Monday, 16 November 2009

Families -- November 2009

I've been looking over the latest issue of the Ontario Genealogical Society magazine Families, volume 48 number 4.

By far the largest and best article, 11 pages, is Beyond the Begats: developing biographies from paper and digital sources, the text of the J Richard Houston Memorial Lecture given earlier this year at the OGS annual conference by Kory Meyerink, a well-known Utah genealogist.

Having developed his theme that genealogies should be developed into family histories (biography) he lists sources for more detailed and interesting family history. These include local histories, ethnic religious and academic histories, personal/family records, probate files, land records, newspapers, demographic studies, military files, and court and civil records. He then discusses the use of traditional sources; census records, church registers, civil registration, and passenger lists; and mining additional sources including online databases, bibliographies, library catalogs, archive inventories, audiovisual materials, artifacts, and distant relatives.

A minor distraction in the flow of the article are few section headings that fall at the bottom of a column.

Another interesting article It Is Written by Michael E. Fitton suggests looking beyond the content of any document to the physical material, parchment, paper, ink, seals, and handwriting.

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