Is the Latest Always the Best?

In some cases the latest transcription of something might not be the best. If you’ve seen a published book of tombstone inscriptions from the 1990s, you still might want to look at that book of transcriptions done in the 1940s. Stones might have been more legible in 1940, some might not have been readable at all in 1990.

That book of transcribed marriage records in the 1930s might contain handwriting interpretations with different renderings of certain words. The ink might not have been as faded in 1930 as it was when a later transcription was done. And the transcriptionist from 1930 might have been more familiar with local names than was the 1980 era transcriptionist.

Do not always assume the latest publication is the best. Sometimes it is not.

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One thought on “Is the Latest Always the Best?

  1. Patricia McMahon Regan

    Beware of Transcriptions. One has to remember when joining a Lineage Organization (such as DAR, SAR and CAR) the application requirements are a Primary documentation for Vital records or other required 2ndary information (with 2 backups) and they do not accept transcriptions. Transcriptions frequently have errors and remember all Books used are ones considered approved (see DAR Library listings) and written by recognized Authors and other required back up information. Grave Tombstones are not acceptable by all Lineage Groups (not for DAR, etc. ) as Primary information for use with their applications. I personably follow these rules for research of all my families ((which is many). because I want it to be correct. I do not add any family member to my separate family files until I have proven them with a Primary or other acceptable 2ndary source with required back up. If I’m looking to show (and prove) who I am and who my real Ancestors (not a mistaken one) were I don’t want a Fairy Tale, I want the actual truth (or actual Ancestor not another with the same name). All Research (including Genealogy) is to be a systematic study done with Patience, a through investigation of all family clues to establish the facts,, principles that will establish the truth of your Ancestor or Ancestors. One should remember Good Genealogy is not Fast and Fast Genealogy is not good and one does not assume (especially a transcription) .


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