Sunday, January 13, 2013

New Genealogy Software - Evidentia

Thanks to Shanon Bennett's (TNT Family History) review of a new software posted on The In-Depth Genealogists website on January 11, 2013, I decided to take a look at Evidentia. What I saw and read I liked so much I didn't even go for the free 30 day trial; I just bought it at the current sale price.

I'm sure Evidentia will be a great asset in my genealogy toolbox. It took some initial concentration to get my mind around this source-based way of looking at my work. I must admit for my first attempt I cheated just a little and used a person and event I had previously worked through by other methods. However, the evaluation of each source made clear not so much discrepancies but duplication of information.

I was looking at the sources used as evidence to prove the birth date and location of my 3rd great grandfather, George Washington Leisure. The sources I used are the US census records from 1850-1880, a county history book, and his obituary. His age in each census - except one - matched the year of birth recorded in the history book and his obituary and all sources showed his birth place as Kentucky.

What I really noticed through this evaluation, however, was the similarity between the writing in the history book and his obituary. So even though the information in each is the same, I can't really use them as separate evidence. That doesn't mean the obituary isn't useful though because the history book was written prior to George's death, making the obituary stand alone as evidence of his death date (no that's not my only evidence for his death date).

Another benefit of the software is the creation of correct bibliographic and citation listings.The citations are included on the Genealogical Proof Report created by the software based on the information submitted by the user.

Bottom line, this software provides a place to bring together all your sources for an event, evaluate their information, and make a logical conclusion. That conclusion, by the way, may be the need for further evidence. Evidentia works on the premise of providing a tool to assist the genealogist with compliance to the genealogical proof standard. The software is not meant to replace your current genealogy software and it does not import information from it. Everything must be input by the user either by keying or using the cut and paste method; however, by doing this entry methodically the user must consider each detail from the beginning and that's not a bad thing.

I like Evidentia and plan to use it as I work through my research, especially with my more controversial ancestors and events.

As a note, I am not affiliated with Evidentia in anyway other than a user. As I use it more, if I incur any major difficulties or triumphs, I'll be sure to let you know.

~Becky

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