This is the sort of thing which reminds you of the importance of citing sources. Over the years, I have tried to impress on beginning genealogists how important it is to note down the source of any fact that they discover; I wish I had done it when I had started to research my family tree yada yada yada. But I thought I was getting better (there goes that smug attitude again) - much better.
Until I started writing "Faith and Silk" for the Family History Writing Challenge. Suddenly, facts which I had absorbed over the years, but not documented because I knew about them anyway, are looming large and unfinished in my book. For instance: "The Great Sweat". Now, I know it was something horrendous like influenza which spread to epidemic proportions like the Black Death - but when exactly did it happen? And what exactly was it? Have I remembered right? Oh, that's easy, I'll just look it up in my software - er, no, perhaps I won't. Why? Because I forgot to write down not only what it was and when it was - but where I found the information in the first place.
Right then, I thought, I'll have to go back to the Internet and put "Great Sweat" into a search engine. I have now officially given up on ALL search engines. They return stupid results like "Great Sweat from leading men's fashion retailer...", "Great Sweat and Odor Laundry Round Up", "Painting - great sweat equity or pain in the neck?", and "if you are trying to lose weight quickly and get a great sweat, using a sweatshirt is a good idea". I despair.
Now - the Black Death was when? where?
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- ► 2011 (53)
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