Evidentia Meets the Boston Herald, 1917

By | January 19, 2016

Evidentia is not all about Proofs. Sometimes it is just about organizing  information we run across in our research that we want to keep track of.

ReubenHaywardLawsuit1917Article

I do not know much about my grandfather’s father, mostly because my grandfather never knew much about him. Reuben Hayward abandoned his wife and son when my grandfather was very young.  Rumor was that he took off to seek his fortune “out west”.

Facts are few, but I ran across this article at genealogybank.com, which adds a little color to this missing ancestor.

How to Capture Claims When There is Nothing to “Prove”

What claims can we possibly extract from this article?

This source claims that…
in January of 1917 Reuben Hayward was accused in court by Miss Grace W. Schmidt of stealing $20 he was given by her to buy Christmas presents

I now have a claim that ties Reuben to the newspaper article. Once I tag the claim, the article (source) will be tied to Reuben.

This source claims that…
in January of 1917 Reuben Hayward lived in Halifax

I was able to extract a classic claim type for Reuben that can be part of a proof.

This source claims that…
on January 26, 1917 Reuben Hayward appeared in Halifax, MA Court as a defendant and was exonerated of larceny charges when Grace W. Schmidt admitted he used the money to take her to Abington [MA] for a trip.

More color, which raises the question “How much information should I capture?”

The answer to that question is tied to why we are capturing this information in the first place, and for that we turn to the Research Summary Report.

The Research Summary Report

The Research Summary Report is my favorite, because it shows all the information I have collected for a single person, organized and categorized. It is a great report to have in front of you if you are writing a narrative. Since the main purpose of including this article in my research is for the story value, the Research Summary Report is the real target.

RSRFrag

To include this information in the report for Reuben, I need to tag the claims made by the source.

This source claims that… Subject/Claim Type
on January 26, 1917 Reuben Hayward was accused in court by Miss Grace W. Schmidt of stealing $20 he was given by her to buy Christmas presents. Reuben Hayward appeared in Halifax, MA Court as a defendant.  He admitted he received $12, but was exonerated of larceny charges when Grace W. Schmidt admitted he used the money to take her to Abington [MA] for a trip to the city. Hayward, Reuben/FAN
in January of 1917 Reuben Hayward lived in Halifax Hayward, Reuben/Residence

I combined the information I had originally recorded separately since both pieces of information will be classified the same, the information is not being used as evidence in separate proofs, and together the information tells a mini story.  I can always come back to the article (which I attached to the source record) for the full content.

The article is short enough that I COULD have transcribed the entire piece and included it in the Source Note, The Citation Note, or even the claim itself.

I tagged the claim as a FAN claim type, since Miss Grace was obviously an associate of interest. That is enough to insure that the snippet appears in the  Research Summary Report, and it actually does create a nice context for the FAN claim if I choose to do a FAN proof of some sort later.

Summary

In the interest of fleshing out the story, by January 1917 Reuben was in a relationship with my grandfather’s mother, who most likely was already pregnant with Reuben’s son. The court case was  the story of a woman scorned.

Hopefully you can see that Evidentia is not just about collecting and organizing information for proofs. Evidentia can help you collect and organize any information you are interested in being able to find again later.

ReubenHaywardLawsuit1917-BostonHeraldHdr