When we turn our hearts to our ancestors, something changes inside of us. We feel part of something greater than ourselves~Russell M. Nelson

Monday, September 3, 2018

Methodology Monday-Reasonably Exhaustive Research

You've read about it. Know it's part of the Genealogical Proof Standard, but do you understand what it means?

Reasonably Exhaustive research means we look for all the information that would help to answer a specific genealogy question. 
Once you know exactly who or what you are looking for, you can brainstorm what type of records may contain the answer and where you may find them. Then you need to begin looking for the documents on your list to see what they can tell you about your question.

For instance, you may have the question "Who were the parents of "John Doe" who was born in "Some Year" in "Some County, Some State, Some County." You know which John Doe you are looking for. Add more information if you know it to fine-tune your research subject even more if needed.
This approach is much more successful than "I want to find out everything about my great grandpa, John Doe."

What types of records may give you the answer? Make a list. It may contain those below and others. What is on your list will depend on the area and laws for creating them.
This is an example, but many more could be added.
1-Death Certificate
2-Birth Certificate
4-Church Records
5-Census Records
6-Bible Records
7-Probate Records

You get the idea!
Now list where you could find them and make a plan to begin researching.

Should you celebrate when you discover an answer on the first or second record and call it quits? After all, the death certificate you just found records the names John Doe's parents and wasn't that the answer to your question? Unfortunately, no.
Reasonably Exhaustive Research means locating ALL records that may be available that may shed light on your research question.

Why? Records of any kind may be incorrect. A wide variety of documents can help ensure you have the most correct information. You may discover you have records with conflicting information. If that happens, you need to figure out why if you can. 
Was there a transcription error, or did someone accidentally recording a wrong name? There could be many reasons why your records have differing information. 
What if the name of one or both of the parents is wrong on that newly discovered death certificate? If you hadn't continued researching until you were confident you had looked for anything that would give you the facts you need the chance of a mistake is high.
You could end up researching the wrong line or building your own brick wall.

When do you know you've done enough? When you have found as much as possible to help answer your question. There is no magic number of documents needed to come to a conclusion.
Simply do your best to discover as much as you can from various record groups.

Reasonably Exhaustive research means being reasonable in your efforts. There will be documents that were never created or records that have been lost or destroyed.
Making sure you have exhausted all the possibilities will give you confidence in your answers and your help you move up your family tree. If and when other records are found that weren't available to you during your research process, chances are your conclusions will be upheld instead of crumbling in light of a new source. 

The first step in the Genealogical Proof Standard, Reasonably Exhaustive Research is meant to help you produce the most reliable results you can by collecting everything available to answer your research question.

What has Reasonably Exhaustive Research helped you to discover?

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Helping you climb your family tree,

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Sunday, September 2, 2018

This Week On My Family HIstory Calendar

September 2-September 8

Sept. 4~
   My maternal 4th Great Grandfather, Phillip Roberts III (1798-1852), died 166 years ago in Columbia, Richland, South Carolina at the age of 54.
He is buried in St. Wesberry High Hill Cemetery, Richland, Columbia, South Carolina. 

Phillip Roberts    Westbury High Hill Cemetery
Phillip Roberts, III
Wesberry High Hill Cemetery
Richland County, Columbia, South Carolina
Picture Courtesy: Jim Hepler

Who are you remembering this week?

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Helping you climb your family tree,

Celebration Sunday~Genealogy Happy Dance!

You know the dance. You know you've done it. The one every researcher does after finding something new. The one where you want to jump up and down and shout to everyone around that you found the document, contacted a cousin who has the family Bible, made a DNA connection or found a whole new branch to your tree. The one that is met with glazed stares and eye rolls.
                                                          Celebration Sunday is a place to share your discoveries. 
This is a weekly series to enable everyone to tell about their Genealogy Happy Dance moment. 

Share by scrolling down and adding your story to the comments section or you may also put a link to a blog post telling about what had you dancing this week.

My Happy Dance this week:

Did you see the announcement? We heard about something big coming from RootsTech and we weren't disappointed! During a live Facebook feed on Tuesday, August 28, 2018, it was announced that a second RootsTech Conference was being planned in October of 2019 in London, England!
Wow! I hope to be able to go at some point! While a teenager my father served in the Air Force and we lived in England for 4 1/2 years. Oh, how I would love to return! 
I was doing an "I want to go to England again" jig!!
Missed the announcement? Here's the link to the video https://www.facebook.com/RootsTech/videos/1814656785284813/

What is your happy dance moment for this week?


                                                                                              Share your discovery!
                                                                                         Let the dancing commence!

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Looking forward to reading about your Happy Dance moment!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Helping you climb your family tree,