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Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian [Hardcover]

Elizabeth S. Mills
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good start but falls short on examples April 16 2001
While this work addresses many facets of citing, the examples for actual citations fell quite short of the mark in my opinion. If your research includes extensive sources from the Family History Library, you may be dissapointed. While in theory the book addresses how to create a citation for a source in almost any circumstance, the practicality of constructing that source on your own requires prior knowledge of source styling. This work is wonderful if your sources are all American based, but I found it lacking where I needed it most, citing sources from other countries, especially when citing from filmed records.
It is a very good starting point, and will answer many questions for most researchers, but it will NOT solve all your citing problems, and if your research includes many foreign sources you may find yourself still in the dark.
I would like to see a revised edition, with many more examples and more attention paid to FHL sources, which are vast and varied.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must have Dec 26 2003
By A Customer
If you're a family historian/genealogist, this is a MUST HAVE book. As all serious genealogist know, citing your sources is one the most important aspects of giving your research the validity it deserves! This book makes it easy by giving clear and precise examples of citing sources from books, other family histories, information found on CD's, birth/death/marriage and other court records as well as citing internet sources.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource March 16 2003
I have carried this book with me everywhere I've gone to do genealogical research. Taking the time to properly cite my sources as I gather them has saved me tons of time when going back over my notes. This book is well written, and the appendix with its clear examples is what I use most.
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Evidence! Citation & Analysis For The Family Historian by experienced genealogist Elizabeth Shown Mills is a very useful and "user friendly" guide specifically written for family history researchers and genealogists regardless of their experience levels. Evidence! is about the proper form, presentation, and documentation of source citations and drawing sound conclusions from often limited evidence. An absolute "must-read" for anyone devoted to putting together a genealogical history, Evidence! is an essential, core title for personal, professional, academic, genealogical, and community library reference collections.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely essential for any genealogist July 22 2002
Every serious family researcher should be not only aware of, but thoroughly familiar with, the late Richard Lackey's _Cite Your Sources,_ which, on its publication in 1981, quickly became the Bible of genealogical source citation. Many, however, are not aware that Lackey was inspired by an article published more than two decades ago by Elizabeth Mills -- another name that all genealogists should be familiar with. Ms. Mills, one of our field's most popular and influential conference speakers, and for the past fourteen years the very capable editor of the _National Genealogical Society Quarterly,_ has steadily promoted the cause not only of improved genealogical writing but of the rigorous and systematic analysis of material that must precede good writing. This relatively brief and very accessible volume distills and codifies her advice in three main areas: the principles behind source citation, the formats in which citation should be cast, and the fundamentals of evidentiary analysis itself. "Effective citation is an art," she says, but it's an art that anyone may learn who makes the effort to understand the motivation for careful citation and the factors underlying the carefully thought-out formats she recommends. And whatever the source of information -- courthouse land records, family Bibles, cemetery markers, microfilmed census registers, unpublished manuscripts, electronic e-mail, or a videotaped family reunion -- you will find multiple examples of each in this book. Even more important, to my mind, are her thirteen concisely explained points of genealogical analysis, from the distinction between direct and indirect evidence and between quality and quantity, to the importance of custodial history and her reminder that "the case is never closed on a genealogical conclusion." For all these reasons, this book is a must-have for every genealogist (and historian, librarian, and archivist).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easy reference for proper citations July 16 2002
By Fred
This is the premier book for easily finding the proper format for citing source documents. This is THE book to show you how to write your references for microfilm, online web sites, email, cemeteries and other sources of information you collect to document your family history. This book has many charts which show you exactly how to reference all of the research material you are likely to encounter as a genealogist or family historian.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Proof! We need Proof! May 21 2002
With the Internet, it seems so easy to just get on the Web, push a few buttons, and presto you have a fantastic genealogy linked to every famous person in the world. People! This is not so! Just because it is on a genealogy site on the internet does not prove it certain that you are related to that particular person. Proof! You need proof, the more the better. Primary evidence is much more important than your secondary evidence.
This book is an excellent source and guidebook to help you do just that.
You should and must document your sources in your family tree. Too many people are just uploading their family tree willy nilly to net and everybody just takes it for granted that it is correct. A good genealogist will at all times documents her or her sources for every (and I say every) bit information that is included in the family tree.
Primary evidence is the best source: birth certificates, social security forms, etc. Secondary evidence is good if it is backed up with other forms of proof.
This book will help you find the best source and test that source against the information that you have. Then it will show you how to include that information style in your family tree.
Please cite your sources in your genealogy and family trees! For the present and the future!
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