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15 February 2014

Don't Be Modern

When transcribing a document or genealogical item, don't "fix" it. Don't modernize spellings or use the version of the last name that a later member of the family used. Also don't "tweak" the document to make your ancestor look presentable by twenty-first standards. Your ancestor may not want to be judged by "modern" standards any more than you may want to be judged a hundred years into the future.

And when something is "modernized," there is always the chance you make an error. That's something none of us want.

If you must comment or annotate (which is sometimes necessary) do so in brackets [ ].

1 comment:

  1. Great tip. I do like the tip put modern explanations or variations in brackets. Some things do not make sense and the power of the [ ] to provide clarification is an interesting idea.