Tech Tuesday – Source-centricity

I’d like to illustrate how I handle part of the chain of research in The Master Genealogist. This post is inspired by DearMYRTLE’s post “Did You View it Personally,” and Louis Kessler’s 6 bad things list.

In a person-centric genealogy application you enter the cousin as a person, and then attach the source to them. In a source-centric genealogy application you enter the source, using the cousin as the repository of the source. You are still adding the cousin, but you are connecting them to the source, rather than adding them as a perhaps unattached person in your database. The cousin may not appear in your database but their source is available for attaching to people who are in the database.

One way you can use these unattached sources is in to-do lists. The sources are in the database, linked to persons you are researching, but not directly attached to them as a source. Doing it this way keeps you from mistakenly citing a source you haven’t used directly. When you have directly used the source, you can attach it directly to the people referred to in that source. The source is still backed up with the cousin as the source of your source.

Handling a source this way enables you to keep the two sources together, and see one each time you use the other. This, is what I meant by my question “Is a person’s oral history interview transcript that much different from a person as a source?” In TMG you make them both sources.

© 2011 N. P. Maling – Sea Genes Family History & Genealogy Research