You know it’s going to be an interesting day when you see s Twitter message that says
Wow, what a day. A Full Day of listening to Dr. Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG, CGL., FASG, FUGA, FNGS. That name may be familiar with many genealogist, and followers of this blog.
A group of folks in Second Life, did a study of a video presentation on FamilySearch.org about Inferential Genealogy and I then did a case study on what I learned from that study.
What an honor it was to be able to attend four classes taught by Dr. Jones.
“The Genealogical Proof Standard (GPS); What It is and What It is Not“, was the title of the first class. He walked us through what the GPS is and why it is so important. He used “A Jigsaw-Puzzle Metaphor for Genealogical Proof”. For me, he put that very scary term (GPS) into reality in a very clear way of doing our research. Other terms, in the genealogy community were made real and not so frightening. Will have a lot of reading to do, based on his Source List he provided.
“Using “Correlation” to Reveal Facts that No Record States” was the second class. This was a refreshing class for me, as the tools he taught in the Video series were reinforced. Tools being a Narrative, List, Timeline, Table, and Map. In my case study, I must have learned something, as I used 4 of those 5 items. Guess I need to go back to the Narrative, as I didn’t do a very good job on that one. But, I am not sure that I could have answered the Question to my case study, without using all 4 of the items that I used.
A break for Dinner. Could have used a nap, but was not going to miss the next two sessions.
“Organizing Evidence to Overcome Record Shortages” He reminded us that we may not find the answer to our question(s), nor the records we are looking for, but may have to look elsewhere to find answers. Look into record sets that we might not normally use in our research. There have been discussions around the genealogy, blogging world, about Exhaustive Search. But he reminded us that we may NOT find all of the pieces to the puzzle, there may be some missing pieces or some damaged pieces. Dr. Jones provided is with six steps to overcome record shortages with a couple of case studies.
“Inferential Genealogy: Deducing Ancestor’s identities Indirectly” was the fourth class. I remember that title. It appeared that this case study is what the Video Study that was done in Second Life was based on. A couple of the details of this case study were in the Video, but it was even more interesting is listening to the details that Dr. Jones went through to answering the question that he asked for this case study.
Through out the four classes, Evidence or citing sources was very important. But, more than just citing the source, but evaluating of the information that is presented from that Source. Being able to make to recognize that a source may be negative, and to be able to resolve conflicts.
I was reminded that what I do is not about collecting names, but really attempting to know who this person is and what their story might be. Or, the use the puzzle metaphor really worked for me, understanding that the end result may not be a complete puzzle. He also illustrated when you might have ‘enough’ information to answer the genealogical question that WE establish for our specific research project. He also reminded us that there may be other ways to find information when a specific document does not exist. Understanding the records that we are looking at, what they mean, what their limitation might be in that document. Record, Document, and EVALUATE the information that is gathered to answer the research question.
Thank you, Dr. Jones.
This weekend I am attending the Fairfax Genealogical Society, Spring Conference, 2012. I had planned on attending, with my Cousin, Dear MYRTLE. As it turns out, she asked me to do a piece of one of her presentations. What an honor, but a bit scary. But I am looking forward to it. We are going to talk about Integrating your Genealogy Database with Online Discoveries. Actually, this is right up our alley, as that is how we discovered that we are cousins. Will probably talk about this later.
Backing up a day, the Fairfax Genealogical Society had a monthly meeting last night, the night before the conference. Now there is a concept, but it will be a long weekend for those “working” the conference.
Last night, there were over 100 people in attendance. Wow!!!! It was announced that there were 64 new members in this Society. Wow, again.
Beside a normal business meeting, Dear MYRTLE gave a short presentation about the 1940 Census and the Indexing Project.
I have, and I have done a couple of practice batches, to remind myself how it worked.
There were TWO (2) Featured Speakers at this meeting. The topic Capital Treasure: A Sampler of Gems in the DC Area Repositories. Pamela K. Sayre, CG, CGL, and Rick Sayre, CG were the presenters. They teased us, for the Conference, with four vignettes that demonstrated the various repositories and sources in the DC area.
I was reminded that I am only sorry that I hadn’t started with my research while I lived in the DC area. And the reminder that “Not Everything is Online“.
I am looking forward to two days of classes, hanging out with Myrt and Mr. Myrt, and with other genealogist.
Thank you Fairfax Genealogical Society.