Gwnhwyfer's Reviews > Genealogical Standards of Evidence: A Guide for Family Historians

Genealogical Standards of Evidence by Brenda Dougall Merriman
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's review
Jan 19, 12

bookshelves: adult, non-fiction, genealogy, canada, 2012-reads, personal-copy, 4-stars
Read in January, 2012 — I own a copy

This book didn't turn out to be what I expected.

That's not necessarily a bad thing (and in this case it wasn't), it was just...unexpected.

Genealogical Standards of Evidence by Brenda Dougall Merriman is part of the Genealogist's Reference Shelf series by OGS/Dundurn Press. As befits a guide from a Canadian genealogy guru, it is a concise and readable *introduction* (note the stars) to the current citation practices and evidence analysis within the genealogical field. She also covers, in brief, suggestions for further education (courses, certification, societies, etc.), includes a 5 (and 1/2) page checklist of sources, and ends with "illustrative examples" of common Canadian (mostly Ontario) historical documents, accompanied by explanations and citation examples. Overall, Genealogical Standards of Evidence is a good reference book, especially for beginning and Canadian genealogists and at just over 120 pages, it won't take up too much space on the shelf.

That being said...

I was expecting this book to be less an introduction and more of a Canadian version of Elizabeth Shown Mills' Evidence!. I had assumed it would include (as the major body of the book) lists or examples of Canadian documents and how to cite them - which was included, but nowhere near the amount that I had hoped for. While Evidence! is hands down the best go-to guide, it only contains American examples (which does almost nothing for me ;)

In the end, I craved reassurance that I was creating my *Canadian* citations (and mini footnote proof arguments) in the correct manner. While there are minor differences between what is given and how I have constructed mine, Merriman's examples reassured me that I'm on the right track. She's also got me thinking about furthering my "genealogical" education - not bad, for the unexpected. ;)

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