Here’s what Allison has to say:
Primary source documents are the lifeblood of genealogy. Filled with cold, hard facts, these documents provide evidence that researchers use to collect, analyze, and then make conclusions. Personal identity, parental linkage, or biographical details are some of the possible conclusions drawn by genealogists from these essential documents.
In the case of this particular World War I Registration Card, this primary source document led to an amazing, personal discovery.
Some time later, my son and I happened to be in the town that my great grandfather had recorded as his residence on his World War I Registration Card. I looked up the address on MapQuest then followed the directions into the most charming historic downtown. Lining the broad, tree-lined boulevards were exquisite turn-of-the-century mansions. I marveled at each one as I drove past. But the map led me to a little side street that was narrow and tucked away.
My son and I got out of the car and walked to the house with the address listed on the World War I Registration Card, and there was the lamppost, found in the wintery photograph from my grandfather’s childhood. This was a poignant photograph of that little family, for Robert Luther Harman would soon abandon his sons and never see them again. But the link found in that one address on that one primary source document made magic for me as I stood in the same place as my family had stood over a century ago.