Recently I have been discussing sources and citations in this blog. The third leg in our document/proof assembling is the documents. The certificates, census records, deeds, estate files, obituaries, clippings, photographs, etc. all of the documents that we have scanned, photocopied, or made digital images of, collectively these our support comprise our evidence:
- Sources tell us where we found something (book, microfilm, newspaper, cemetery)
- Citations tell us where in the source we found something
- The documentation (multimedia files) show what we found in the source at the cited location
These three pillars comprise the basis of our research. Remove any one of these three pillars and we have no way to support any of our facts, let alone our conclusions.
The “My Supporting Documentation” report in GenDetective v2, provides the unique list of the supporting files that have been gathered, compiled or assembled for an individual.
What do I do with the above report? I use it as an inventory of the files that I have assembled for each person, primarily my direct relatives. I scan the list of titles to see what types of documents I have assembled as well as what leaps out as missing. This report differs from the “Multimedia file references by person” report which shows the documentation that has been attached as support of each event! In the “Multimedia files by person” report a single file like a death certificate might be used to support: birth, parents, spouse, cause of death, residence and burial location. “My Supporting Documentation” will only list each file one time, but “Multimedia file references by person” will list each file for every event that references it! Compare the two reports by looking at a sample of the “Multimedia file references by person”. Both of these reports provide us with valuable insight into the research we have assembled about our family.
Stay tuned for our last discussion of source related reports .. “My Vital Document” inventory report.