Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – What Source Have You Used the Most?

April 12, 2014

Genealogy friend and now cousin, has this Saturday Night “fun” challenge. It’s been a while since I participated.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – What Source Have You Used the Most? 

 

His challenge is:

It’s Saturday Night

time for more Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  Have you done a good job of citing your sources in your genealogy management program or online family tree?  How are you doing?  How many source citations do you have, and how many people are in your tree?  What is the sources to persons ratio?

2)  Which master source (e.g., 1900 U.S. census, Find A Grave, specific book, etc.) do you have the most citations for?  How many?  How did you figure this out?

3)  Tell us in your own blog post, in comments to this post, or on Facebook or Google+ in a post.  Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your post on this blog post.

Well, let’s see:

1) What’s that saying ?? “Fair to Mid-lan” or something like that. Doing OK.

For the most part, last year I spent my time cleaning up my Citations in my genealogy database management program. Getting all of my Sources into the Template format that my program offers. It’s been well worth the time, but it is still a work in progress.

That and the second round of the Mastering Genealogical Proof book, by Dr Thomas W Jones in the Google+ Dear MYRTLE Genealogy Community keeps me busy working with our source material.

Here is some information about my file:

  • 8,937 People in my file
  • 448 Sources of which 197 are in the Template format
  • 2,697 Citations
  • 871 Media files
  • 38,426 Facts
  • 7,920 Hints to follow on Ancestry.com

That’s a little less than 5 Facts per person. In this file, that’s not a good number. I have a lot of people that really need to be researched, but most of them, are not my direct line, so I don’t focus on them a lot.

Still have a lot of work to do on moving my Source material into the Template format. So, I am not quite 50% finished with that project. BUT, I have learned much since I first started this file, and look at records and my information differently now, so as I am cleaning up my Source information, I am picking up details that I didn’t see before or know that I should be looking into the information and recording what I should.

Also, the process of Evaluating what I had recorded before, I am now doing. Using a feature in my program, at times, has really helped with this. Also, using Evidentia, which I have talked about before, is also a great help in this process.

Of the 38,426 Facts in my file, there are 6 that do not have a citation associated with them. THAT has been a real help to me. The ability to go back and find out where I got my information from.

I guess to answer the question, I get about find about 20 people in each source. That sounds lopsided I guess, but having several authored works in hand, plus a large number of Family Group Sheets from one of my cousin’s family doing decades of research, my numbers are probably out of whack. BUT, I have a mission to document, on my own, all of those facts from those Family Group Sheets.

Most of my research is from within my genealogy database management program, searching on Ancestry, Family Search, Fold3, Find-A-Grave and Google Books. A couple of research trips have proven to be very helpful. Most of which have been blogged about here.

I did  a review of my Find-A-Grave Sources. I have 55 Sources, or Contributors on the website. 334 Citations, on 2,572 Facts. Of those facts, 243 were mine. I was wondering how much information I collected from the Find-A-Grave website.

2) I think it is good, to sometimes, “look at the numbers”. I went into be database and ran a Source Usage Report to see if that would help.

There were 397 pages of information, where the facts were not included and almost 4,000 pages where the facts were included. Not helpful at all. When I pulled a Source Usage. The file Bibliography is 13 pages long.

I could have go into my Sources Workspace and do a manual count. An example of a count that I did was in the 1940 Census, I looked have 23 Citations that accounted for 565 facts.

What I did find, is that I have 554 Direct Ancestors in my file.

I will add, that I am working very hard at two things in my research. 1) keeping a Research Log, and 2) keeping a ToDo list. This is becoming very  helpful.

It got me to stop for a few minutes to see where I am in documenting my file. I saw a number of places I need to go back and clean up. I also realized how much better my citations have gotten since I started.

This was a great challenge Randy. Thank you.


The RAGU Challenge

April 2, 2014

Oh, we have a Challenge from my cousin DearMYRTLE. Please read about it in her blog.

Dear MYRTLE’s 3-2-1 Cite Genealogy Contest

April 2014 Edition

We also have a Video on what this contest is all about.

Click on this image to view the video

The RAGU Challenge321

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow9oQQK_RdU

There is the 4 letter word CITE. Sounds like work for me, but so has trying to understand Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace and Mastering Genealogical Proof by Dr Thomas W Jones. But in the Dear MYRTLE’s Genealogy Community on Google+ we have been studying this book. What a great idea to study a book like this within a group of fine panelists and a great community.

So, the challenge is for us to blog about 3 Documents and write two Paragraphs about 1 Event. Then the kicker, CITE those sources.

Now to the task at hand, I thought I would take a different approach, and not go to my genealogy database management program for this subject. There will be a couple of follow up blog posts over there that are a fall out from this Blog Post.

I have done a number of blog posts on Evidentia! a genealogy program that approaches our research from a different angle, that is starting with the Source documentation BEFORE moving any information into our genealogy software. There is a link to the Evidentia! website on the right of this blog post. This is the first time that I am using Evidentia Version 2.

I chose an uncle of mine, William James Hart, as the information that I have on him may help with this challenge.

I have three documents as source information on him. One is a Family Group Sheet that was created by his natural daughter. I am not going to include an image of that, because there is information about living people on it. This daughter, Joanna Hart Yunninger and I have been trying to find the parents of her grandmother who was adopted. Every once in a while I’ll go looking for her. In that Family Group Sheet is all of the information about my Uncle. His full name, his date and place of birth.[1]

The second source was from the Find-A-Grave website. The image on the website is like the one I took, which is here.

This confirms the birth date of my uncle. William and Hart are the same as the Family Group Sheet. The difference is that the Family Group Sheet has his full middle name of James. So, “J” works for me, as does the birth and death dates.[2]The pictures are mine, but the citation is from the Find-A-Grave website which has a similar photo. I don’t own that photo, so it’s not included here.

PA-Lancaster_LittleBritian-Hart_WilliamJames-1

 

PA_Lancaster_LittleBritian-Hart_WilliamJames-2

 My third source is the 1940 U.S. Federal Census Record[3].

1940_Fed_PA_Butler_Lancaster-Hart_WilliamJames

2014-04-02_222543

This census has William J Hart, age 26, born in Pennsylvania.

This data was entered into Evidentia. This program, for me, asks the right questions that help me understand the Genealogical Proof Standard. Each piece of information from these three sources are entered as Claims from these sources. Each Claim is then a piece of Evidence for which we must analyze. What I like about this program is that you can’t move on to the next step until you complete the first, then second. We must right out our evaluation of each piece of Evidence. Then draw our conclusion.

My goal was to determine the Birth Information for my Uncle Bill. I used the three Sources, per the goal. Now for the two paragraphs I am going to include the Genealogical Proof Report as a result of these steps. I know this will meet the 2 paragraph requirement.

Evidentia512_thumb.jpg

Genealogical Proof Report
for the Birth of William James Hart

Summary of Findings

Based on the Family Group Sheet, provided by William James Hart’s daughter, Joanna Hart Yunninger, the 1940 US Federal Census, and the headstone on the Find-A-Grave website and my own photograph of that headstone; there is no conflicting information that would indicate that he was not born on 14 Jun 1914 in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

Itemized Research Findings

5 assertions from 3 sources were considered in evaluating this claim.

The Joanna’s Family Group Sheet[1] asserts that Birth Date is 19 Jun 1914.

The source reviewed was an Authored work, introducing the risk of errors in interpretation. The information is believed to be Secondary (meaning the person providing the information received that information second hand, from another person or work). The evidence supporting the claim is considered Direct (meaning it adequate to answer the question directly).

Joanna Hart Yunninger is the daughter of Williams James Hart and recorded his birth date to be 19 Jun 1914

The Joanna’s Family Group Sheet[1] asserts that Birth Location was West Grove, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

The source reviewed was an Authored work, introducing the risk of errors in interpretation. The information is believed to be Secondary. The evidence supporting the claim is considered Direct.

Joanna Hart Yunninger is the daughter of Williams James Hart and recorded his birth place to be West Grove, Chester Couinty, Pennsylvania

The Find-A-Grave[2] asserts that his Birth date 19 Jun 1914.

The source reviewed was a Derived Record, introducing the risk of copy errors. The information is believed to be Secondary. The evidence supporting the claim is considered Direct.

The Find-A-Grave memorial and stone shows William J Hart’s brith date to be 19 Jun 1914

The 1940 US Federal Census[3] asserts that he was born in Pennsylvania.

The source reviewed was a Derived Record, introducing the risk of copy errors. The information is believed to be Secondary. The evidence supporting the claim is considered Direct.

The 1940 US Federal Census recorded William J Harts birth state to be Pennsylvania

The 1940 US Federal Census[3] asserts that his age is 26.

The source reviewed was a Derived Record, introducing the risk of copy errors. The information is believed to be Secondary. The evidence supporting the claim is considered Indirect (meaning the evidence is implied or circumstantial).

The 1940 US Federal Census recorded William J Harts age to be 26, which would have him born about 1914

End Notes

1. Joanna Hart Yuninger, Family Group Sheets, Hart Collection; Joanna Hart Yuninger, {[Address For Private Use], }[Owner Or Supplier's Location], 2000. Family Group Sheets. Joanna does family research for her father’s family, William James Hart.

2. Find A Grave, Database And Images (http://findagrave.com : Accessed 27 Nov 2009), Memorial Page For William James Hart, Find A Grave Memorial No. 45164446, Citing Little Britain Presbyterian Cemetery, Peach Bottom, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA.

3. 1940; U.S. Census, Ward 8, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania; Population Schedule; enumeration district (ED) 36-89, Sheet 8-B, dwelling 754 West Vine Street, family 135, lines 70-72, William J Hart household; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 09 Apr 2012); citing NARA microfilm T657, roll 3532.

Prepared 2 Apr 2014

The RAGU Challenge

Evidentia© 2012-2014


Video of the Civil War

March 22, 2014

Facebook strikes again.

I had an invite to Friend someone on Facebook. I didn’t know the name, but one of the surnames I knew, Worthington. The location was Mt Airy, Maryland. I know that place and already have a Facebook friend there.

Of course, I friended. What I saw was awesome, a link to a Video

Heart of the Civil War

Last summer I visited Frederick, Maryland for the celebration of Special Order 191. While watching this video, those orders were shown as well as one of the speakers in the video. I had met on that visit.

What was interesting about this visit and the video was my question about why Fredrick was “Union Friendly” while Baltimore, a mere 30-40 miles east was “not so much”. The video helped clarify that issue, including why Maryland was a “border state” and didn’t decide which side they were on.

This past fall, I had the chance to visit Monocacy with another cousin, DearMYRTLE. I didn’t take any pictures on my camera on that visit. My bad.

A book was written by Judge Glenn Howard Worthington that told the story of the battle that took place on his “front lawn”.

WorthingtonHouse-Basement-01

Judge Glenn Howard Worthington’s grandson, David Reed and a National Park Service Ranger are in the place where the Judge watched that battle.

WorthingtonHouse-1999-01

The front of the house in 1999 when a gathering of Worthington’s supported David Reed as he opened the Worthington Walking Trail in the National Battlefield.

Another visit, but with a little snow on the ground, but the porch had been reattached.

WorthingtonHouse-1900

ca 1900

About 42 minutes  into the video, was the story of the Battle at Monocacy, the battle that “Saved Washington”. The video tells the story of Glenn Worthington. I have seen that basement. In fact the picture I have above, is that same place.

So cool to watch the story that has your “family” mentioned.

Oh, the new Facebook Friend, is a relative of Judge Glenn Howard Worthington as well.

Social Media at work (again). Thank you Paula


QUERY: John William Worthington (1759-1827)

March 21, 2014

Karla Corkran commented on To Submit a Query for the Worthington Surname

If you have a query that you would like to submit query for the Worthington Surname, please post a comment here. What …

Hi, I am the 5th Great Grandaughter of John William Worthington b 1759 VA d 1827 Newberry SC, married Elizabeth Davis. I was hoping to see if anyone knows whether John was a Rev. War Patriot or perhaps his father was, Samuel Worthington Sr. Both of them have dates of birth and death of that period of time.

I am in the DAR and got in through the James Spearman. James’s son Francis Spearman was married to the daughter of John William Worthington, Margaret Worthington (1794-1882 married to Francis Spearman).

Thanks in advance for any information you could give to me!

Karla
Kerrville, TX


DNA Results – More Conflicting Information

March 17, 2014

Guess it’s fess up time. And why not do it on St. Patrick’s Day.

200x200_KissMeDNAsaysSO

I am glad that I am participating in the Mastering Genealogical Proof discussion in the Dear MYRTLE’s Genealogy Community on Google+. I am going to need it, so that I can understand where this DNA results come from.

Here are my results.

2014-03-17_143945

27%. Where of where did that come from. 5% Great Britain? Looks like the Paper Trail of my research and the DNA results are in conflict. The earlier DNA (Y-DNA) also provided conflicting information.


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?


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