Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Genealogical Gift from a Box of Peaches

I have just read a most remarkable example of outstanding genealogical research called "A Box of Peaches." It was written by my friend Tony Proctor who lives in rural Ireland. The blog post on Tony's blog, Parallax View, is also a very touching story and is supplemented with an Adobe Spark "Glideshow" also called "A Box of Peaches" that summarizes the story of solving a very difficult genealogical mystery.

What is important about this narrative of genealogical discovery is that Tony provides a very detailed list of footnotes with extensive documentation. The article is a perfect example of how story telling can be combined with superior research to provide both the emotional content of family history and still retain the professional level research component. I believe that the present promotional activities trying to get people interested in doing family research by involving them in the stories and photos of their ancestors would be better served by following Tony's example where fine research helps to document the touching story.

If you have been looking for a middle-ground solution for the controversy, how about using Tony's post as the prime example of how things should be done.


  1. Gulp! ... otherwise, well said James! All those good things that are taught about evidence handling and source references were never intended to be a barrier or obstacle. I welcome the day when ordinary (not academic or professional) people embrace them, and understand the need for them. You don't need a degree in English, or History, or whatever. You don't need to have perfect grammar. You don't even need to get hung up over the format of your citations. Simply understanding the need to say what you found, where, and why it's relevant, would be something for any writer to be proud of. That should free them up to work on the emotional content, and weave the the parts together to create a work worth preserving.

  2. This is a terrific post. What a great idea!