My Sources


I think it is very important to record one's sources of information when publishing any genealogical data.  I have been frustrated over the years, as I am sure you have been, by finding interesting details recorded here and there in old family papers without any indication of where the information was obtained.  Of course, it was much more difficult and time-consuming in the pen and paper era to ascribe a source to every piece of information and my forebears can be forgiven for not having done so but there is absolutely no excuse now that excellent genealogical databases are freely available for use on personal computers .

My grandfather, Richard James Green, was a keen genealogist who spent about "The House of Green" - Richard James Green 1906 30 years accumulating family information which he recorded in a fine hand in a book which he called "The House of Green".  Only very occasionally, in this extensive work, is there any mention of where he obtained the information that he records.  From the correspondence and documents that have survived, it seems that he did little original research himself and relied instead on information obtained from other family members or from books.

"The House of Green" has been invaluable to me in creating the various family details that make up these web pages but from the start I set out to verify all the dates, relationships, etc., that it records.  I have done this, wherever possible, by going back to original documents such as parish or civil registers, newspaper notices, Wills and so on. 

Of course, it has not always been either possible or practicable to verify every piece of information that I have obtained from the many family sources, apart from "The House of Green", which have helped me build this family record, particularly when the original source is in some distant country.  Nevertheless, I have tried to ascribe a source to everything that I have recorded even if, in some cases, that source is entirely unverified, believing as I do that any attribution is better than none! 

One final point. Beware of transcriptions, very useful though they are! Old records, when difficult to read, often give rise to misreadings or misinterpretations.  Moreover, entries that are very difficult to read are sometimes skipped altogether.  This problem with transcriptions can as true of FamilySearch records as it is for those compiled by local genealogists; so do always check the original source whenever you can.

J. R. U. Green


Last update: 26 May 2023
Copyright J R U Green - 2004 to 2023