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GENEALOGY TODAY: Six questions speak to evidence analysis - Green Valley News: Easy Living

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GENEALOGY TODAY: Six questions speak to evidence analysis

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Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 5:54 pm

Journalism students are taught an effective news article must answer six questions: who, what, when, where, why and how. Family researchers can apply these six questions to evidence analysis. Evidence is obtained from the information in genealogical sources. All evidence is not equal and not always accurate. We need to weigh the evidence in order to reach valid conclusions. For example:

1.WHO created the source? A witness to the event or someone who heard about it, second hand? Birth and death records since 1906 name the person supplying the information. Census records, on the other hand, provide no clues to who answered the questions. Were the names, ages, birth places, etc., provided by the household head, by a child or other resident in the home, or by a neighbor just trying to be helpful?

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