Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What constitutes reasonably exhaustive research?

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:

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 tour research questions.

Resources guiding our video discussion include:

HERE's the link to register, so you may view AND comment on this video, even after the live hangout has concluded. 

Hangouts: Pay what you want. So it's simple. If you value the work Ol' Myrt, +Cousin Russ and our beloved panelists do week in and week out on your behalf, please:

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.

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