Kinsearching September 9, 2007




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     An invaluable new reference work useful to all researchers is EVIDENCE EXPLAINED: CITING HISTORY SOURCES FROM ARTIFACTS TO CYBERSPACE by Elizabeth Shown Mills. This hefty handbook leads individuals through the maze of all types of sources not covered by traditional citation guides such as THE CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE.

     In her foreword Mills asks why researchers spend so much time documenting sources and then answers: "Because all sources are not created equal." She points out, for instance, that some sources may lie, exaggerate, or just be wrong. Researchers need to know from where information comes and the strengths and weaknesses of the sources in order to judge reliability and to reach credible conclusions. To help people make these decisions, her first two chapters deal with the fundamentals of analysis and citation.

     The remaining chapters concern such subjects as archives and artifacts, business and institutional records, censuses, cemetery and church records, local and state documents, and national government (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia) publications in various forms including printed works, microfilm, microfiche, CDs, videos, maps, radio and television broadcasts, websites, digital books, e-zines, and podcasts. Covering a wide range of resources, Mills presents examples of citations for all kinds of original records, accessed through different media styles. In her discussion she gives information about where sources can be located, thereby furnishing researchers with new ideas for avenues of exploration.

     Throughout the work Mills gives examples of more than 1,000 citation forms. Needless to say, she provides a necessary and worthwhile service for all researchers. Destined to become the authoritative guide on documentation, a copy of EVIDENCE EXPLAINED is a "must have" for all libraries, public and private.

     The 885-page hardback has two appendixes composed of a glossary and a bibliography. It also has two indexes: a standard topical index and one for QuickCheck online citation models. To the book's price of $49.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $4.00 for one book and $2.00 for each additional copy; for UPS, the cost is $6.00 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order 3843) may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (for phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

     Because human beings produce the records used for research, any source can contain erroneous information. An example is found in the newspaper Albany Journal, Albany, NY, 23 February 1836 (vol. 6, no. 615), p. 2, col. 3: "A letter has been received in Washington, announcing the death of Col. Crockett, soon after his arrival in Texas."

     Although his given name is not mentioned and few details are given, it would appear that the man is the famous David "Davy" CROCKETT. Besides the fact he went to Texas, Crockett used the title "Colonel," a rank he had received while serving in the Tennessee state militia. Also, the letter was sent to Washington, DC, where news about Crockett would have been of interest since he had represented Tennessee in the U. S. House of Representatives for three terms.

     Notice of Crockett's demise was premature. A comparison of dates demonstrates why. The newspaper reporting his death was published on 23 February 1836. The fall of the Alamo did not take place until 6 March 1836.

     Charles N. Ferguson, 811 South Market, Shawnee, OK 74801 is seeking information about the family of John MILLER, who lived in Little River Co., AR, in 1910. John died in 1916 in Arkansas. His widow Rosie, born in Illinois, married David WHALEN and moved to Cass Co., TX, by 1920. John, Rosie, and their three daughters appear on the 1910 census:

MILLER, John, white, 56, b. in LA as were both parents
"               Rosie, white, 41, b. in IL; father b. in IL; mother b. in OH
"               Minnie L., white, 16, b. in TX
"              Ollie M., white, 15, b. in OK
"               Jessie Lee, white, 7, b. in OK

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