Page 69 of the Board for Certification of Genealogists' Genealogy Standards defines "independent information items" as "sources or information items that have unrelated origins, thus reinforcing rather than duplicating each other."
I'll put aside my confusion with "sources or information items" (from my viewpoint, "sources" provide "information" so the use of the word "or" here slightly confuses me) and focus on "independent" as needing to have "unrelated origins."
What does "unrelated origins" actually mean and are any pieces of information really independent and of unrelated origin?
My grandmother, Ida (Trautvetter) Neill, was born in 1910 in Hancock County, Illinois. Her mother was there at the time; the doctor probably was there; and I'm guessing her father (and five older siblings) were in the general area as well.
I have quite a few sources that include information on Grandma's birth, but if I group them based upon the likely informant, there's really three groups:
- Grandma's birth certificate--with information provided by the doctor
- Grandma's baptismal record--she was five year of age when baptized, with information provided by Grandma's parents
- Grandma's marriage record, death certificate, obituary, and other records created after Grandma's marriage where Grandma is the informant