Secondary Source Information
We carry out our research using primary and secondary source information and use the information these to create a time-line biography of the person. All the sources we use are fully referenced in our archive. Our database holds information on local people who served as far back as the Peninsula War and the Battle of Waterloo.
Some examples of secondary sources that we use:
Newspaper Archive records
At the moment this is just a list of resources but we will expand on these over time to explain how we use them in our research. Sometimes a source may be a mixture of primary and secondary source information. For example, a Commonwealth War Graves Commission record on a man who died in the Great War could state name, rank, regiment, service number and date of death, and these would be primary sources because they came direct from Army records (subject to the occasional typographical error).
However the CWGC on-line database may also record his family information and because this was often supplied by his family (of those that filled in the form and returned it to the Imperial War Graves Commission) and they then transcribed it into the records, it is a secondary source of information.
But this could be all we have to place a man's home town and family in the first instance, so we look for other evidence to back this up, such as census records and birth/death/marriage records to match up with family members and home addresses.
These considerations are all to be taken in context, and we quote our sources so that the reader may take into account where the information originated, and consider it's factual strength.
Beware though! Even the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has got it wrong occasionally. Remember that a lot of their records came from notes written in the field by soldiers burying and reburying remains of those who may have died some years before. They have also been digitised from original records, which can bring a further opportunity for mis-transcriptions.
If something is incorrect, we may never know until someone comes along and can prove it either way. We have to take certain things on face value, but as long as we treat every 'fact' with a certain amount of suspicion until corroborated, we are working towards a good outcome.
If you are interested in working with us to carry out research we will be able to help you to locate and interpret these records.
Please get in touch with us if you would like to help.