Friday, January 17, 2014

If you find a transcribed document on USGenWeb, what do you do?

Actually, it really doesn’t matter where on the internet you find the transcribed document.  I am just using USGenWeb as an example because it just so happens there is a transcribed document there that I am interested in.  It is a roster of the Grand Lodge [Masonic] of Georgia, 1854 St. John's Lodge No. 100, Haysville, Columbia County.  There is someone on the list that I am researching (W. Q. Spires).  My first move is to email the submitter and hope that the email address is still valid.  I am going to ask her where the document is and if she has an image of it.  I always try and get the original document if I can. 

If I can’t contact the submitter, or if she doesn’t know where the document is now and doesn’t have an image of it, I will use the transcription as a source.  This isn’t the route I want to go but if I have to do this then hopefully the submitter will be able to provide me with some additional information that I can add to the source to make it more credible (when and where she saw the document, for example).   The more information that I have about the document the better the citation will be.  If she doesn’t have an image but knows where the document is then I will try and get the image myself. 

There is another question you might be asking, how is a simple roster from the Masons useful information?  It puts W. Q. Spires in Lincoln County in 1854.  I can add this to his timeline.  It also gives me a list of his associates.  One name in particular stands out, J. P. M. McCord.  I am pretty sure that W. Q. Spires is William Spires that married Mary McCord so this J. P. M. McCord definitely interests me.

Copyright © 2014 Michele Simmons Lewis

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