Verbosity or sparsity or …

The subject alludes to outcomes of Gutenberg’s contribution. Of course, we have seen that the influence of blogsphere has, for the most part, increased the noise/signal ratio. Yet, that which is denoted by write-once-compute-everywhere (or, even, Occam’s little ditty) has some appeal, as long as we recognize when minimization activities border on the unhealthy.

Last time, we looked at supporting material for an application to a heritage society and its increasing nature as generations stack up. In essence, the applicant starts with information about her/his self and then adds information about parents & grandparents (recurrently) until some goal is met. In terms of many societies, this would be someone on the list of qualified ancestors. For each of the generations from two on, both parties are to be identified with documented information about birth, marriage(s), and death. Naturally, the emphasis is more upon the ones in the linage than the other person. It is an unfortunate fact, that, in many cases, we know little, or nothing, about a spouse.

The example shown in the prior post goes back to Generation 11, as does that discussed below. With everything covered, the packet could have 50+ pages. A good part of these pages (one third) deals with those who are close to the applicant. And, supporting material is such that a store once and retrieve techniques becomes feasible.

To boot, those first few generations have material that is way too descriptive for the need (with this information being reproduced and duplicated, time and again, ending up who knows where (anyone ever do analysis of this? – a few organization who could take on such tasks come to mind but are not considered in this post) under whatever is the case state of affairs).

All of this is leading to a proposal, however let’s look at another example. Before some of the details come out (name of the organization left out intentionally), we can see how sparse it is. We are talking seven pages to cover generations five through eleven. What? Application_2 annotated

Too, mind you, three of the pages carry information about the sources (as in, five frontispieces). Yes.

Now, was this accepted? Well, it was the first application that I did beyond D.A.R., as in, by myself. That comment is meant to commend D.A.R. for helping new applicants through the process.

And, it was accepted. Actually, the reviewer liked the format.

What did I know? The next organization bounced this type of thing back. Thereafter, all of the applications were of the verbose nature. In fact, the last was so verbose, it passed within minutes as everything was covered (one of the best seen by the reviewer).

But, folks, is that necessary? Before you answer, I would really like to hear why genealogists do not trust one another (my take) and do not like something like D.A.R’s Record Copy.

Now, this seven-paged effort did use the D.A.R. Record Copy (thank you, unnamed organization). However, consider that the four remaining page contains snips from sources with links between generations.

What is wrong with that?

Next, the proposal will be offered and discussed. It will have a few more pages, yet those pages will be not much more than this example. Too, once we settle on the format, this will be the suggested way for documenting applications to membership of the Thomas Gardner Society, Inc.

The approach assumes that access to on-line material will persist which is not a big problem. And, it is expected that we can, through time, maintain reasonable connections to information (open issues abound that are actively being addressed by those who are responsible for technology and its usage).


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