Mastering Genealogical Proof–Chapter 1 Homework

February 24, 2014

MGP-2 – My Chapter One Homework Assignment

We have started the second round of study of the Mastering Genealogical Proof in the DearMYRTLE Genealogy Community on Google+.

I am again reminded, in the Preface of this book, about how many of us started in the study of family history. One thing I learned at the beginning was “Cite Your Sources”. I have done that, thankfully. I knew why, at the time, mostly so that I could answer the question “Where did you get that information from”?

The first go time through this book, I learned lots. Mostly from the Conversation that took place with the Panel, and the Community as we worked through the book.

So why am I doing it again. To learn more.

Dr. Jones mentioned, in the preface, about being self educated. I got that one. But he continued about attending conferences to learn more. I can say “Been there, Done that”. I learn something every time attend one. Either a local meeting, of which I try to attend 2 different ones a month, and up to Roots Tech 2014. Each time, I pick up a GEM at each one.

But my learning experience is now taking form by ‘teaching’ at two local senior centers locally. I am not sure that it’s as much teaching as it is sharing my experience.

Without the tools, like this book, I would not have taken that next step. I learn from each class that I share. But the foundation is working through these home work assignment in my own way, based on the principals in this book.

One of the questions that was raised in the book is about the word Genealogy. I have seen a number of discussions about a genealogist and a family historian. Is there a difference? Should there be a difference?

If wasn’t until I was asked to give a presentation at a local Historical Society did I start to understand the difference. My thought was the methods that a Genealogist does in their research. I wasn’t there, that was for the professionals. I just wanted to get those names, dates, and places. I did that, BUT, what I realized was that I was capturing their Stories. The local Historical Society was capturing the story of the community, and I the stories of my families. For me it was a transition or the desire to find out who these people were and to try to tell their story for those that might follow.

The genealogists do have their principals of how they “work” and this workbook spells out the Genealogy Proof Standard. The five steps! Only five steps????

Looking for all of the records that you can find. I have talked about that in the blog from time to time. It’s exhausting at times. But the trick that I learned between the MGP-1 and MGP-2 Study Group, is to go back and look at what you already have. After all, we / I have learned new “stuff” from the first time I looked at that record.

I did cite all of my sources the first time, but were then detailed enough. Easy answer, NO. I am not a student, so I didn’t know how to cite correctly but my genealogy database program provided a feature to more accurately cite my sources.

That lead to the next step, which I “sort-a” did. I knew when something didn’t look right, or appear right. But didn’t know why. Somewhere along the way, I learned that I needed to evaluate what I was looking at. Does THAT make sense? I don’t though the bad out, but know that the information I was looking at isn’t mine person, or something is wrong with that piece of information. The puzzle pieces don’t fit together.

The next step is to identify and resolve conflicting information. One of my students taught me this one. We had conflicting information on what a persons name was. The son of the person with the conflicting information was in the room. We were looking at a census record when we saw the conflict, and the student asked me to scroll up the page and down the page. OK, I did. He pointed out that the Census Taker wrote everyone’s name the same way. Surname, Middle Initial, First Name. Easy resolution to that conflict. That resolution was put into the research notes for that fact, so that we knew that there was a conflict and how we resolved it.

The last step, isn’t so easy for me, and that is to write up a proof statement. It’s that writing down of the conclusion of your research that is very important. Of course, that conclusion may change with the next piece of information that you find. I have that in my own research, where the “paper trial” says one thing, but DNA test results shows another.

The most important lesson that I learned several times now, is the first step in this process. That is to have a Clear, Specific, stated Goal or Question to be answered.

For me, to get there, I have found that I need to cycle through these steps several times. Testing our findings, comparing and contrasting this new piece of information against what I had before.

One important thing that I learned / relearned this 2nd time through was the reminder that the jobs that I have had over the years, each had their own way of doing “things”. Standards of how we worked. Before I retired, I worked with a group that did this all of the time. We knew how things were to be done, we put measures in place so that we could tell if we were doing a good job, created plans to improve what we were trying to do.

The real life learning experience has helped me with my family research. We could do lots of things really well, but other things, not so much. In our case it was the customer experience. The customer was seeing our overall performance, and would be the judge of how well we did.

Our research is the same. Each step is related to the others. Researching very well, without evaluating that research, my not lead to the correct conclusion.

I look forward to our continuing discussion on this book.

 

Reference:
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 ]


Query: Texas Worthington’s

February 13, 2014

A Query from Don:

I have a lot of info on the Texas Worthington who surveyed Texas in 1830s. I do not know how he died or where. He descends from Robert the Quaker in PA.

Anyone have any information on this Texas Worthington?


A funny thing happened at #RootsTech 2014

February 6, 2014

RootsTech is now an annual Genealogy Event in Salt Lake City. See more at rootstech.org. Its a great opportunity to learn lots of “stuff” and to meet and chat with new and online friends. Many GeneaBloggers gather just for that purpose. We know one another “online” through Blogs, both posting and reading, and I have heard it said that it’s like a big Family Reunion.

But, I want to share one of the many things that have happened, just today.

I am sitting at Lunch, in the Family Search (familysearch.org) lunch on the topic of “With Dramatically Changing Technologies, What MUST NOT CHANGE! The speaker was David Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer, FamilySearch.org. Food was good, talk was GREAT, BUT, isn’t there always a “but”, he puts up on the screen a picture of the “Baldwin Book Barn” just out side of West Chester, Pennsylvania. He told us about a box of photographs of people, just sitting there. I am sure that I have seen THAT BOX in THAT BARN more than one time. His comments was more than identifying the people, but if YOU have a photo that is writing on the back, WE MUST identify WHO wrote that information on the back. My thought was “Thank you for the EXTRA Work”, but then it dawned on me, that of course we need to do that.

I am thinking about the scanning that I have to do, with my mothers photo albums (90+ of them), where I know my mothers hand writing, but anyone coming later may not. So, IF I know who wrote on the back of that Photo, I need to document that as well. Did my mother know that person, or did her mother tell her who that person was. OK, I get that, as it makes total sense.

Now for the really fun part.

I checked my cell phone, to make sure I had the photo in my Online Tree of my grandparents house (my mother’s house) and I did. So, I went up to Mr Rencher after the presentation as showed the picture my the house taken in 1939, I had marked the photo with the ADDRESS and the Date of the Picture, and asked My Rencher if he ever saw that building before. He KNEW the address and recognized the house.

After I picked myself up off of the floor (as they say), he had family in the SAME TOWN where I was born, where my grandparents lived and the he was born in the same area.

It’s a small world after all. BUT isn’t the technology that Mr Rencher was talking about just awesome, where you can have your family tree, on your cell phone, and to be able to share a photograph to someone else, right there “on the spot”.

 

House_Strode_Barn-1938.jpg

This is the back of the barn where my mother raised her horse. Its now the 3rd to 5th floor (I think) of the Baldwin Book Barn

 

House_Strode_House-1929.jpg

This is the house in 1929, where my grandparents and my mother lived.

Mr Rencher, thank you.

As a side note, as I write this blog, I am reminded of the 1940 Census of this Household. Before those census records were indexed, I did some browsing of those census records and found my MOTHER listed twice. Once in a house that I never knew about, in West Chester, with my father (they had married the year before), but she was ALSO listed in this household with my grandfather. The information about “my mother” was really the information about my GRANDMOTHER and my Aunt was NOT listed at all but she was still in school, living in this house in 1940. I know this, because when I found the record, I just had to call my aunt to make sure I have my information right and I did. The Informant was my Grandfather.

Yes, it’s all noted in my genealogy database.


2014 Legacy Family Tree Webinar Schedule announced

December 23, 2013

Received this announcement this morning:

2014 Legacy Family Tree Webinar Schedule announced

This is exciting for me, a bit scary as well, but I am on the list in August 2014. The topic will be on how I use the Find-A-Grave website for my research. For those  who might have heard me speak about the topic before, it has been almost re-written with a few examples of how I use the site, what you may find, what you may hope to find, and a number of tips on what to look for.

Research is one way to use the website, but another is how to contribute to the Find-A-Grave website.,I’ll share a couple of examples of what I was able to provide another researcher and what another Find-A-Grave contributor did for me.

The announcement has two important items, for me at least, that are worth noting: 1) the ability to link or copy the Webinar Google Calendar to my own Google Calendar, and 2) the ability to sign up for multiple Webinars at one time.

There is a direct link on the right side of this page to get you to the Legacy Family Tree Webinar website.

LegacyFamilyTreeWebinars-2014

This is a great Educational Opportunity for those who research their family history and a great list of presenters. Not sure how I got on that list, but I’ll do my best.


QUERY: Alston WORTHINGTON

November 30, 2013

 

Names: Alston WORTHINGTON
Dates: Birth 1817
Places: Home in 1850: Southern Division, Davidson, North Carolina
Relationships: SPOUSE: Margaret Worthington (b.1823)
CHILDREN: James W Worthington (b.1847), John K Worthington (b. 1849)

I am researching the Worthingtons of North Carolina. Alston WORTHINGTON is the oldest ancestor I can find. And he is also my brickwall.

I have a tree on ancestry.com that I am open to sharing if there are folks who can help me continue my search of “where did I come from?”

Many thanks!

Ian Worthington
Raleigh, NC

 

Ian: Great Query !! good details. Thank you

I’ll have to look at two of my lines that headed south.

Let’s see if one of my readers and help you.

Russ


QUERY: Mary Tolley Worthington

November 17, 2013

Russ,

The Anne White book includes a quote regarding Mary Tolley Worthington, first wife of Samuel (b.1734) “In honor of Mrs. Mary Worthington, wife of Samuel Worthington, who was born 21st day of March, 1744, and departed this life the first day of October 1777, Aged 37 years 6 months, leaving a disconsolate husband and 11 weeping children to lament their loss.

This amiable woman lived beloved and died lamented by both rich and poor. And her soul is gone to heaven above enjoying her dear redeemers love; While time shall roll and never end A blest eternity to spend.”

Do you know if that was an obit.?, inscription on her grave marker? or other?

Sally Bradbury


A Note from Facebook–22 May 2013

November 17, 2013

Patrick Lee Worthington

Dear Mr. Worthington:

I follow your blog and have enjoyed reading your posts on the various genealogy sites over the years. I descend from what the late David Reed referred to as the “Squirrel Hunting” Worthington’s. My direct ancestors are James Worthington (1781-1862) and Nancy McGraw (1781-1857). There is circumstantial evidence that we descend from Robert Worthington, the Quaker Immigrant, but, in my opinion, little else. Would it be OK to send you a friend request? Or do you prefer I join/follow a specific group on Facebook?

Mainly, just wanted to introduce myself and thank you for all the work you’ve done helping ALL branches of the Worthington’s with their research.

Sincerely,
Patrick Worthington,
Lexington, KY

Posted 22 May 2013 – just thought I would share that message here.


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