Fräulein Schmidt, my *very* distant cousin, joined panel participants Cousin Russ and Melissa Barker for WACKY Wednesday this week to discuss qualities of reasonably exhaustive research. This comes on the heels of DearMYRTLE's FINALLY Get Organized! 7th-13th Feb 2016 Checklist where Ol' Myrt asked participants to look at documents collected on four individuals. The goal is to find "holes" in our research and create a to-do list for improvements. We must do this this now.
To put it frankly, we don't want to be barking up the wrong family tree.
We must not waste research time because we failed to follow the Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS) summarized here: http://bcgcertification.org/resources/standard.html
We created the following slide based on our conversation.
By careful study of a wide range of record groups, with information provided by various informants, using high quality (more original than transcribed or published records), genealogists may avoid the painful syndrome of previously undiscovered evidence landing on our doorstep a week after our family history book has gone to print.
We cautioned each other to determine each informant's motivation. Was he bereaved, biased or merely performing his normal, day-to-day activity, say as an attending physician or clerk of the court? We must strive to answer this question wherever possible. If we come to a conclusion based on information provided by dishonest or unknown informants, we may be on shaky ground. Reasonably exhaustive research can help us uncover other resources that may shed light on the question.
Resources used to guide our video discussion include:
- Board for Certification of Genealogists - The Genealogical Proof Standard
- Elizabeth Shown Mills' "Quick Tip: Reasonably Exhaustive Research: Quantity or Quality?" posted on the Evidence Explained website here:
- Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013). [Book available from the publisher at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/mastering_genealogical_proof, also available in Kindle format through Amazon.com]
- Kerry Scott's "balanced diet" metaphor.
- DearMYRTLE's MGP (Mastering Genealogy Proof) Study Group: See the most recent video discussion of chapter 3 here:
HERE's the link to register, so you may view AND comment on this video, even after the live hangout has concluded. http://hangouts.dearmyrtle.com/ww-10-feb-2016.html
Happy family tree climbing!
Your friend in genealogy
Your friend in genealogy
Second Life: Clarise Beaumonthttp://bit.ly/DearMYRTLEonGoogle
Check the DearMYRTLE Hangouts Calendar for upcoming study groups and hangouts. There you'll find links to the GeneaConference (in-person) and the GeneaWebinars Calendar with over over 200 hours of online genealogy classes, webinars, live streams and tweetchats from other hosts and presenters over the next 12 months.