Maybe it’s time we had a “Genealogical Budget Standard.”
After all, we have a “Genealogical Proof Standard” and a variety of other terms and definitions created by professionals, accrediting bodies, etc.
But sometimes, amid all the theory, reality rears its ugly head. I can’t afford a copy of every document. I understand why getting as many copies of things is genealogically prudent. There can always be a “new clue” in an unexpected place. I also understand that the Genealogical Proof Standard does not always mean that we get everything, but it does suggest that we obtain what would reasonably answer our question.
But what if Mr. Ima Really Confusingancestor and four ancestral siblings and ten first cousins all served in the Mexican War and all got pensions? That’s a pricey sum to obtain copies of all those records in hopes that one provides the clue that I need. Of course, I’d obtain first the file on Ima as it may provide good information. I might try next and get any files where the widow lived the longest as those tend to contain more information. I might look at any applications that were denied, contested, or resulted in a special examiner being sent to obtain evidence as those cases tend to have more detail.
But determining where to draw the line when I can’t afford it all–that’s the problem.
Maybe I need a personal Genealogical Budget Standard.
We can call it Genealogical BS.