Sunday, May 11, 2014

Genealogy's Star: Why must you prove your genealogical case?

Genealogy's Star: Why must you prove your genealogical case?

 Genealogists have only quite recently recognized the need for a systematic methodology for establishing genealogical facts. Until the early to mid-1900s, ideas concerning the need for sources and a proof standard did not exist. The current standards owe their origin to genealogists such as Donald Lines Jacobus, who began to establish a more scientific method of research based on primary source documentation.

My reaction to the article:  Bravo!  The world has become, with every passing year, a complexity of statements, opinions, articulations, and data.  Fabrication and fictionalization pose as truth in supposed publications of infallible reputation.

But, don't take it personally.  Wanting to be accurate and prove the truth of a matter, whether it's your own genealogy or from a database online has a great deal to do with our soaring admiration for our history. 

A familial affection for our ancestors as we uncover the forensics of who they were, where they were, and why they were is the product of our love for things as they are, not things as we would like them to be or as others think they are.  Most of my ancestors were farmers, but it was never that simple.  They moved, relocated, and commuted to work, in search of a job, in search of a life that would be better for them and their families. 

Maybe I pontificate too much.  All I'm really trying to say is that searching for humanity is a search for dignity and something worth memorializing.  Though I doubt that I will ever have the whole story of my ancestors, every fragment makes them more real to me, more dear to me.  Why would I not want to document them?  It's a step toward knowing who they were and a big step toward knowing who I am.