Thursday, May 14, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over, Cycle 2 Week 6

This week's Do-Over focuses on:
  1. Evaluating Evidence
  2. Reviewing Online Education Options

Evaluating Evidence

In the past, I did use fairly good judgment as I analyzed the information I had, but it was a very informal evaluation. I would take notes and figure out the best possible answers for the scenarios, but I didn't break it down and do a formal evaluation by creating a written proof statement. I see where this is beneficial, so I am using my Evidentia as a way to analyze each piece of information and evaluate its relevance to the proof point I am trying to make.

I must admit that this is a very busy time of year for me. As an educator, we have the annual state mandated tests to administer. I give the oral exams for several grade levels, so many days are long and tedious. I haven't had much free time to delve into my sources and put them into my Evidentia, but for the ones I have done, I am able to see how they are relevant and put them into perspective as I do my analysis.

Putting it into action, I sought to prove my grandfather's date of birth. I had some conflicting evidence, so I added all of the sources into Evidentia, cataloged my claims, and began to analyze my evidence. I wrote up a summary conclusion which is like a proof statement. I am still not great at writing a strong proof statement, but I will keep practicing and I'm sure I will improve over time. This is a screen shot of the first page of the proof statement. It is actually three pages long. It itemizes each source and its assertions, and uses end notes.

Reviewing Online Educational Options

As for reviewing online education options, I reviewed Thomas MacEntee's list and was amazed by all the resources he had listed. I knew about some of them, but many more are available than I ever imagined. I decided to create my own list of online education options as a page on this blog, so others may use them.

As I reviewed the abundance of online educational resources, I decided to set my educational goals for 2015. These are some areas I am weak in and could use some guidance.

My Educational Genealogy Goals for 2015

1. Researching my German ancestry --- I was able to locate a webinar on Researching German ancestry online through the Southern California Genealogical Webinar series. I have signed up for that one and I am continuing to search for more on the subject. My mother is German and I would love to learn how to research her line.

2. Breaking down a brick wall (wills and probates) --- I plan to discover more about locating wills, probates, and other records to help me prove/disprove that John William Wickliffe is the father of Charles Wickliffe.

3. Join a Genealogical Society to advance my skills --- I used to be a member of a local society, but with work and school, I wasn't able to attend. I plan to join a local society and another in an area that I am researching for my family. I hope this will help me glean insight into records available in the area and perhaps clues into my family's whereabouts.

4. Learning more about writing my ancestor's stories --- In February, I joined The Family History Writing Challenge, but was unable to keep up. I have purchased Lynn Palermo's ebooks and they are an excellent resource. Lynn's blog, The Armchair Genealogist, at is another excellent resource for helping me achieve this goal.