Review of Evidentia

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Last week, I decided to do a full review of Evidentia and I’ve downloaded the 14 day trial version to check it out. According to its author, Ed Thompson, the Evidentia software:

…makes it easy to collect information, analyze evidence, highlight missed connections and feel confident with your conclusions. Evidentia does not replace your current genealogy software, but instead is meant to supplement and complement your research.

On their never-ending quest for the whole story, genealogists of all skill levels use Evidentia to compile, evaluate, and analyze evidence.

I’m hoping it might help me organise and analyse all of the evidence I’m collecting about the various Brown families in Sheffield.

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My very first session with the trial may have gone much faster, had I taken the time to watch one of the training videos first, but instead I jumped right in and tried to figure it out as I went.

Sources

I began by creating my first source – the baptism index on CD that I have for the Sheffield Cathedral. There was no pre-existing template for this type of source and I was impatient, so I manually created a make-shift entry which I will go back and edit later:

Sheffield Cathedral (Sheffield, Yorkshire). Baptisms Index on CD. 

Citations

The next step seemed to be to create a citation using the source but I was unable to determine how to use the source that I had previously created. I really need to review the videos I think. Still, I was again able to free form a citation for one of the baptisms:

Sheffield Cathedral (Sheffield, Yorkshire), Baptisms Index, p 109, George, son of Joseph and Mary Brown, blacksmith, born 29 June 1811, baptised 28 July 1811.

Claims

It was then fairly straight forward to add claims to the citation:

evidentia program

Analysis

The next icon on the menu was “Analyse the Evidence”. For this, I selected George Brown as my subject and Proof for the the Parent(s) of George Brown as my topic. The resulting screen gave me a place to analyse all of the evidence. I was asked to classify the evidence as direct, indirect or negative and to write an analysis statement that should:

Describe the quality of the claim and any factors impacting its value. Include any information about its relative value in the context of the other claims for this proof.

On the screen was a button that would generate a report showing the various assertions, their classification and their analysis along with a summary conclusion about the evidence. The report that generated is as follows:

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Barbara J Starmans is a social historian, freelance writer and obsessed genealogist living in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada and has been doing genealogical research for the past 35 years. She is a graduate of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies in Toronto, Canada with professional learning certificates in General Methodology and in English Records and recently become an instructor for them with an intermediate course on Social History.

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