Inferential Genealogy Study Group in 2nd Life – Stated Goal

Although I was not able to attend the 2nd life chat on Tuesday, I did listen to the presentation by Thomas W. Jones, PhD, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS. Because I wasn’t at the meeting, I didn’t get to hear the homework assignment. (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it)

In her blog, DearMYRTLE posted some feedback from the Study Group.

I think that I have been using the Inferential Genealogy approach but certainly not organized as was explained in the presentation and the hand out. So, I thought I would give it a try.

Case Study:

Name: D. Ridgeley Howard
In Civil War at Gettysburg
1st Maryland Battalion Infantry

Brief Background:

The History Channel had a program on Gettysburg. Ridgely Howard, of Baltimore, Maryland was mentioned as part of the Maryland Battalion. His father served in the Revolutionary War and served with George Washington. The date was July 2, 1863. Location, Culps Hill.

Was part of Pickett’s Charge July 3, 1863.

A Union Officer, James Wallace, Maryland 1st Regiment, whose father also served with George Washington along with Ridgely Howard’s father.

Now they were fighting each other.

Step One:

Focused Goal:

Identify the parents of D. Ridgeley Howard, who fought in the Civil War at Gettysburg:
This is my focused goal for this project because Ridgeley (Ridgely) and Howard are surnames in my Ancestry. Further information places both Wallace and Howard in Baltimore, Maryland. Very consistent with my research in my Family History.
As I know, and practice, “Don’t jump to “conclusions”. But at the same time, I always ask myself “Where did that name come from?”
As Dr. Jones points out Inferential Genealogy is the Process of piecing together documents to make conclusions about relationships and identities that no record tells you all by itself.
The quest for the Goal, already has two questions:
1) Was the information about the “fathers” of Ridgeley and James Wallace, fathers or at least one generation back?
2) Is the given name “Ridgeley” taken from the Surname of  his Mother? (at this point, the spelling of the given name is not important, for me at least)
It is my hope to use this blog to make some progress to reach the stated Goal, using Inferential Genealogy.

8 Responses to Inferential Genealogy Study Group in 2nd Life – Stated Goal

  1. Susan Girard says:

    I also have Ridgely’s and Howard’s in my family. I happen to own a copy of the Riggs Family of Maryland and will check this book to see if there’s information in there.

  2. Susan,

    Would really like to have some hints, if you have some.

    Do you have any Worthington’s in your Family?

    Thank you,


  3. Oldcat says:

    Its not likely that any man on Culps Hill participated in Pickett’s charge. The units on Culp’s Hill were part of the Confederate 2nd Corps. The units in Pickett’s charge were from the 1st and 3rd Corps.

  4. Oldcat,

    I am not a Gettysburg expert at all. I do thank you for your information. I will look into this further.

    What appeared in the History Channel’s show, was that the two gentlemen fought each other on 7/2 and 7/3 and both were from Maryland.

    Another mystery to solve in this exercise. Thank you,


  5. Sheri Fenley says:

    Most interesting little project you have and appears to fit the inferential genealogy case study perfectly because I don’t think you will find any one piece of evidence that will answer your questions.

    I look forward to reading more on this adventure.

  6. Sheri,

    It’s one of those things that “just happen”. I watched this TV program and the next morning I listen to Dr. Tom Jones presentation. I knew I had a good case to try it out on.

    I have in the back of my mind, that in the next week or two, I will be going to Gettysburg. My guess is, that I will have to go there to find the “missing” piece of the puzzle.

    And it’s in keeping with the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War. Why not put Genealogy and the Civil War into one project AND to try out a new research tool.

    Thank you for the encouragement.


  7. […] Inferential Genealogy Study Group in 2nd Life – Stated Goal […]

  8. […] Inferential Genealogy Study Group in 2nd Life – Stated Goal […]

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