Documentation: Why, How, Text Book and Functional

“Documentation – Why, How, Text Book and Functional”
SGSC Member ~ Larry Dodge

The first ten years or so that I was involved in collecting “genealogy”, I thought I would always remember where I got information, who said what, and how they explained events in the lives of ancestors that they knew personally or from first hand witnesses. I was talking to people two and three generations older than I am and they had “privileged” information that I no longer have access to. My greatest regret is that I did not do a better job of recording and documenting the stories and first hand reports. Because the term genealogy implies that a study is being made and that “truth” is important, it is essential that information from each source retain its integrity. Many family histories have been told, retold, amended, clarified, and explained so many times that the truth has leaked out and a fable has arisen. Now not being able to attribute a “fact” to a source makes what I “know” fall into the category of mythology rather than genealogy. I have found that difficult genealogical problems require extensive research and evaluation to solve. After forty plus years of “genealogy” I am still trying to retract, recover and repair some of what I put into circulation in those early years. I now collect all the information I can, both “good” and “bad”. It is surprising how often a piece of “good” information is discredited and a “bad” piece becomes the heart of a new thesis and eventually, when combined with other “facts”, the heart of a better genealogy. My goal for many years now has been to make the “story” that is being passed around in the family a reflection of what really happened. Good sourcing gives credibility to my version and I hope each year I am improving the “knowledge pool”.

Sometimes it is important to document several people in order to sort out what your one ancestor really did or did not do. This is especially important in research in Scandinavia. I sometimes have to follow the separate paths of several men with the same name in order to answer the question of what did my person really do and not do.

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Larry Dodge
Larry has been a traveler for most of his life. He went to eight different schools through high school and graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1973 followed by 13½ years in the US Air Force. With the engineering and math background which he brings to genealogy, he expects things to be reasonably logical. Larry has attended Genealogy related classes at BYU as well as Seminars and Symposiums and he has volunteered for many years at the Family History Center in Parker.

Genealogical Beliefs: Every six year old is a beginning genealogist; nearly every genealogical problem has a solution, if you are willing to pay the price (in effort); every person knows something that no one else knows and if it is not recorded, it is lost when they die. I have made most, if not all, the mistakes you are likely to make and can help others avoid the grief those mistakes cause. I love Genealogy. I enjoy the process, the success, and even the setbacks.

Finding My Swedish Relatives
SGSC member ~ Linda Newman Crow

With the help of Kjell Andersson and Ron Floberg, I was able to contact cousins related to my morfar, John Victor Carlson, and my farmor, Anna Olivia Peterson Newman.

[button-green url=”” target=”_self” position=”right”]Read Linda’s Fika Session here![/button-green]

We spent a day and a half with Bengt Löfberg, his sister, Gudrun and their families at Kimramåla, Kråksmåla parish, Kalmar. Bengt and Gudrun are my 2nd half cousins. We have the same great grandmother, Lena Sofia Jonsdotter. They are descendants of Lena Sofia and her second husband, Sven Jaensson.

I corresponded with Elisabeth Isaksson Ernstig, who is a ‘cousin’ through John Victor Carlson’s father, Carl Pehrsson. Carl died when John Victor was only a year old. Our plans to meet with her fell through.

We spent a day in Falkenberg and touring homesteads in Köinge and Höstena, Halland with Gert-Erik Bengtson and his family. Gert-Erik and I have the same 2x great grandparents, Anders Pehrsson and Maria Pehrsdotter.

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Linda Newman Crow
Linda Crow is a native Coloradan. She grew up in Denver. After she and Harv (also a native) were married, Linda taught elementary school in Aurora for 30 years. She and son, Eric, have been working on their Swedish genealogy for 15 years. Eric has entered information about the Crow and Newman ancestors on his Find A Grave website.
Her mormor was born in Illinois, but both of her parents emigrated from Sweden in 1856. Her farmor, farfar, and morfar all arrived in America between 1872 and 1880. She is a 2nd cousin to Beverly Harbourt. Beverly’s great grandfather was Linda’s grandfather’s brother.

Linda and Harv also belong to W.I.S.E. (Welsh, Irish, Scottish, English) genealogy group who meet on the 4th Saturday in this same room.

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