About the reports

The internet has had a tremendous impact on genealogy.  Advances in access to documents and the explosion in the exchange of research, however, should return our attention to the basics of good research.  In the end, poring through original documents (whether physically or electronically) and establishing connections remain at the heart of genealogy -- not the "completion" of enormous family trees.

I am a fan of werelate.org and believe that it is the right avenue for shared research.  But a drawback to its work is the undocumented information that is uploaded and then clogs its wikipages and worse, is then referenced as documented fact.  And then there is Ancestry.com, well....

A couple of years ago I was researching Québécois families in northern New York and learned about the PRDH (Le Programme de recherche en démographie historique) at the University of Montreal.  This program certifies the documentation of French immigrants and their descendants in Quebec.  The PRDH issues reports (which they refer to as certificates) about individuals and families based on church and legal records that establish the documentation of this heritage.  Ironically, the thoroughness of their documentation takes some of the fun out of the genealogy research.

The PRDH impressively succeeds because there was a state church and because there were good legal records.  The documentation of Swedish immigrants shares many of the same attributes behind the PRDH and makes it reasonable to consider that a full documentation of nearly all immigrants who settled in Chautauqua and Warren Counties is possible.   Each Swede was well known prior to their emigration. Access today to Swedish historical documents is almost unbelievable.  And, from an American point of view, the level of detail (or control) noted in the ministerial books is overwhelming.

This project will "publish" reports on individuals and families listing references to the original documents available for each immigrant.

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