Life’s a Journey
Emerson asserted: “Biography is the only true history.”
John Korte stated: “Autobiography being the story of a life.”1
Aldous Huxley declared: “Every man’s memory is his private literature.”
An unknown author imparted the words: “Things don’t turn up until somebody turns them up.”
Webster’s Dictionary defines collaboration as: “To work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor.”
Webster’s Dictionary defines corroborate as: “To support with evidence or authority; to make more certain; confirm.”
Genealogy: All of the above!
The lion’s share of genealogical research is fact finding. An ancestor accomplished or caused an event which created “a fact” that was recorded during various lifetime stages. Next, someone else creatively captured and expressed that event by putting it into multimedia format. In this case, I, as the genealogist, researched, discovered and retrieved someone else’s fact for presentation here.
Some of these recorded events come from primary facts, events to which I was an eye witness. A second type of event is relayed through a secondary source - which should be treated as hearsay, at least in the beginning valuation of the data and until further corroboration from other primary sources has been made. Reliance of secondary sources requires further study to determine if the fact will hold up as competent admissible evidence.
A third type of recorded history comes directly from “the custodians” of records, like birth, marriage and death registrations, United States Federal Census, and church records, etc. Further investigation is required even on these types of documents because not every fact recorded is correct.
The intent of this web site is to educate my readers through the eyes of my ancestors by using documents, images, and narratives, relevant to each individual.
“Historical empathy is the ability to research and understand past lives well enough to walk a mile in their shoes, experience intellectually and emotionally what they must have experienced and thus deeply understand their behaviors. Empathy does not mean just tolerance for putting up with someone or something. It does not mean sympathy or pity. It means imagining what the other person feels so accurately and deeply that you feel it yourself.”2
A web site goal is to acquire permission to use copyrighted materials for each document published; most documents used fall under the fair use doctrine.
“Fair use is a privilege
. It permits authors, scholars, researchers, and educators to borrow small portions
of copyrighted work for socially productive purposes
without asking permission or paying a fee.”3
The fair use doctrine along with proper source citation, gives documents convincing historical weight and reliability, in addition to giving proper credit to the author’s creative work. It also allows the reader to retrace the research trail of the genealogist. This is an extremely important research tool and is a component in weighing the reliability of the evidence.
“So if you please, sit back and enjoy the findings from my research, a research filled by an undertaking to retrace my ancestor’s existence; to learn more about them and their world so as to better understand who I am…today.” Beverly Mabb-Morten
1 John Korte. White Gloves: How We Create Ourselves Through Memory. New York: Norton, 1996. Page 135.
2 Katherine Scott Sturdevant. Bringing Your Family History to Life through Social History. Cincinnati: Betterway, 2000. Page 215.
3 Jassin, Lloyd J. and Steven C. Schecter. The Copyright Permission and Libel Handbook: A Step-by Step Guide for Writers, Editors, and Publishers. Canada: Wiley, 1998. Page 26.