|The objective of this course is to teach you how to make an effective research plan. It builds on the skills learned during the basic and intermediate level Methodology Courses: |
At the Basic stage, during Methodology–Part 1: Getting Started and Methodology–Part 2: Organizing Your Research we described some of the many ways to approach your genealogical project. Many basic sources and avenues for research were discussed and correct transcription and citation of sources were emphasized.
At the Intermediate level the student was introduced to different methods of managing projects. In Methodology–Part 3: More Strategies we covered:
Setting goals and envisioning end-products.
Gathering, storing and organizing information.
Organizing the home base and the research process.
Strategies for research planning.
The concepts of sources and information.
In Methodology–Part 4: Effective Searching and Researching the focus was on:
Finding what research has already been done on your family.
How to record properly from the main sources (family, vital statistics, census, religious registers, probate and land records.
Presentation and preservation of your research.
Methodology–Part 5: How to Prove It considers in depth the many possibilities and pitfalls involved in proving your pedigree in a professional manner. The first two modules on Theory concentrates on the meaning of proof in genealogy, delves deeply into sources, information and evidence and concludes with construction of hypotheses and theories. The third and fourth modules are involved with Technique including pedigree analysis, family reconstruction, use and abuse of indexes, negative proof, documentation and the phenomena of serendipity and intuition. The final modules are devoted to Problem Solving where we learn how to deal with problems with starting information, assumptions, problems with records, conflicting evidence, name changes, finding the right parish, migration, age problems, illegitimacy, bigamy & other marital anomalies, female ancestors and the disappearance of paupers. This comprehensive treatment prepares the student exceptionally well for the research process.
Meaning of Proof
Concepts of Fact, Deduction & Assumption
Necessary Proof or Sufficient Proof?
What is Proof in Genealogy?
Three Pedigree Linkages
Required Level of Proof in Genealogy
Preponderance of Evidence
Beyond Reasonable Doubt
The Genealogical Proof Standard–Clear, Cogent & Convincing
Sources, Information & Evidence
Physical Types of Sources
Reliability Categories of Sources
Reliability of Sources
Theory ... Continued
Kinds of Information
Kinds of Evidence
Selection of Evidence Used in Proof
Constructing Hypotheses & Theories from the Evidence
Value of Previous Research
Legends, Oral Traditions & Ancient Pedigrees
Royal Pedigrees from Charlemagne Onwards
Mid 19th to 20th Centuries
Focussing a Search for Evidence
Pedigree Analysis Step 1 - Organizing Known Facts
Pedigree Analysis Step 2 - Making Estimations
Pedigree Anaylsis Step 3 - Estimates Added
Killing Them Off
Technique ... Continued
Use & Abuse of Indexes
Description of Source
Record All Relevant Items
Images of Significant Items
Know About & Use Alternative Sources
Serendipity & Intuition
What Is Serendipity?
What Is Intuition?
Examples of Serendipity & Intuition
How Does Serendipity Work?
Problems with Starting Information
Assumptions a.k.a. Presumptions
General Problems with Records
Cannot Find Sources
Cannot Find an Entry
Inaccurate Published Pedigrees
Information Seen But Not Understood
Gaps In The Records
Family Did Not Use Usual Records
Have You Been Thorough?
First Name Variations
First Name Changes
Surname Changes On Immigration
Legal Means of Changing a Name
Probelm Solving ... continued
Finding The Right Parish
Using Maps & Gazetteers
Migration & Movement
Emigration & Immigration
Movement Within a Country
Two Wives Named Sarah?
Sources for a Woman''s Life Story
Matrilinear Descent – the New Order?
Apprenticed Out of the Home Parish
Removal to Parish of Settlement
Service in the Army, Militia, or Navy
If all Else Fails, Write an Article!
The Research Plan
References & Further Reading