Family Tradition as a Source

Print Friendly

Most genealogists probably encounter family traditions. They’re the stories—often with uncertain origins—that have been passed down from one generation to the next. The tales may involve subjects such as ethnicity, places of origin, military exploits, occupations, accomplishments, connections to famous people, and so on. Can we use family traditions as sources? Absolutely! As Thomas W. Jones points out in “Perils of Source Snobbery,” by omitting sources such as family tradition, valuable data could be overlooked.[1] Genealogical standards teach researchers to evaluate and analyze sources as well as to compare evidence from multiple, independent sources. Incorporating family traditions into sound research, therefore, requires that stories be evaluated, analyzed, and compared to evidence obtained elsewhere.

Only NGS members have access to full articles of NGS Monthly. Please log in or click here to learn more about joining the National Genealogical Society. 

If you have trouble logging on or accessing the articles, please contact webmaster@ngsgenealogy.org 

Comments
  1. December 20, 2016 10:29 am
    • December 21, 2016 6:56 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *