Source Box Documentation with Period Language Now Considered Offensive?
It's possible that my search fu has simply not been good enough to find this subject covered in here already.
I have read the Rules and Guidelines (https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/legal/familysearch-upload-guidelines-and-policies?lang=eng), specifically item 13, but it doesn't really offer any suggestions for how to overcome my particular issue, and honestly, the wording of 13 says "promotion of racism" although I don't think that really speaks to the context of my issue, so I'd entertain the Church clarifying.
I have some mid-1800s period documentation which is uniquely important in establishing certain family facts, relationships and timelines. The information contained is seemingly not found in other sources found to date. This documentation is primarily in the form of Civil War pension files (from NARA), original Civil War letters in my possession, and cemetery interment registers which identify decedents by race. This documentation uses period language which today is generally considered offensive, although it's clear from the context of this particular documentation that it wasn't meant to be especially so at the time - but rather just simply the words they used back then.
What might be some strategies to have this documentation be usable as attached sources, with an eye toward the genealogical proof standard? I'm anxious to have this documentation survive me (or any loss event, really). I have been uploading all of my original source materials to FS, since LDS is dead serious about the survivability of imaged documentary materials. I have not yet tried to upload this particular material, as I'd prefer to have clear feedback on the acceptability.
Is the mere presence of a now-shunned term in any context or time period considered promotion of racism? Ugly though it was, it's awfully hard to document American life without tripping over now-unfortunate verbiage, and it is VERY hard to document citizens of African (or Jewish, or Chinese, or Indigenous, or...) descent without ever having materials (newspapers, documents, property registers) transgress an evolving societal standard.
Thoughts? Ideas? Pointers to where this has been previously discussed?
@Brad Felmey , are you talking about a specific example of a document you are trying to attach being rejected based on that policy?1
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No, sir. As I mentioned in the original post, I have not even tried to upload the documents in question, as I'm unclear on the effective application of the Rules and Guidelines with regard to historical verbiage. I'm looking to get clarity from a FS representative, and potentially some strategies for documenting the sources in the event that they're considered unacceptable for upload as a source box item.0
Hard to give specific ideas without viewing each doc. As Chas Howells suggests, have you attempted to upload and have the doc. go through the standard review process yet? Maybe you'll get the answer to "mere presence of now derogatory word vs. item 13" question answered. I'ld be curious also to what you find out.
Your 3 types of mentioned documents are pretty standard genealogy "proofs" worthy of the site's aspirations, but how you share the same might be determined document by document.
I can only assume and read in between the lines that you may be referring to the use of the "N" word, or a variation, that yes, most now find anywhere from "hurtful to some" to "repulsive to many".
Maybe it boils down to your choosing of presentation.
We've gone down similar decisions for our American revolution era through 1870 slave owning ancestors ... as we work toward our own "passing on vs. lost in files" aspirations.
In general, without knowing specifics on each document you possess, random thoughts/ideas:
-A document can be shared in its entirety as a "memory source" in the sources tab without dropping the same into the memories document section. Your hard to obtain document is archived and viewable in its entirety to researchers interested in viewing full source (who IMO generally understand "period context"). We went this route on an extremely hard to find/obtain detailed "messy" divorce document that was only source for proving a child existed.
-Rare hard to find interment registers for churches or cemeteries long gone can be a Godsend for those seeking hard to find "breadcrumbs" of their "marginalized" ancestors. The rare, extremely hard to find/obtain document type, like maybe the register you reference, a worthy to include both in sources AND memories so others can find easily.
-If we upload a document to memories, we often use the "share what you know about this document" simple feature field to provide context, additional insight and/or our thoughts about the document's historical importance (in light of the "baggage" that might also be carried in the same).
-Whether suicides, divorces, gruesome deaths, unwed mothers, slavery, living people, murders, etc. I try to remember, genealogy is only a hobby....living people, who read this stuff, are "connected". I hope I educate, assist others and maybe elevate a life through editing and choices I make.
all the best ~2
An uploaded source is what I intend to do.
I called support. They simply said "upload it and see if it gets accepted."2