Monday, August 30, 2010
A Secondary Document
A secondary document is any record that gives additional information or account of the individual you are researching after that person has died. These may be public or private records. They would include books (biographies), magazine articles, newspaper articles, public records or accounts, or any additional records that give "second hand" information about the person you seek. Some of these records might included genealogical work or historical texts which have clear documentation. Those with clear documentation are the most helpful, since you can actually verify the sources given. [That is why documentation is so important in your own tree climbing.] Many of the secondary sources may present information that is not clearly documented such as family stories (legends), oral histories, and newspaper articles. Any genealogical information that is given without references or documentation should be clearly noted. This is often the case with Internet sites and family trees given on undocumented Internet sites. [I have found many of these sites to have extensive errors.]
The picture to the right shows an example of a secondary document. It is titled "Daniel Boone", and is published 1911. It is interesting reading and gives a detailed account of the life of Daniel Boone. It gives no documentation to allow the reader to verify the accounts told in the book. A secondary source it is.