Re: SOURCES... why?

Charles Sullivan (cwsulliv@nr.infi.net)
Wed, 28 May 1997 10:57:31 -0400

Carla,
You are correct. Any "researcher" who doesn't reference his/her sources
isn't worthy of the name. Who can ever verify that the info is correctly
transcribed (or in the worst case isn't pure fiction.) Even when I've done
my own research and transcribed data into my notebook, there have been
occasions when I found I made transcription errors when I went back to the
source.

Also, without knowing the sources how can a later researcher avoid
duplicating the efforts of the first.

For any data I paid for I'd want to see Title, Author, Publisher, Pub Date,
Chapter, Section, Page, and Line, and Repository (or its equivalent for
other types of media.)

If this character doesn't come around pretty quick I'd dump him/her and
find a real researcher.

I understand that many of the very old published pedigrees purporting to
trace ancestors back to Charlemagne or some other royal figure contain
a lot of fiction. Maybe that's the rule in Europe - give the customer
what he's hoping for and make it difficult for anyone to prove otherwise.

There was a humorous message posted a few months ago titled "Sources just
slow me down". I wish I had saved it.

Regards,
Charles Sullivan

carlab@execpc.com wrote:
>Gentle Readers,
>
>I've engaged a researcher in England (Wales) and have received some bits
>of information via email. The reason I say "bits" is that when I asked
>why he didn't site the sources (i.e. name of record whether it was a
>book, file, film or etc. and the date and place the record was accessed)
>the reply was "Source notes? I'm a bit puzzled by this. We don't have
>much to do with those sort of things over here - I thought that was just
>an LDS thing. If you mean where does the majority of the data come
>from..."
>
>So the question is - Am I daft, or doesn't everyone cite their sources
>unless their writing a book of fiction? I'm sure this isn't an "LDS
>thing" as other organizations such as the DAR also require sources for
>submission of info. Not that I'd be trying to join some organization or
>something BUT the first thing any researcher in most fields are taught
>is to cite chapter and verse of any source material you use.
>
>I'd also like to mention I have in the past engaged a researcher here in
>the US and have found the researcher to take copious notes and detail
>all information "chapter and verse, date and place" whether photocopies
>where included with the information or not.
>
>I'd welcome comments from all regarding this question, especially UK
>researchers professional or nonprofessional.
>
>Carla
>
>