I have a confession to make – I got stuck.
I let the creation of ONE citation intimidate me and set aside my effort.
Last week I posted in the Google+ group:
I have a copy of my Dad’s birth certificate. It’s a document in his personal possession. Do I reference it as coming from the RI Dept of Health, or from my Father’s “private collection”, or something else?
I got some great suggestions, and a reference to an excellent article on Layered Citations.. But Evidentia doesn’t have any shortcuts for Layered Citations, and its sounded like a lot of work.
Evidentia is NOT a Citation Tool
When I hear someone say the Evidentia is a Citation tool at a convention, I have to put on my poker face. Yes, Evidentia INCLUDES a citation tool, and we have made citation creation a mandatory part of the process, but citation creation is not the reason to use Evidentia.
Citation creation should not get in the way – we want to do it right, but we shouldn’t let it stop us from our goals.
Getting Out of My Own Way
I chose not to do a layered citation in this case. The reason was that I do not know the provenance of the record in my father’s possession, except for what I can extract from the record itself. I chose to do a very simple birth certificate citation, noting it was in my father’s private collection.
A citation should help another researcher validate your work, but that doesn’t mean that my goal is to research the history of every document I use. You may disagree, but in this case I was using a document that is relatively trustworthy to validate facts that not being contested. If there were conflicts to be addressed, I might feel differently, but my father is still alive, I grew up knowing his parents and sister, and my REAL goal was just to solidify the evidence.
So where are we? I have documented myself and my parents. I have documented my paternal grandparents, and I am currently working on my maternal grandparents. Once I finish that I will import what I have into RootsMagic, before moving on to generation 4.
Getting stuck was not the only reason I slowed down – I am also hip deep in developing the next version of the program, so please bear with me.
Hopefully you can learn something from my mistake – don’t let citations get in your way. Take your best shot, then move on to the REAL reason you are using Evidentia – to organize your information and analyze your data!