As most of you know, military records are my absolute favorite documents. The Civil War is probably my favorite period, but the War of 1812 is now running a close second. I adopted a privateer from that war a couple of years ago, thinking I might want to do some more in-depth research on it, and this month's assignment is my start on that project: "The First Voyage of the Schooner Growler: Salem Privateer in the War of 1812." Here are my answers to this month's questions.
- Choose a military record that intrigues you. Here are a few examples: a draft registration or its associated documents; an affidavit from a pension application; an enlistment or discharge paper; a final payment; a medical record; a military tombstone application. This is just a tiny fraction of the possibilities in the world of military records.
- Enter the information derived from the record in your TMG database.
- Did you abstract or transcribe the document? Both. I transcribed the information in the two Document tags; I extracted or abstracted information in the two types of Event tags; and the Comment tag is used for my own narrative.
- Don't forget your source citation!
- What source type template did you use? I used a custom template called "National Archives Film/Fiche (Online)." We don't have anything exactly like it in our template book, but one could modify our NARA microfilm template by adding the online website information.
- Did you have any problems citing the source? No.
|Source Definition Screen|
- Write a narrative at least two paragraphs in length.
- In what type of article would your narrative be appropriate: family history, research report, or proof argument? This project, when I finish it, would be more appropriate for a journal article.
Remember this year's goals.
- We want to develop the habit of analyzing each record we use, and not just enter each information bit without thinking about its meaning.
- We want to make conscious decisions on what data we want to enter into TMG, how we enter that data, and how we will use that data in our research.
- We want to develop the habit of writing research reports and real family histories, not just printing out pedigree charts and family group sheets.
- We want to make TMG fit our research needs and goals. We don't want to make our research practices fit TMG.