Research

Research

Burden of Proof

Some people just love fakes. When I was working on medieval genealogies at Geni.com I was bowled over by the number of people willing to go to the mat for information they found online or got from Grandma. No other evidence to back it up. Most often their reasoning was something along the lines of…

Research

Concept of Facts

The genealogist’s stock-in-trade is the idea that the facts of the past can be (partially) recovered through research. We stumble when those facts turn out to be slipperier than we thought they would be. As our research takes us further back in time, there is more chance of stumbling. Unless we have specialized knowledge about period and…

Research

Hidden History

When I was in college one of my professors said, “Objectivity correlates to a consensual subjectivity.” That statement has some very powerful implications for how we understand the nature of historical research. In genealogy we often see people captivated by long, mythical lines of descent, which they invariably believe were transmitted underground, undocumented, for centuries…