In my heart though, in principle, I am a big proponent of using both oral history and documentation of vital statistics when researching your family history. Which is part of why I love good local history books.
What makes a "good" local history book? Well...
Authors of these types of books often blend together research they have done in community records as well as information they have gleaned from interviewing locals. Once they blend that all together, write it down, and publish it we're much more likely to believe the stories as facts. In many cases those "stories" are facts! They just aren't documented anywhere else and so we tend not to believe them...but if they're in a book, oh, then we believe them.
Does that mean they are true, honest-to-goodness, facts? Eh...that is debatable and depends on your perception of oral history and eyewitness accounts.
How do you recognize a "good" local history book? Well...
While on my trip to Newfoundland last month I had the happy circumstances of serendipitously meeting a relative; Cousin Charlie.You can read about it in my recent post "Norris Point - The Loss of the 'Reddie' from Gadds Harbour Island".
During our brief encounter, Cousin Charlie suggested a book about the history of Norris Point and the surrounding Bonne Bay area. The book is called The Good and Beautiful Bay: A History of Bonne Bay to Confederation and a Little Beyond by