Book Review: Evidence Explained

Before you create a family history book read this book review, Evidence Explained.

Inside Evidence Explained

There appears to be widespread apathy for documenting sources in the genealogy community.  All you have to do is take a quick look at publicly accessible family trees to see the extent of this problem.  It's cause is rooted in a lack of knowledge about the importance of documenting sources and the mechanics of doing so.

If equipped with the right guidance, there is no excuse for a genealogist to ever fall into this trap.  Accurate citations are necessary so that your evidence can be judged, and, if necessary, allow your research to be repeated by others.  Your source documentation is like a bread crumb trail leading to your original resource.

I realize that many people have flashbacks to high school research papers when it’s time to create source citations for their genealogy work. There is absolutely no reason to stress when an incredible resource like Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, by Elizabeth Shown Mills is available.

Evidence Explained is the definitive guide for how to cite every conceivable kind of source material a genealogist might use thus allowing you to create a family history book so extensive that you will eventually know your entire family tree.

This book is an updated and expanded follow up to Mills' 1997 standard Evidence! Citation and Analysis for the Family Historian.

If you are capable of filling out a form, then you should have no problem using this book to create proper source citations for your work.  It is a matter of locating the specific chapter of the book that corresponds to the source type you are looking for and using the provided template to show you exactly how the source should be formatted.  The provided templates (on gray pages) serve as a guide to the content and format of the source notation but also provide a real world example.  There is no substitute for an example in illustrating how the notation should look.

The book is broken up into two sections.  The first thirty eight pages address the subject of evidence and how to handle it.  The bulk of the volume is a reference guide of topical chapters covering source materials of every description including published books, articles, unpublished manuscripts, business and institutional records, census, church, cemetery records and many more.

The 885 page book contains an immense amount of detailed information as it attempts to cover every source type.  This book should be a part of any serious genealogist’s reference library as it is invaluable for properly creating sources.  With it as your guide, there is no excuse for ever improperly sourcing or omitting sources for your genealogy data.

Now that you know more about this book and how you can create a family history book with this data, we hope it helps you move forward in your family history search.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, click on the link below:

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