Traditional Sources
by
Stefan Bielinski

"Traditional Sources" is a "term of convenience" that we use to acknowledge undocumented and presently undocumentable (no verifiable sources given) information that has appeared in print at some time in the past. These historical "gems" or "nuggets" or _____ are "after-the-fact" statements that a historian / antiquarian / storyteller has compiled and has passed on. We utilize them in our expositions when we think they might have some value. BUT, at the same time, we cannot caution the reader too strongly that we are NOT saying what they pass on is fact / true / correct. In other words, be careful!

Most of those more frequently used resources relating to the early Albany story are catalogued in our bibliographies entitled: Books or Family Histories and Genealogies. We firmly (such as it is) believe that all of these resources are worthwhile. How worthwhile has / can / will be debated - sometimes passionately!

Chief among these works are the resources produced by Jonathan Pearson during the second half of the nineteenth century. His three major publications, PFS, SPFS, and ERA, stand as amazing works - even today. They have been utilized extensively by us but hopefully with great care and caution. They are not perfect. But they do stand out as a perfect starting point.

A link to this page has been placed in an unobtrusive place near where the historical tidbit appears! That means that most readers of the web page will overlook it. Congratulations and thanks for noticing! You are more careful / observant / persistent / and truth-hungry than the average surfer!

At the same time, these authoritative looking resources are filled with the names of persons, places, and things, with references to activities and events, and with date references. These are the ingredients of history. Accept and use them at your own peril. For myself (Skeptical Steve), I acknowledge them and sometimes employ (utilize is too strong) them. But, like most unverifiable statements, I cannot afford to believe them.

Please understand that we have tremendous respect for the so-called traditional resources. We owe a lot to their existence. They are truly indispensable. However, we cannot afford to take them too seriously. I believe them to be a form of folklore and try never to suggest them without some cautionary remarks. So again, I caution you to please be careful!


Our thoughts on this are very much in-progress - and please be skeptical of everything!


notes

Dates: Specific dates are among the tastiest morsels found in traditional resources. We allow that most of them seem to have some basis in fact. Hey, those numbers always look authentic! But beware! Unless the fact/statement can be traced to a verifiable (able to be seen) original records resource (primary source), we can never totally be comfortable with a date of birth, death, or any other personal event.




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first posted 4/10/04; last revised 3/19/14