Document Analysis Report – Evidentia Wishlist

Last week, I wrote a post about my experience using Evidentia to analyze a death certificate.  In it, I mentioned that I would like the Evidentia program to produce a Document Analysis report.  Here is how I think such a report should look; the first part is a template with Evidentia fields in brackets and the second part is a sample report output using my death certificate analysis.

Template

Document Analysis Report

[Citation Title from the Catalogue Claims screen]

 

Source:  [Source Listing from the Document a Source screen]

Citation: [Citation from the Catalogue Claims screen]

Source Analysis

The source reviewed is [source classification from Document a Source screen; i.e. original, derivative, authored work, etc.].  [Citation notes from the Catalogue Claims screen.]

Information and Evidence Analysis

[Claim.]  This information is considered [information classification from Catalogue Claims screen; i.e. primary, secondary, or indeterminable.] The record provides [evidence classification from Analyze Evidence screen; i.e. direct, indirect, or negative] evidence of the claim. [Analysis from the Analyze Evidence screen.]

{Repeat for each additional claim from the relevant document.}

Note:  The template becomes more complicated if there is more than one subject attached to a claim.  For the moment, I’ve added in the next subject and claim type in the same paragraph, immediately following the analysis of the first subject and claim.  Any thoughts on a better way to handle this?

[Claim.]  This information is considered [information classification from Catalogue Claims screen; i.e. primary, secondary, or indeterminable.] The record provides [evidence classification from Analyze Evidence screen; i.e. direct, indirect, or negative] evidence of the claim. [Analysis from the Analyze Evidence screen.]  Next subject: [Subject Name, Claim type].  The record provides [evidence classification from Analyze Evidence screen; i.e. direct, indirect, or negative] evidence of the claim. [Analysis from the Analyze Evidence screen.]

Sample Report Output

Document Analysis Report

Death certificate of J. A. Hemphill

 

Source:  Georgia. Murray County. Death Certificates. Probate Court’s Office, Chatsworth.

Citation: Murray County, Georgia, death certificate no. blank (24 August 1936), J. A. Hemphill; Probate Court’s Office, Chatsworth.

Source Analysis

The source reviewed is an original record.  This is a clear photocopy of the original, signed, death certificate, which I obtained from [name withheld for private use].  Information about the death was recorded by the attending physician; it is likely accurate and will probably provide the best available evidence of the death date and place.  Personal information about the deceased is more prone to error; the information identified below as primary is likely accurate, while the information classified as secondary may include errors.

Information and Evidence Analysis

J. A. Hemphill died in Murray County, Georgia in Militia District 972.  This information is considered primary.  The record provides direct evidence of the claim. This information probably was recorded by a trained official doing his job.  Error is unlikely.

The deceased’s name was J. A. Hemphill. This information is considered primary. The record provides direct evidence of the claim.  The deceased’s son was the informant on the death certificate.  He would obviously have firsthand knowledge of his father’s name.

J. A. Hemphill resided in Ramhurst, GA  at the time of his death.  This information is considered primary.  The record provides direct evidence of the claim.  This information probably was provided by the informant, the deceased’s son.  Error is possible, but unlikely.

J. A. Hemphill was married at the time of his death.  This information is considered primary.  The record provides direct evidence of the claim.  J. A.’s son was the informant on the death certificate.  He would have firsthand knowledge of his father’s marital status.  Next subject:  Roberts, Nancy Alice (death).  The record provides indirect evidence of the claim. While Nancy Alice Roberts is not named in J. A. Hemphill’s death certificate, the document provides indirect evidence that she was alive at the time of his death, otherwise J. A.’s marital status (as reported by their eldest son) would have been recorded as widowed, rather than married.

J. A. Hemphill was 57 years old when he died.  This information is considered secondary.  The record provides direct evidence of the claim. His age at the time of death puts his birth date between  between 25 Aug 1878 and 24 Aug 1879.  While this evidence is direct, it likely originates from J. A. himself.

J. A. Hemphill’s occupation was farmer.  This information is considered primary.  The record provides direct evidence of the claim.  J. A.’s son, the informant, would have firsthand knowledge of his father’s occupation.

J. A. Hemphill was born in Georgia. This information is considered secondary.  The record provides direct evidence of the claim.  This information, along with the age, likely originates from J. A. himself.

J. A. Hemphill’s father was the James Y. Hemphill who was born in North Carolina.  This information is considered secondary.  The record provides direct evidence of the claim.  While I’m sure the informant would know his grandfather’s name, the information is classified as secondary, since the man in question died when J. A. was a child; therefore Uncle Jim never had an opportunity to know his grandfather personally. Next subject: Hemphill, James Young (J. Y.) (child). This information is considered secondary.  The record provides direct evidence of the claim. While I’m sure the informant would know his grandfather’s name, the information is classified as secondary, since the man in question died when J. A. was a child; therefore Uncle Jim never had an opportunity to know his grandfather personally.

James Y. Hemphill (the father of J. A. Hemphill) was born in N. C.  This information is considered secondary.  The record provides direct evidence of the claim. The informant on the death certificate of J. A. Hemphill was J. Y. Hemphill of Ramhurst, Georgia.  While it is not stated on the record, he was the deceased’s son and would have only secondary knowledge regarding his grandfather’s birth place.  This information should only be used to corroborate or cast doubt on other, higher-quality pieces of evidence.

J. A. Hemphill’s mother was Mary E. McEntire. This information is considered primary. The record provides direct evidence of the claim. The informant, Uncle Jim, would have known his grandmother personally; he was 19 when she died. Next subject: McEntire, Mary Elizabeth (child). This information is considered primary. The record provides direct evidence of the claim. The informant, Uncle Jim, would have known his grandmother personally; he was 19 when she died.

Mary E. McEntire was born in N. C. This information is considered secondary. The record provides direct evidence of the claim. The informant, her grandson, would have only secondary knowledge of her birth place.  This evidence should only be used to corroborate or cast doubt on other, higher-quality pieces of evidence.

J. Y. Hemphill (the informant) resided in Ramhurst, Ga. on R. # 1 at the time the death certificate was issued around August 25, 1936. This information is considered primary. The record provides direct evidence of the claim. I have no reason to believe this is inaccurate.

J. A. Hemphill was buried at McEntire Cemetery.  This information is considered primary.  The record provides direct evidence of the claim. This information probably was provided by the informant, the deceased’s son.  Error is possible, but unlikely.

J. A. Hemphill was buried on 25 Aug 1936. This information is considered primary. The record provides direct evidence of the claim. This is likely to be the only piece of evidence regarding the regarding the date of J. A.’s burial, unless I can locate a burial permit or records from the funeral home; however it is high-quality – direct evidence from a primary source (his son) found on an original record.  Error is possible, but unlikely.  The death certificate also reports that the undertaker was Love Funeral Home of Dalton, Ga.

J. A. Hemphill died 24 Aug 1936 at 7:30 PM.  This information is considered primary.  The record provides direct evidence of the claim. This information was reported by the attending physician, M. P. Bates of Ramhurst, Ga., who saw him on the day he died.  Error is unlikely.

So, there you have it.  A complete report of all claims and analysis from one source record.  It took forever to put this sample together, because I kept having to click back and forth between the “Catalogue Claims” screen and the “Analyze Evidence” screen for every piece of information.  I think it’s an important report to have, though.  What do you think, Evidentia users?  Is this something you would like to see included in the software?

Update 7/31/2013:  A report very similar to this was added to the last Evidentia release.  Thanks to Ed, the developer, for being so responsive!

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Comments

  1. says

    So what you are suggesting is sort of a commingling of the “Claims by Source” report and the “Proof Report?”

    I guess I’m confused as to what purpose this report would serve. Unless I’m doing something wrong (which is entirely possible), I don’t analyze the source itself other than to classify it as original/derivative/authored work – just the information it contains – in context with other information from other sources for the same claim.

    Hopefully, Ed Thompson will see your post (I’ll make sure he does) and be able to respond. In the interim, you can always print a “draft” proof report that has all the information you’ve entered, even without a conclusion (plus, it will tell you which claims haven’t been analyzed yet). Granted, that won’t give you all the information and analysis from one single source, but again – I’m not sure why you would want it that way.
    Jenny Lanctot´s last blog post ..IGHR Day Five (Final Full Day)

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      Hi Jenny, I think this report fills a gap between the “Claims by Source” report and the “Proof Report.” “Claims by Source” only lists the claims – not the analysis for each claim (hence the name). The “Proof Report” lists the claims AND analysis, but only for a specific subject AND event (i.e. “for the Birth of Hemphill, James Alexander”; it also includes any other sources that address that subject and event.

      Why would I want such a report? There are a couple of reasons.

      1. Comparing the report to the document helps me to see things I may have missed. For example, when writing this blog post, I found at least three claims that I had failed to enter.
      2. ESM does a “record analysis report” as part of her workflow and since my mantra is “what would ESM do,” I try to always do one as well. : ) In reality, I would likely edit the output of any automatically-created report, but having the auto-report would give me a headstart.

      The draft proof report will not give me what I want, which is one report that shows every claim and every analysis related to one source document. In order to get that from the proof report, I have to create a report for each subject with claims from that document.

      The Document Analysis report may not be something that everyone needs. For me, though, it’s an essential part of my workflow. My purpose in writing this post was to demonstrate that it would be relatively easy to add this report to the software. The claims and analysis are already in the system; it’s just a question of getting them out in a different format than is currently available.

      • says

        Ahh … ok. I get it. I see how that could be valuable from a research planning standpoint. I agree that it should be relatively easy to do such a report (though that’s pure speculation on my part because I’m not a programmer or developer, so I’ll leave that to the professionals).

        I think I have a sample report like ESM’s around here somewhere. I’ll let him see it so he can get an idea of what needs to be included in this new report.
        Jenny Lanctot´s last blog post ..IGHR Day Five (Final Full Day)

    • Tonia Kendrick says

      Hi Ed, I agree that Source Analysis report is a more accurate name. I appreciate your adding this to the enhancement list. I think it will be a value-add (I know it will add value for me). Thanks!

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