Monday, January 16, 2012

Tika & Airplanes & Thoughts

Tika is a funny girl. She sits in my chair keeping watch to alert us to "dangers" outside the big window and those "dangers" usually include anything that moves. Since we live only three miles due north of the airport, we often see airplanes taking off and "going by" our windows in their launching flight path. Now dear Tika does not know a thing about airplanes; all she sees is something moving and is moved to bark and alert us to the "danger."  She puts a doggy 2 and 2 together and gets 13. Do we do that in our genealogy?

Found a great and thoughtful quote the other day from Richard Lloyd Anderson, Professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU. I paraphrase a bit:  "Local historians and genealogists deal with highly specific data and careful standards of proof. If quality evidence is not carefully considered, today's avalanche of information will certainly mix the new bits of information with misinformation. So the answer is to have more awareness of what makes first hand sources, more determination to gather all the major ones, and more care in judging sources fairly on the basis of their broad agreements."

This really smacks me; I've recently worked on several cold-case research projects for folks. In all those cases, I started with very little "for sure" information and added 2 plus 2 and got 13 in two of the tree cases. What could I have done different? Obtained more facts from the primary or original source. These experiences humbled me and the above words put words in my mind regarding future such projects. I vow and promise to be a better researcher! With Tika's help, of course.

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