Genealogy: Expanding on the writings of ancestors

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  • DRay Roy, UT
    Jan. 26, 2014 12:01 a.m.

    Good article, beneficial to my preparation to record family histories. I would be careful about speculation on what might have been considered the norm. In reality no one is really average or "normal." The histories would be more valuable without speculation, but footnotes or added reference may enhance if given as comparative. Let the reader speculate if they will, but keep the histories accurate, unvarnished.

    Jan. 25, 2014 3:55 p.m.

    One thing that can be done with biographies/autobiographies of ancestors is to use the suggestions in this article to gather material to footnote obscure events, places, or people referenced in the biography. For instance, my Great grandfather wrote in his autobiography a brief statement that he was witness to all the events of the Reformation of 1856 [in Utah]. Readers of today would not understand what that reformation was all about--a period of time ten years after coming to the Great Basin Area of the United States that the Latter-day Saints used to recommit themselves to the LDS Church through repentance and rebaptism. That's one example of many where footnotes to his Autobiography helps to clarify details he may have understood well but didn't explain thoroughly.
    Footnoting allows for clarification of the biography without corrupting the integrity of the original.