* Cemetery Abstracts - what are they..?

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russellf97
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Cemetery Abstracts - what are they..?

Post by russellf97 » 17 Feb 2021 14:35

Hi All,
Looking at the list of Source Templates, there are two varieties of Cemetery Abstracts.
Google hasn't been of any real help in explaining what they are, so my question is, can anyone explain what they are in words of one syllable, and, as someone who is just researching his family tree for his own amusement, am I likely to find them of any use anyway?
Phil

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Re: Cemetery Abstracts - what are they..?

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 17 Feb 2021 14:47

Cemetery Abstracts are entries in a file derived from more detailed Cemetery Records (e.g. an index of graves produced by a local family history society).

If you've found those source types, you're looking at the Advanced collection of source templates, based on Elizabeth Shown Mills work -- and for somebody "just researching his family tree for his own amusement" the Advance collection is almost certainly overkill in the level of detail it goes into.

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russellf97
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Re: Cemetery Abstracts - what are they..?

Post by russellf97 » 17 Feb 2021 15:03

Thank you very much for answering the question. Although I do have several cemetery indexes, I rather suspected that Abstracts were something I didn't really need.
Phil

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Re: Cemetery Abstracts - what are they..?

Post by AdrianBruce » 17 Feb 2021 16:10

One of the distinct problems with even looking at the stuff by Elizabeth Shown Mills (for whom I have a huge amount of respect, by the way), is that we (the UK and the USA) are "divided by a common tongue" and what has a clear meaning to someone over there is - a puzzlement at best over here. Like "Cemetery Abstract"....

I remember once reading a discussion in an ESM related list about whether something was a Marriage Record or a Marriage Certificate. Come again? If you live in England & Wales there is only one marriage document (several copies of it, mind), so what on earth is that distinction? (I suspect, by the way, that I do know the difference but let's leave it at that...)

So don't imagine that her document types will be at all meaningful to us in every case.
Adrian

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Re: Cemetery Abstracts - what are they..?

Post by jbtapscott » 17 Feb 2021 17:49

I would agree with Adrian on this. After I upgraded to V7 and started looking at the list of Source Template Definitions I have to admit I was immediately put off by the number of "americanisms" in the names / descriptions that, in all honesty, made little or no sense to me from a genealogy perspective. This has certainly not encouraged me to investigate further at this stage.
Brent Tapscott ~ researching the Tapscott and Wallace family history
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Re: Cemetery Abstracts - what are they..?

Post by mezentia » 17 Feb 2021 23:47

Adrian, I think there is a distinction between a marriage record and a marriage certificate. A marriage record is simply that , a record of a marriage having taken place. Pallet's marriage register is perhaps an example of just that. A marriage bond or allegation indicates an intent to engage in marriage, which is usually, but not always actually, carried out, but which nevertheless can usually be assumed to indicate that a marriage did occur. They are all secondary evidence. A marriage certificate, however, is primary evidence of an actual marriage ceremony having occured at a specific date and place. Personally, I certainly keep anything that states it to be a certificate separate from other documents that say that a marriage has occurred. I have several marriages in the USA where I have, for example, a copy of the marriage license application, but this does not always state the marriage date, simply that the marriage should take place within a certain period after the license has been granted. I assume the marriage took place, but without an actual certificate, there is no unquestionable proof.

I haven't read Elizabeth Shown Mills, but use the book by Helen Osborn, Genealogy, Essential research Methods, which I find to be an excellent and pragmatic guide, if, by her own admission, not always to ESM's exacting standards.

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Re: Cemetery Abstracts - what are they..?

Post by russellf97 » 18 Feb 2021 09:26

I’ve read the discussions with some interest, and after a bit of thought would amend my original post to “...for his own interest…”, although family members do profess interest in any little nuggets I’ve found about long-gone relatives (including a murderer!). I looked at getting ESM’s book, but that seems to be aimed at the really serious/professional family researcher, whereas I’m most decidedly an amateur.
Mezentia mentioned Helen Osborn’s book, which would probably be as much help as I need or want - as well as being in my preferred price range! However, I am using a few of the new templates. Along with AS, they help/make me enter my information in a more structured way, which can only be a good thing.
Phil

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Re: Cemetery Abstracts - what are they..?

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 18 Feb 2021 09:34

You might also consider 'Referencing for Genealogists: Sources and Citations' by Ian G. MacDonald, which is based on the Strathclyde approach (as is the Essentials collection of Templates).

If you can get sight of the first couple of chapters of ESM's magnum opus (which are about the Fundamentals of Evidence Analysis, and the Fundamental of Citations) those are relevant every genealogist. The rest of the book is about construting citations in her style, but the fundamentals apply to every style of citation.

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Re: Cemetery Abstracts - what are they..?

Post by Mark1834 » 18 Feb 2021 11:36

All of these books appear to be available in Kindle form at much lower price than the printed versions. Are there any significant compromises in content or usability (assuming of course that you are comfortable with e-books in general)?
Mark Draper

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Re: Cemetery Abstracts - what are they..?

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 18 Feb 2021 11:57

I have all three as ebooks -- but I also have two physical copies of Evidence Explained (different editions) and one physical copy of Helen Osborn's book. I'm happy to use the Osborn and Macdonald books electronically (although I don't do it often, having read them cover-to-cover when I first got them), but my hands always reach for a physical copy of Evidence Explained -- it's much easier to look things up in the physical copy and flip back and forth between different sections.

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Re: Cemetery Abstracts - what are they..?

Post by AdrianBruce » 18 Feb 2021 12:51

mezentia wrote:
17 Feb 2021 23:47
Adrian, I think there is a distinction between a marriage record and a marriage certificate. A marriage record is simply that, a record of a marriage having taken place. ... A marriage certificate, however, is primary evidence of an actual marriage ceremony having occured at a specific date and place. ...
Yes, I think that there was a bit more to it than that, though. I think that in the context of the thread that I remember, there was a difference between "records of a marriage" and a Marriage Record - capitalised. And the thread implied a difference between a Marriage Record (capitalised) and a Marriage Certificate (also capitalised). My memory could, however, be at fault because the closest to that discussion that I can now find is from an earlier Evidence Explained (section 9.31 of the 2007 edition), which states:
If you are citing an entry in a register, you are usually not citing a certificate. (An exception would be a form-type register in which each page is preprinted with multiple “certificates.”) If you are citing a photocopy or digital image of a page from a register, you are not citing a certificate. A vital-records certificate is typically a loose piece of paper, preprinted as a form with blanks to be filled in.
I think this means that a book of entries is considered to be a register. On the other hand, as she says, a certificate is classically a single sheet of paper given to someone. But notice the "exception"....

I have to say that I find this distinction somewhat moot - which could always be because I haven't understood it properly - especially since England & Wales use "a form-type register in which each page is preprinted" with things that look identical to the loose leaf certificates. We're back to the precise meaning of things like Abstract / Summary / Extract / Index, all of which mean something to the person who wrote them but not necessarily to the rest of us!
Adrian

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Re: Cemetery Abstracts - what are they..?

Post by LornaCraig » 18 Feb 2021 13:22

Adrian, I think there is another distinction which you haven't mentioned. It's a legal distinction, although probably not an important distinction for genealogists.

A certificate is a 'Certified copy of an entry of birth/marriage/death' and has legal standing as proof that the event took place. (Even if we know that, for example, a birth certificate may not show the true date of birth - if the parents wanted to avoid a fine for late registration!)

An image from a page in a B/M/D register contains the same information but is not certified as a true copy. I don't think you'd get far with a passport application if you produced an image from the birth register as an alternative to your birth certificate!

Fo this reason if I get images from the GRO site or from ScotlandsPeople I class these as 'Statutory record of birth/marriage/death' to distinguish them from certificates.
Lorna

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Re: Cemetery Abstracts - what are they..?

Post by Mark1834 » 18 Feb 2021 13:23

t's much easier to look things up in the physical copy
I know exactly what you mean - my 35-year-old Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers is always my first port of call for parish names and locations (and thankfully my eyesight is still up to the tiny print on some of the maps! :))
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Re: Cemetery Abstracts - what are they..?

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 18 Feb 2021 13:48

Mark1834 wrote:
18 Feb 2021 13:23
t's much easier to look things up in the physical copy
I know exactly what you mean - my 35-year-old Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers is always my first port of call for parish names and locations (and thankfully my eyesight is still up to the tiny print on some of the maps! :))
We're straying very much off topic here, but I suspect it's a difference between reference works and instructional works (for want of a better term).

It is probably also related to age -- those of us who didn't grow up with ebooks have not learnt the undoubtedly simple (if you know how) techniques for referencing what you need quickly. Whereas my nieces, great nieces et al would have no problem at all with an ebook but wouldn't know where to start with a 2" thick 900 page hardback. (ESM, for those who might be panicking -- the other books are much more reasonable).

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Re: Cemetery Abstracts - what are they..?

Post by mezentia » 18 Feb 2021 13:50

Adrian
which could always be because I haven't understood it properly
You are far too modest. I for one really apprecite your contributions and insights here.

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Re: Cemetery Abstracts - what are they..?

Post by AdrianBruce » 18 Feb 2021 15:18

LornaCraig wrote:
18 Feb 2021 13:22
... A certificate is a 'Certified copy of an entry of birth/marriage/death' and has legal standing as proof that the event took place ... An image from a page in a B/M/D register contains the same information but is not certified as a true copy. ...
That's true, though as you say, it's not really important for genealogists.

As an aside, this issue led me to Method1 / Splitting right at the very start of my genealogy (when I was using PAF). I remember having a certified copy of a marriage which, as a single physical object, I had put into PAF as a single source-record on its own. Then I went down to the local library to consult films of parish registers and was wondering how to enter the marriages from there. One source record per microfilm? One source record per set of images of a single parish register? Then I realised that would result in lots of marriages per source-record (Lumped / Method2 as I didn't then call it). Why on earth should I treat those marriages differently from the certified copy which had its own source-record? The genealogical pay-load, after all, was identical. That was my desire for consistency leading me to Splitting / Method 1 - others may emphasise different desires...
Adrian

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