A Question for Evidentia (part 6)–Conclusion

July 28, 2016

Wow, this really worked.

I just completed my 9th document. Right there is the document were two pieces of information that I saw the first time, but because I am doing Document based analysis the answer was there all along. Oh, and there will be a follow up post, because I also confirmed, for me, where the problem was that got me off track.

As I have been working with Evidentia, I had two documents right in front of me, and one not too far away. The Evidentia Companion, by Edward A Thompson [ ISBN 978-0-692-59116-1], First Printing, 2016, and the Evidentia Quickstart Guide, also by the developer, and author Edward A Thompson. Both are available at http://evidentiasoftware.com.

At the end of my 8th document, I made sure that I had done Proof Reports on the data entered so far, made sure that I had marked the Source, Information, and Evidence categories as described in Evidence Explained, Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, by Elizabeth Shown Mills, Third Edition, 2015, Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore, Maryland. The inside cover has The Evidence Analysis Process Map, which really helped me “remember” how I was supposed to do this analysis.

Then I opened the 9th document, which was a 1910 Census Record, for the “father” of the child where I wasn’t sure who the mother was. I entered the Claims for him, entered the Claims for his wife, remembering the 2 unique questions of a married woman and there was half of the answer. She had one born and that child was still living. The 2nd part of the answer was that they had been married for 16 years, and the Child, also on that Census Record was 12.

Here is a link to the Proof Report for Lucy H Ort, who is not the mother, of Florence E Rinehart Ort, as reported, where I disprove the mother, daughter relations.

And a link to the Proof Report for Florence E Rinehart Ort, the daughter, where I hope to prove the correct parents.

This process has provided me with the record that raised the issue in the first place. Will do a follow up Blog Post on how I have attempted to resolve it. I had already observed that others had used that same record that has caused others the same issue.

A Question for Evidentia (part 5)–1900 Census

July 27, 2016

I have entered 4 documents to date. In the past, I would have just entered the Source, creating the Citation, then enter Claims. This time around, I have been using the Analyze Evidence for each record. I am also just focusing on a small sample of people.

Up until now, I have only been entering a few people in a household, for each specific household. I had entered a 1900 Census, a 1880 Census, a Find A Grave memorial, and a 1920 Census record.

I had to stop for a moment, as the Find A Grave memorial was for one of the Sons in the family. The 1820 Census shows that his father had died, making his mother a widow. But, this specific memorial had some clues and the hint of the problem I am working through.

When I normally work with these various records, I have a list of Facts / Events that I capture from that record. I relooked at my notes for the 1900 Census (my notes are in Evernote), I realized that I really need to capture two small pieces of information in the 1900 census. That is the Number of Children born to the Females in the household and the number of Children living, in 1900.

Here is the 1900 Census transcription


1900 U.S. census, population schedule, New Jersey, Morris County, Washington Township, Supervisor’s Disctrict No. 3, Enumeration District No. 82, Sheet No. 6A, lines 43 – 48, Dwelling 132, Family 136, William H Ort household; FHL microfilm: 1240988; NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 988; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 01 Jul 2016).

Since I was doing my Evaluation as I go, I stopped and made a Research Note / Follow Up on the Proof for the Child(ren) of the wife in this household. I didn’t want to loose that thought. As you can see, she had 8 Children, but I had not been cataloguing those claims.

Here is what that looks like in the Proof Report;


The title is “Recommendations for Continuing”. Very appropriate.

I then returned to the 3 Census Records, End Notes 1, 3, and 4 and made the claims of the children listed in those sources. Then I re-ran the Proof Report for the Child(ren) of Elizabeth.


You will see the number (14) at the name of the name. Again, my reference back to my genealogy database, that is her Person ID in that file, so I know who I am referring to, in Evidentia.

A Question for Evidentia (part 4) – List of Subjects

July 26, 2016

To recap where I am on this series

Now on to Evidentia.

There is a feature in Evidentia that I haven’t used before, under the List Manager, where it has the List of Subjects. This is where you will see who all has been had claim in the data entry part of the program. For this problem solving exercise I thought I would enter the Names of the persons from my genealogy database program up front. I hadn’t used it this way before but thought that going forward I would be able to compare my database against Evidentia easier.


But, I only had 3 names in the project so far and the list has 5 names.

In the EXCEL file I had a column called “Record For”. I didn’t expand that column in the previous blog post, but the first record that I will deal with is a Census Record. When I handle this type of record, I do it from the Head of Household, especially for relationships.

Since that first record is a Census Record, the Head of Household’s name and his wife’s name was added to the Subject List. Hopefully, the Census Record will help establish the relationship between the Head of Household, and the daughter Lucy H.

Any claims from the sources will be associated with the Names in my database. Also note, that the second entry does not have a birth surname, so my usual 5 underscores are present.

I would not normally do this, but allow the Subject List be generated by Evidentia as I enter the data.

What I will probably do differently, for this project, is not record all of the names that might be on a Census Record. I am trying to keep the focus on the problem that I am trying to resolve. That may change as I proceed with this project.

A Question for Evidentia (part 3) – EXCEL

July 25, 2016

This is part 3 of a series on my use of the Evidentia Software Program. To see more about this program, click on the link in the Right Menu panel.

To start this project, I wanted to take inventory of where I am and how I got here. Two things became very clear, right up front.

  • The use of a Research Log
  • The “accessed date” in the Citation

Here is an example of a 1910 US Federal Census Record:

1910 U.S. census, population schedule, New Jersey, Morris County, Washington Township, Supervisor’s District No. 5, Enumeration District No. 47, Sheet No. 9A, lines 49 – 50, Sheet No. 9B, line 1, Mud Street Road, Visited No. 203, Family Number 206, P. K. Rinehart household; FHL microfilm: 1374916; NARA microfilm publication T624, roll 903; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 10 Jul 2016).

My research log would only say 07/10/2016 – 1910 Census, but it’s easy to see which entry has that citation linked to it, in my genealogy database.

In EXCEL, I entered the Research Logs (one sheet) and related Citations. I am doing this for Sorting Purposes. I must look at the Records themselves to enter the information into Evidentia, so I want to remove my data entry from my genealogy program.

This is the first view sorted by Person, and their research log.


The Person number another way to help be really look at the Source document, that Evidentia wants us to do, and just Enter the Claims from the document. The order from the research log, later, may give me a hint as to where I might have gone wrong. In other words, if I had looked at the records in a different order, I might have had a different outcome.

As mentioned in Part 2, I wanted to make sure that I knew what I was looking at, to remind me of the difference between a Find A Grave source and the Find A Grave Index.

The next column is only a reminder, for me, as to who the record was for, when I entered the fact or event into my program. For example, the first entry on the sheet was for a person NOT one of my three people, but someone else, William in this case.

The last column is the Reference Note (Citation) for that record. That will help when entering the data into Evidentia.

Another reason for entering this into EXCEL is for Sorting. I wanted to Sort by Date of reviewing the Document, not Sorted by Person.


Now, its off to review and enter 25 documents into Evidentia. I will probably do a couple of examples of the data entry into Evidentia as I go.

A Question for Evidentia (part 2)

July 24, 2016

This is part 2 of a series on my use of the Evidentia Software Program. To see more about this program, click on the link in the Right Menu panel.

To start this project, I wanted to take inventory of where I am and how I got here. Two things became very clear, right up front.

  • The use of a Research Log
  • The “accessed date” in the Citation

Here is the research log for (for now) Person 1


Notice that there are Find A Grave and Find A Grave Index entries. I handle those two types of records differently.

Also, this points out a little my overall research strategy, built of relationships and the FFAN (Friends, Family, Associates, and Neighbors) Club, through Census Records and Find A Grave Records. These two records help be determine if other records are “my person”, because of the relationships these two records can show me.

Person 2


Notice the lack of Find A Grave records. That is a clue for me. Perhaps an alert that I need to keep an eye open for something.

Person 3


Back with the Census and Find A Grave records.

I should note two things about the two types of Find A Grave records.

When I do a Merge of data from the Ancestry.com Find A Grave Index, there may be data in the Web Merge that does NOT appear on the screen at the beginning of the Merge. Careful review of the Information that is brought in from the merge is very important.

The information from the Find A Grave website is a Manual selection of Data that is presented from the website. Birth, Death, and Burial Facts are then merged into my database. But, most of the time, there are links to other people on the Find A Grave website, which is good news and bad news. One bad link to the wrong person, may cause issues, in that the relationship may not exist in reality.

Oh, I did a Webinar on how I use Find A Grave. This is a subscription based website, but you can access it from that link and Selecting View by Presenter on this link.

My next step, is to put these research entries into an EXCEL spreadsheet. I will blog about that in the next update on this project.

A Question for Evidentia (part 1)

July 23, 2016

As some of you know, and I have blogged about this before, I use the Genealogy Software Program Evidentia. See the link on the right side of the page.

I use it when I have conflicting information in my research or a genealogy question that is difficult to answer. I causes me to look at my Source Information from a different point of view.

Well, I have one of those questions and I thought I would use Evidentia to help me with this question. I thought that I would walk through this problem and how I help resolve this problem with this program.

I have three people in my existing file, a male and two females. I while ago, I made a To Do entry:


I had started with one person, but that person, looking at the records, had two names. On 10 July 2016, I recognized that there was a problem. It bothered me so much, that I made two person records in my genealogy software program, where I too the record with the name Lucy H, and the second one Emma _____ (meaning, unknown birth surname.

As I was reviewed each entry there was something, in my evaluation of the new information that something wasn’t right, but didn’t know what. Most of the information “looked right”, but on the 10th I split my information.

I have a “husband” with one or two wives, or there is another relationship (husband) that I haven’t identified.

Between the 3, I have 15 to 20 records that I have looked at, and a few records that aren’t available to me (on line) or I just haven’t found the right record for the answer.

I will be doing a series of blog posts on how I use Evidentia to help resolve this problem.

Stay Tuned.

There’s an APP for that / Find A Grave

July 6, 2016

I have been a contributor for the Find A Grave website for a long time. Posted Memorials, taken photographs, and used it as a research tool. I have used the Find A Grave APP since it first came out (in Beta) years ago. Always on my smart phone.

But, last fall I purchased a “Blue Tooth” enabled vehicle.

I am currently working on a research project that I have talked about here of late. Needless to say, this local family is in many local cemeteries. I know where most of them are already but I was challenged with a cemetery that I hadn’t visited before. The Find A Grave website did not have an address, only a town and county name. Not helpful.

I had visited two cemeteries and really wanted to visit this third one. As is my custom, I get as much information as possible before I ‘hit the road’, and this was no exception. I thought I knew about where the cemetery was, knew were several others are in the area, but I just couldn’t find this one.

I stopped driving about about an hour earlier than I would have in the past and thought, why not use the Find A Grave APP, on my Blue Tooth enabled radio. Pulled up the Find A Grave App, went to the Map, which showed the Cemeteries “in the area” and there was the listing I had seen on the website.

I noticed that I could get directions from the APP. It uses Google Maps and started to talk to my mode of transportation. I followed the voice’s instructions, right up to the front gate of the Cemetery (without any signs with the Cemetery Name). No wonder I didn’t know where it was. It wasn’t marked.


As the saying goes “There’s an App for that”.

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