Mastering Genealogical Proof Study – Tracking

In Preparation for Chapter 6

Russ Worthington
04 August 2013

Thomas W. Jones, Mastering Genealogical Proof , (Arlington, Virginia: National Genealogical Society, 2013), viii.

Book available from the publisher at

I have been using Evidentia software for my study of this book.I have collected some data, actually a far amount of data, but I wanted to keep track of that somehow. I can do that in my genealogy database, but I am not ready for that yet. So, I created a Spreadsheet.

Here is what I want to capture:

  1. A Subject ID for Evidentia, to keep names straight
  2. Surname
  3. First or Given Name
  4. Middle Name, if any
  5. Birth Date
  6. Birth Location
  7. Marriage Date
  8. Marriage Location
  9. Death Date
  10. Death Location
  11. Record Search Order
  12. Record Searched
  13. Residence

I think that the Order that I find the records may become important, so I want to track that. Having it in the order I searched may help out later in my project.

The Record Searched, I called it above, but in my EXCEL worksheet, I just say Record. What record did I find information, OR not find information. I found a Civil War Registration Record, but I didn’t find a Civil War Service Record. I want to remember that.

Residence is to help develop family groups. I am NOT using my genealogy database, at this point, but I wanted a way to sort to show the family groupings by the Residence Claim.

Sorting is key here.

I am creating a Subject ID for each different person I found or identified. They will help when or IF I need to merge two subjects. I couldn’t tell the difference from the Record and what it claimed, but during the analysis I may be able to resolve that conflict, two different names.

This is for TRACKING purposes for me:


This is sorted by Name. The yellow hi-lites are reminders that I have some conflicts to resolve. Almiria or Elmira; was she born in New York or New Jersey.

It’s not hi-lighted, yet, because I don’t know if James Wake and James A Wake are two people of ONE person. I am started with the Civil War congressional registration record for James A Wake, and the question I am trying to answer, did he serve in the Civil War?

I won’t infer (using what I learned with the study of Inferential Genealogy) anything here. That will be done in Evidentia. Also, not all of the data (claims) I find will be tracked at this point.

I’ll also be able to spot holes in my research. For example, the last entry is Wi


One Response to Mastering Genealogical Proof Study – Tracking

  1. Bill Tucker says:

    Russ, I have been “into” Genealogy for over 50 years and so far have tracked 66,000 of my ancestors, and have their life stories and all demographic information. I have written a little 17-page treatis on “Shortcuts to Tracing Your Family Tree”. You can write me at:

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