue to do your own research. But you should verify what is out there and document it yourself before sharing with the entire community. The church had a way for us to share our information called ancestral file. You can still access those records at familysearch.org. They stopped taking those because as you look at them, people submitted information that was already there and you will find many instances of sloppy research in those documents and no new information was added. The sources of the information were oftentimes left off. So now we need to clean up the mess that has been made and as we get into newfamilysearch, we will see the results of some really sloppy research.  Anyone trying to validate work will be unable to find your sources and  you become guilty of “Junk Genealogy” Slide 8: When is Documentation on an Individual Finished? Another question that gets asked a lot is when is my documentation on an individual finished? Since we are limited by our resources, we often must rely upon the work done by others and make judgments as to how accurate their information is. I have had strong impressions that certain information was correct, and I have had to make judgment calls to keep the information I have found until something else comes my way that
  • 4. substantiates what I have or refutes it. Sometimes I recognize the source of the information. I posted it with my sources, and someone else reposted it with my sources. That is okay. But it didn’t add to the knowledge already out there. I consider my research completed when I can find an original document. Sometimes we have to accept a substitute for an original document because originals are just not out there. When you find some kinds of data, it doesn't mean that you should stop researching, it means that you have a lead and depending on whether or not you are able and have the time and the records available, you will still work at confirming the accuracy of the data. If no more authoritative information turns up, your effort will have to suffice for the time being. Therefore, I conclude that there is no rule which says how much documentation you need. Just do not fail to cite your sources. A reader will someday recognize that further substantiation is necessary and they may have more information that comes their way than we currently have available. Slide 9: Our Objectives for Documentation We are going to work on documentation this week and next week. You will be asked to practice the principles of documentation with your file next week. So here is the plan:  Find information about your ancestors in your home or from other family members. Ask them where they got the information and record it. I will give you a source summary sheet to do that.  Understand the “Principles of Documenting” and “Principles of Family History Research.” Use these principles to verify the information your family has given you for at least one or two relatives.  Using computer software, completely enter all data for your two family’s group sheets (yours and your parents’ or another ancestor you are working on) including all documentation. If you already have a PAF file, I would ask that you choose someone in that file and use these principles to document the information that is there by trying to find a reliable source. Where do we begin searching for documents? Slide 10: Attic Treasures You may be surprised and thrilled by what you find in an attic. Sometimes you will find some official documents such as:  Certificates of birth, marriage, and death  Wills, land deeds, and property records, or tribal registration papers  Military service and pension documents  Passports
  • 5.  Naturalization documents  Medical records  Licenses (business, marriage, fishing, driving)  School records  Insurance policies Slide 11: Books and Albums  Book of Remembrance or written genealogies  Family Bibles  Scrapbooks and albums  Baby and wedding books  Old photographs & photograph albums Slide 12: Personal Writings  Journals and diaries  Personal histories and biographies  Letters and cards Slide 13: Printed Notices and Announcements  Obituaries & Newspaper clippings  Announcements of births, weddings, & anniversaries  Programs (award ceremonies, funerals)  Family reunion notices and records Slide 14: Military Memorabilia  Military memorabilia may have been saved because of their unique or emotional value.  Group pictures  Weapons and uniforms  Unit histories  Military discharge papers Slide 15: School Records  Report Cards  Registration papers naming parents  School yearbooks with pictures  Student essay written by a relative
  • 6.  Certificates of achievement  Diplomas Slide 16: Summary We document our work because:  Difficult to pick up where you leave off, if you get sidetracked. Life will interfere.  Deprive others of opportunity to review sources if we don’t include it with our records  Adds credibility and traceability and thus it promotes accuracy. Slide 17: Source Classifications Two basic classifications: primary and secondary. Let’s define each of these. Slide 18: Definitions/Examples Primary  created shortly after an event by someone having personal knowledge of the event. Your mother certainly has personal knowledge of your birth.  Primary sources are preferred for establishing historical facts.  Examples include birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage certificates Secondary  These come from compiled primary sources.  These are written from memory long after the event. This could be your Aunt Bertha’s memory of an event. She wasn’t there at the time and did not write down the event when it happened, but she may remember it because she was told about the event.  In this case the validity could be questionable. Slide 19: Source Inclusions We can include in our sources all of the items you see here. The point is if we can, we should do our best to find a primary source, which is the source that will withstand the test of time. Slide 20: Two Types of Information Included in a Source
  • 7. 1. The source can be identified with a general description with no details added. The example here is: Census: 1860 US Federal, Arizona 2. The second part is called the citation detail and includes information about where to find the entry for the individual within that source. Notice the citation detail tells the researcher exactly where to find the name on the 1860 US Federal Census. By having the detail included, you can verify that this is indeed your relative. There are lots of families with the same names and sometimes children’s names. So we need to look very carefully at these records and determine if these are our relatives based on other information we have. Slide 21: Where is the Document Housed? Another critical part of documentation is telling where the original record is kept. This is called the repository. Sometimes you are the one who has the original record or a copy of the original record. Do you have a notarized copy of your birth certificate? You can tell this information as part of the citation. If someone else has the original, such as the state of Arizona, and you have a copy, then put the place with the original as a primary source and also state you have a copy in your possession. Be aware that if you put a website as the source in your file, it may disappear. If for instance the Family records as listed here are in the possession of William Harold Acton, then you might want to see if you can get that family to make some copy for you so you at least have a secondary source in your possession. I have done that with some of my sources. There is a Hopkins Family Photo album that is in the possession of a brother of our great-grandfather. I have scanned photos with verification of who the people are from this album. The person who currently has the album could die and I could lose track of where the album goes. Addresses change. So even though we do not have the original album, we at least have a copy. Slide 22: Genealogy Software Personal Ancestral File, which is the genealogy software the Church has produced for us to use, has screens where you can create and then select a source and give the citation details and repository. You will be using this software next week. Slide 23: Source Summary You can also keep a record for each individual on a source summary chart. This is what I mentioned earlier, and I have a copy for you. You can download more from Ancestry.com and I have included the source on the sheet. Many people find this sheet handy for identifying all of the information that can be included and then they transfer the information into their computer data base and perhaps
  • 8. even are selective and only include the most reliable sources. The sheet allows them to look at all of the places they have researched and found information as well as a source for where they looked and found nothing. Summarize the lesson: Today we have discussed the importance of finding actual sources to document our findings. The whole reason for sources is to prove relationships. Sometimes a relative has written information down incorrectly. At other times their memory may be faulty. We need to look for exact sources when we are researching and keep a careful record of where we got that information. Next week we are going to begin building your database using the church’s Personal Ancestral File software. This is extremely helpful when we are tracking what we know and what we wish to find out. So bring whatever information you have gathered about people in your first 4 generations. We will start by entering you and show you how to design a source title that you can repeat for multiple people. Be sure you have a thumb drive to backup the work you put into the PAF program here. If you don’t have one, we have the archaic disks you may use and bring to class. We have a basket of free ones available and our towers have the slot for them. If you already have a Personal Ancestral File, you will want to restore it on a computer here or bring your laptop, look at the documentation you have on your first four or five generations and see if it meets the standards we have outlined to you tonight. If it does then you can continue to check other direct ancestors in the same way. We will then be ready the following week to register you at newfamilysearch and we will show you how to link yourself to the information the Church has in its data base on people in your first four generations, if they are deceased. It is so much easier if you have a computerized database as you can split the screen and view both at the same time. It isn’t hard, but it will take a class time to get you registered and to go through the online tutorial to help you be familiar with the program. Then we begin to have all kinds of fun. I am going to email you an article entitled “Finding Acceptable Sources” by Allin Kingsbury. This was an excellent article and will summarize for you the things we have talked about tonight and you can print it out if you want to keep it as a resource to refer to. Please read it as it will help you better understand the importance of documentation in providing an accurate family record. We are going to have a closing prayer and then I have on each computer a tutorial which will go through a variety of places where you can look for primary sources. You can choose to do it now, or I have slips of paper with the tutorial website and you can do it from home, if you need to get going. We are open until 9:00, so you can stay if you like. The lesson is usually about 40 minutes long, and then work time is about an hour. That gives you the two hours credit for Institute. If you
  • 9. prefer to work the hour some other time, then I will trust that you are honest and will do that outside of the center. Have the closing prayer and then have students do the tutorial before leaving or they can choose to do it on their own time at home if they prefer.
  • 10. prefer to work the hour some other time, then I will trust that you are honest and will do that outside of the center. Have the closing prayer and then have students do the tutorial before leaving or they can choose to do it on their own time at home if they prefer.

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