Sometimes all the computer power in the world cannot help you find the family history records you are looking for. My Great-great-great grandfather, John Tanner, is a case in point. My research goal was really to look for John's great-great-grandfather, William Tanner. But the search for William eventually lead to direct information about John Tanner's birth, dates that had been passed down for hundreds of years and had been the subject of a number of books. Unfortunately, not one of those traditional reports had any reference to a source for the information concerning John Tanner's birth.
Why John Tanner? He is noted as the first of the New England Tanner's to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As mentioned, he has been the subject of a number of books and at least one movie. The recently released movie relates his conversion to the LDS Church and some few events of his life. See Christensen, T. C., Matthew D. Maddox, Shauna Thompson, Nathan Mitchell, and Michael A. Dunn. Treasure in heaven the John Tanner story. Orem, UT: Candlelight Media Group, 200.
The books about John Tanner include:
Tanner, George S. John Tanner and His Family: A History-Biography of John Tanner of Lake George, New York, Born August 15, 1778, Hopkinton, Rhode Island, Died April 13, 1850, at South Cottonwood, Utah. Salt Lake City: John Tanner Family, 1974.
Tanner, Maurice. Descendants of John Tanner. 1942.
And a few others.
In all those written works, there is very little citations to any sources. In that regard, it must be said that the concept of providing a source for genealogical information has been considered necessary only more recently.