HFA

Contributions

The major purpose of the Hinshaw Family Association is to collect and share the work of many dedicated researchers who, individually have perhaps researched only a portion of the Hinshaw lineage, but together we collectively hope to be able to record the entire Hinshaw lineage!

This can only be accomplished if people like yourself share information. In the true spirit of all good amateur genealogists, those who receive benefit from the research of others should always reciprocate with information of their own. You have probably found a wealth of new information on these pages, so in return we ask that you share any corrections or additions that you have.

All data provided will be placed in the public domain via these web pages. Eventually, we intend to offer a printed copy of this data to major genealogical libraries, such as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) Family History Library, for posterity. Nobody will profit monetarily from any submissions.


How to Contribute Information

If you have only a small bit of new information or small corrections, then the simplest method is to simply email your corrections/additions.

If you are a current member then contributions of general interest should be addressed to our group Discussion List If you think it might not be of general interest, or if you're not sure, then send it to our Group Coordinator

If you are not yet a member, we of course still welcome your contribution. Please email it to Jan Hinshaw at:

If you have a large volume of data to contribute, then the submission of a GEDCOM file may be the best method. But please use this method only when really necessary, as we will need to laboriously go through your GEDCOM person-by-person comparing your information to that already in our database (we can't simply "add" your GEDCOM or we could end up with duplicate ancestors in the database!). If you have exclusively new individuals to add (not corrections), then if at all possible it would be best if you could create a GEDCOM file with just the new individuals.

If email is difficult or impossible for you, then regular snail-mail will work just as well. Print your additions and corrections and mail them to:

Jan Hinshaw
The Hinshaw Family Association
15227 Quito Rd.
Saratoga, CA 95070 USA

Be sure to include your return mail address, and preferably a phone number, so that we can contact you with any possible questions (these always seem to come up!).

When offering corrections to existing data, please reference the "ID" number shown on the individual's page.

Please limit your contributions to those relating directly to a Hinshaw/Henshaw ancestor or a spouse. In most cases we want to limit our database to only Hinshaw/Henshaw and spouses/children. Please do not send your 5000-person GEDCOM of the Smith ancestry, just because some Hinshaw married a Smith once (no offense intended to those Smiths out there). Some exceptions may apply - email with an inquiry if you think that a related line would be of general interest to others.

Please understand if some of the data that you contribute does not show up in our database. If there are strong conflicts on some of the facts, we will let you know, but we must maintain the integrity of our data.


Research Standards

Sorry - we didn't mean to scare you by mentioning "Research Standards". Yes, it's true that we're all just a bunch of amateur genealogists, so what's this "standards" business anyway?

Well, even though we are a group of "amateurs", that doesn't mean that the quality of our work must necessarily be "amateur". Remember, we said that our goal is to collect and share the entire Hinshaw lineage. This will never be attained if we are sloppy - nobody would be able to trust the quality of our data!

So we ask that you conform to this simple standard: Always specify the source of your information! Ideally, we would like to have source data recorded for every fact and tidbit submitted (every date, every birth, every marriage, etc.). If you have a bunch of information all coming from the same source then you can specify the source for the entire batch (no need to specify sources for each fact).

There are many possible kinds of sources: church records, cemetery records, birth/death/marriage certificates, census records, etc. Even family folkelore is ok - if an interview with grandma was your source then it's ok, just say so. Genealogists consider the best sources to be those closest to the actual event. A marriage certificate is a direct source; a compilation of marriage records printed in a book is a secondary source, which is not quite as good since transcription errors do happen. But nobody expects every detail to be substantiated by direct sources. After all, we're all amateurs in this group and none of us have the time to trace down every church record (even if that were possible). Realistically, we all work mostly with printed secondary sources.

There are very good reasons why we ask for source information. Firstly, it will make our data much more trustworthy and therefore much more useful to others (and to generations to come). But just as important: if a conflict arises (and they always do), we must have a way to "break the tie" and determine which facts are more reliable.

For example, suppose you tell us that your great great grandfather Ebeneezer was born on July 12, 1865, but then later somebody else submits Ebeneezer with a birth date of September 12, 1865. How will we (or anybody) determine which date is correct? The very best way to break conflicts like this is to return to the source documents! We might then find that (in this example) your date was correct, but the other person misinterpreted a poorly-written "7" in the handwritten source document and recorded it as a "9" (September). Or just as possible, maybe you made a transcription error (it happens to the best of us) and the other person's date is actually the correct one (and wouldn't you prefer to know about this?).

Without sources specified for each fact of data, we will have to treat the submission essentially as "heresay" or "speculation". That doesn't mean that your data isn't good and useful, it's just that, in a tie, somebody else with good source records will be more believable. But, please don't be afraid to contribute whatever you've got - we'd rather have information without source documentation rather than have no data at all!


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