"Our Loose Ends" Genealogy Column
by Lynna Kay Shuffield
Houston, Texas

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Printed in the Taylor Daily Press - 23 Mar 2000

"What do you do when someone else’s research does not agree with your research? "

Recently I received an astounding 14-page letter from an individual in Nevada about one of my research lines in Milam County, Texas. It was related to some information that I had posted on a website about this families’ descendants and my work related to documentation of the line for membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution.

I was flabbergasted the individual, who went into minute detail, came to such a different conclusion. As I read the letter, I was able to determine the individual was discarding evidence and documentation that did not agree with their personal conclusion.

With any genealogical research, you must remember that you must evaluate all documentation equally; you cannot disregard documents, which do not agree with your personal conclusion.

When the individual was presented with copies of all of the original documentation, much of which they did not have access to, they still refused to consider any other conclusion. The conclusion they reached was the only possible lineage and everything else was disregarded. This is what I refer to as the “ostrich head in the sand syndrome.” By ignoring all other evidence and documentation, their far-fetched conclusion remains the truth to them. This researcher was not interested in the truth, only the truth as it pertains to their beliefs.

Below is a list of the “Standards For Sound Genealogical Research” which has been recommended by the National Genealogical Society. You should always remember that you are engaged in a quest for truth, whether you agree with it or not ---

National Genealogical Society

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) was founded in 1903 has a membership of over 17,000 including individuals, families, genealogical societies, family associations, libraries, and other related institutions. You can visit the NGS website at: http://ngsgenealogy.org/.

There are several levels of NGS membership and they include: Basic Individual Membership at $40 per year; Family Membership (two families living at the same address at $50 per year; Senior Citizen members (at age 65 after 1 year of membership) at $35 per year; and, Organizational (genealogy groups, family associations, libraries, etc) at $30 per year.

One of the more interesting research services offer by the NGS are the “Deceased American Physician Records” which were formerly held by the American Medical Association. These records cover American physicians who died between the years of 1906 and 1969.

There is a $15.00 for the search, even if no record is found. However, if your are lucky, you can expect to obtain the doctor’s full name, date & place of birth, early education information, all please where he/she were licensed to practice medicine and date, place & cause of death.

Please keep in mind that not all records are this complete; some have much more information and some include photographs. Records do not include any information about parents, spouse or children. They sometimes the records will have a citation to the obituary.

For information on the NGS, write to: 4527 17th St., North, Arlington, Virginia, 22207-2399 or send an e-mail: ngs@ngsgenealogy.org or telephone (703) 525-0052, call (800) 473-0060.

In this column, I will be glad to highlight and review any family history, genealogy, county history, or similar book, free of charge, if you donate a copy of the book or item. After it has been highlighted and reviewed, on a space available basis, it will be donated to the genealogy section of a library. You will receive an acknowledgment of the donation from the library. Mail item or book to me at the below address.

Lynna Kay Shuffield has written several books related to Texas genealogy and military history. She has spoken before numerous genealogy and veterans groups. Also, is a County Coordinator for the Texas GenWeb Project. Regretfully, she cannot help with individual genealogical research. Please visit the website for this column at: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/2670/ COLUMN-001.htm or if you have any questions, comments, suggestions for column topics, genealogy or historical society announcements, please contact her at: P. O. Box 16604, Houston, Texas 77222-6604 or e-mail: lksfriday@sbcglobal.net

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This webpage was last created on 28 Mar 2000 and was last revised on 4 Mar 2005

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2005 Lynna Kay Shuffield - All rights reserved.
P. O. Box 16604
Houston, Texas 77222-6604