If Aunt Margaret tells you someone is her “cousin,” what does she really mean? First cousin, second cousin, etc.? To the genealogist it makes a difference because first cousins (who share grandparents) are different from second cousins (who share great-grandparents). First cousins once removed are of different generations from the common ancestor–the grandparent of one was the great-grandparent of another. It’s not necessary to confuse Aunt Margaret. Instead of getting her to tell you the precise word, have her explain the way they were related, generation by generation, or ask her about how they were related. You can figure out the precise word later. And asking those questions may elicit more information anyway! ———————————— Check out GenealogyBank’s Offer for Tip of the Day Fans!
Genealogy software programs can help genealogists cite their source. Whole books, such as Evidence Explained, have been written providing guidelines for tracking where information was located. Remember that if nothing else, a citation should provide enough detail to get you back to the page in a book or piece of paper that provided you some information. If it doesn’t, it’s probably not adqeuate. A relative said, “a newspaper in 1909 mentioned” a certain relative. At the very least, the name of the paper, date of publication, and whether it was the print, microfilm, or digital version would have been helpful. It’s not always necessary to be 100% in the form of your citation, but it should allow someone else to re-find what you found–even if that “someone else” is you. […]
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