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Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian [Hardcover]

by Elizabeth Shown Mills, Elizabeth S. Mills, Elizabeth S. Mills
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1, 1997 0806315431 978-0806315430 Genealogical Publishing Company
Every devoted genealogist is concerned with citations in their analysis for their genealogy. Accurate citations are necessary so that the evidence can be judged and if necessary allows for the research to be repeated. The author makes it easy to help genealogists (particularly the non-expert) to make sense out of citations and to improve their genealogy search. THIS BOOK IS CONSIDERED A GENEALOGY "MUST!"

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Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian + Quicksheet Citing Online Historical Resources + Quicksheet Citing Databases & Images
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 124 pages
  • Publisher: Genealogical Publishing Company; Genealogical Publishing Company edition (January 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806315431
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806315430
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elizabeth Shown Mills is an internationally acclaimed historical researcher and writer who has spent her life studying American culture and the relationships between people--emotional as well as genetic. Featured on BBC, CNN, PBS, and other networks in the U.S., U.K., and Australia, she has guest-blogged for the NEW YORK TIMES and has been widely cited as "the genealogist who has had the most influence in the post-Roots era."

Her 13 prize-winning books range from reference works such as "Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace" (Library Journal 2007 Best Reference) to the historical novel, "Isle of Canes," which chronicles a family of freed slaves across four generations, and is drawn from Mills's own research in the archives of six nations.

Her latest work is the greatly enlarged, revised edition of the Louisiana State University Press classic, THE FORGOTTEN PEOPLE: CANE RIVER'S CREOLES OF COLOR.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
107 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely essential for any genealogist July 22, 2002
Every serious family researcher should be not only aware of, but thoroughly familiar with, the late Richard Lackey's _Cite Your Sources,_ which, on its publication in 1981, quickly became the Bible of genealogical source citation. Many, however, are not aware that Lackey was inspired by an article published more than two decades ago by Elizabeth Mills -- another name that all genealogists should be familiar with. Ms. Mills, one of our field's most popular and influential conference speakers, and for the past fourteen years the very capable editor of the _National Genealogical Society Quarterly,_ has steadily promoted the cause not only of improved genealogical writing but of the rigorous and systematic analysis of material that must precede good writing. This relatively brief and very accessible volume distills and codifies her advice in three main areas: the principles behind source citation, the formats in which citation should be cast, and the fundamentals of evidentiary analysis itself. "Effective citation is an art," she says, but it's an art that anyone may learn who makes the effort to understand the motivation for careful citation and the factors underlying the carefully thought-out formats she recommends. And whatever the source of information -- courthouse land records, family Bibles, cemetery markers, microfilmed census registers, unpublished manuscripts, electronic e-mail, or a videotaped family reunion -- you will find multiple examples of each in this book. Even more important, to my mind, are her thirteen concisely explained points of genealogical analysis, from the distinction between direct and indirect evidence and between quality and quantity, to the importance of custodial history and her reminder that "the case is never closed on a genealogical conclusion." For all these reasons, this book is a must-have for every genealogist (and historian, librarian, and archivist).
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77 of 78 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
In this book, one of America's foremost genealogical scholars has taken on a Herculean task and accomplished it superbly. Every scholarly discipline has its own basic standards for the nitty-gritty of citational form--the sort of thing that we all hoped we had escaped after our term-paper days were over. In 1980, before genealogy was faced with the computer revolution, the late Richard S. Lackey, FASG, published Cite Your Sources, the first comprehensive guide to "Documenting Family Histories and Genealogical Records." Since Lackey's untimely death in 1983, the few attempts to update his recommendations have been Quixotic and (fortunately) unsuccessful, until the current work by Elizabeth Shown Mills, the editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. Elizabeth Mills takes on more than citations. She recognizes that citations and critical analysis are closely related. We have all seen genealogies that are promoted as thoroughly documented, but when we investigate the sources cited, we find that the author was unable to evaluate them or to draw sound conclusions from them. Citations by themselves do not guarantee the quality of a published work, but they are essential so that the evidence can be judged and, if necessary, the research can be repeated. The discussion of genealogical analysis in this work is among the finest we have seen; studying it carefully will not only reward genealogists but also scholars in related fields. Evidence! provides careful and copious examples of each type of citation that the careful genealogist is likely to encounter, with charts indicating the first citation to the work, document (etc.), subsequent citations to it, and its entry in a separate bibliography. Read more ›
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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every family historian should own this one! May 25, 2001
Elizabeth Mills's Evidence! is the best single source for genealogical documentation. Every genealogist should be required to own it.
Information technology has made the exhange of family "research" so much easier in recent years. Everyone wants to be a family historian! Unfortunately, way too many are clueless when it comes to documenting their work. It is all but impossible to go behind the majority of today's internet genealogists and review the proof of their research. In most cases, you may as well start completely over, you can't locate a thing based upon the sources they provide. :(
This is an EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT little book and everyone tracing their family history ought to keep one on their desk - and refer to it again and again. I found Mill's book concise, easy to follow, and invaluable for documenting correctly all those tricky sources particular to family history. Buy one!
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Specifically written for family history researchers August 10, 2002
Evidence! Citation & Analysis For The Family Historian by experienced genealogist Elizabeth Shown Mills is a very useful and "user friendly" guide specifically written for family history researchers and genealogists regardless of their experience levels. Evidence! is about the proper form, presentation, and documentation of source citations and drawing sound conclusions from often limited evidence. An absolute "must-read" for anyone devoted to putting together a genealogical history, Evidence! is an essential, core title for personal, professional, academic, genealogical, and community library reference collections.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A reference book about doing references
Few of us, as amateurs, will achieve or aspire to the level of quality of evidence that this professional says should apply to judgments about information for genealogy. Read more
Published 15 days ago by James S. Evans
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written and straight forward.
A technical subject presented in a manner that is easy to understand and apply. Directed toward the family6 historian. Read more
Published 2 months ago by William A. Hoggan
3.0 out of 5 stars Seems to be for the Serious Genealogist
Lately, I've been doing some family Genealogy (mostly online). I asked my husband for some software relating to that and he gave that to me, along with this book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jenn Roma
5.0 out of 5 stars Importance of Record keeping
It is very important to have your information as accurate as possible. Names dates and places are very important and must be cited.
Published 3 months ago by Elliejean
2.0 out of 5 stars A little much
Little hard to get through. Too much and too many examples. Prefer to do it the old easy way and understand what I am citing.
Published 4 months ago by S. F. Taveney
5.0 out of 5 stars for genealogists; both professional and hobbyists
I love it; I am a registrar for a lineage society and this helps me sometimes when I need to cite a source
Published 6 months ago by Heidi Higginbotham
5.0 out of 5 stars Great information!
A lot of helpful information packed into this small book! Well worth the price to have it on your shelf.
Published 8 months ago by mandorac
5.0 out of 5 stars Proof is in the details!
This is THE guide book for learning how to cite and analyse information pertaining to your research. A must-have in every researcher's library.
Published 9 months ago by Denise McLoughlin
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book - but not enough examples for beginners
This book has alot of details that as a beginner I would have benefitted from examples to fully understand what she was trying to tell me. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Chiquita Hutchinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
I bought this for certification process and so far very happy that I bought it. Looking forward to more reading!
Published 15 months ago by 4451
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