Evidence!: Citation and Analysis for the Family Historian

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Media: BOOK - hardcover, 128 pages
Author: E. Mills
Year: (1997) 2008
ISBN: 9780806315430
Other: appendix, bibliog, index
Publisher: Genealogical Publishing Company

Every devoted genealogist is concerned with citations in their analysis for their genealogy. Accurate citations are necessary so that the evidence can be judged and if necessary allows for the research to be repeated. The author makes it easy to help genealogists (particularly the non-expert) to make sense out of citations and to improve their genealogy search. THIS BOOK IS CONSIDERED A GENEALOGY "MUST!"

Genealogy attracts a stunning mix of people. Hobbyists curious about their ancestry. Geneticists in search of medical breakthroughs. Legal researchers gathering evidence to defend individual or ethnic rights. Anthropologists, archaeologists, demographers, geographers, historians, and sociologists probing the past to better understand the present.

Evidence!, provides a common ground upon which all can meet, speak the same language and share their results (the correct form of source citation and the sound analysis of evidence)--reliably!

In successful genealogical research, these two practices are inseparable, and the author's treatment of this little-understood concept is nothing short of brilliant.

This dual-track theme is introduced early on, and is best summed up in a few choice paragraphs from the introduction: "Successful research--research that yields correct information with a minimum of wasted time and funds--depends upon a sound analysis of evidence. Source citation is fundamental, but it is not enough. The validity of any piece of evidence cannot be analyzed if its source is unknown. Citing a worthless source is an effort that produces worthless results.

"Research, evidence, citation, and analysis are inseparable. Evidence is the vehicle that moves our research from curiosity to reality. Citation and analysis are the twin highways that get us there, smoothly and safely.

“Evidence! tries to strip away much of the confusion that researchers experience in this adventure. It offers a road map for beginners, who hope to avoid mistakes, and guideposts for the advanced, who already appreciate the need to map their own course precisely ...

Evidence! stems from the belief that most researchers want to do good work. We simply need guidelines and explicit models--ones tailored to genealogy and to the original sources we commonly use but cannot find discussed in The Chicago Manual of Style, the MLA Handbook, or similar manuals aimed at a broader marker."

Part 1
- Fundamentals of citation
- Fundamentals of analysis
Part 2
- Citation formats
- Sample: documented family group sheet
- Sample: documented ancestor chart
- Guidelines for citing credentials

'Not just every genealogist, but every historian as well, should own a copy. Evidence! is filled with useful information that is difficult to find elsewhere' -- Grady McWhiney, Texas Christian University

'Evidence! provides librarians, archivists and others a manual to hand genealogists as a solid guide, to make research easier for themselves and future readers' -- Eric G. Grundset, Vice President, National Genealogical Society

'Evidence! is for all of us--the novice, the experienced family historian, and those who come into genealogy from other academic environments. The wide-ranging citation formats cover not only traditional sources but the latest technological ones' -- Cameron Allen, President, American Society of Genealogists

1 Review
  • Classic Reference for Citations

    Posted by Ross Hansen on 18th May 2022

    This is a standard text to which many family history authors refer. It is very clearly concisely written and I found it easy to read and understand.The author provides examples for citing almost every type of source one can encounter. Furthermore, for each one, she shows the example for the Primary citation, Subsequent citations and the Bibliography reference. An essential reference for authors of family history.

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Evidence!: Citation and Analysis for the Family Historian

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