The Importance of Context in Record Analysis

Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FVGS
Feb 16, 2016
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Content

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Speaker's Introduction
1m 45s
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Introduction
1m 52s
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Original Documents
4m 34s
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Facsimiles
1m 11s
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Copy
41s
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Document Context
3m 38s
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Content Context
9m 14s
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Geographic Context
8m 47s
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Institutional Context
18m 41s
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Questions/answers
6m 16s

About this webinar

Source citations provide context for the information we gather. Was the death date from a tombstone, a newspaper obituary, a county history, a Bible record, or a death certificate? The best citations tell us that the tombstone was contemporary with the death, the Bible record was entered in the same hand and the same ink, the county history was written a hundred and fifty years later, and the death certificate was signed by an attending physician. The details provide background context that helps us evaluate the validity of the information and suggests other avenues for research. But this information only scratches the surface. A full evaluation of any record’s context requires that we explore the complete content of the document. We want to know the reason for the document’s existence; the social, legal, and geographical context behind its creation; and what ancillary documents were produced both before and after its creation.

About the speaker

About the speaker

Barbara Vines Little, CG, FNGS, FVGS, is a professional genealogist whose primary interests are Virginia research and brick wall problems. A former president of both the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the Virginia Genealogical Society, sh
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