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1:19:11
Negative Evidence: Making Something Out of Nothing
When is not finding a record nothing, and when does it signify something? Information that is not where you expect it to be may yield important evidence for your research question. Understanding the purpose of a source — who and what it records, and why — will help you determine if the missing person or event is negative evidence or merely a negative search. A series of examples demonstrate methodologies used to create something out of nothing.
When is not finding a record nothing, and when does it signify something? Information that is not where you expect it to be may yield important evidence for your research question. Understanding the purpose of a source — who and what it records, and why — will help you determine if the missing person or event is negative evidence or merely a negative search. A series of examples demonstrate methodologies used to create something out of nothing.
Wed, June 22 2022: 0:00 UTC
6:08
804 views
CC
How I Debunked an Online Tree Hint
Hints in online trees can provide genealogical treasures, but if you’re not careful they can lead to genealogical regret. In this quick video, Geoff Rasmussen shows why hints should be explored, scrutinized and evaluated.
Hints in online trees can provide genealogical treasures, but if you’re not careful they can lead to genealogical regret. In this quick video, Geoff Rasmussen shows why hints should be explored, scrutinized and evaluated.
Fri, June 10 2022: 0:00 UTC
1:03:56
1.2K views
CC
Indirect Evidence – A Case Study
This Connecticut-based, indirect evidence case study will highlight techniques for researching a woman whose maiden name is known, but her parents are unknown due to deficiencies in the vital records. Techniques will be demonstrated that rely on forming hypotheses and gathering evidence to test those hypotheses. Thorough research of neighbors and associates (the FAN principle) will yield enough evidence to tie this woman back into her family. Records used include pre-1850 census records, deeds, probate, church, and court. Death records of family members provide the final clues that tie them all together.
This Connecticut-based, indirect evidence case study will highlight techniques for researching a woman whose maiden name is known, but her parents are unknown due to deficiencies in the vital records. Techniques will be demonstrated that rely on forming hypotheses and gathering evidence to test those hypotheses. Thorough research of neighbors and associates (the FAN principle) will yield enough evidence to tie this woman back into her family. Records used include pre-1850 census records, deeds, probate, church, and court. Death records of family members provide the final clues that tie them all together.
Wed, May 18 2022: 18:00 UTC
1:21:02
Five Wives & A Feather Bed: Using Indirect and Negative Evidence to Resolve Conflicting Claims
Genealogical scholars make conflicting claims about the number of wives, and the number and mothers of the children, of Joseph Brownell, a Mayflower descendant of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, born at Little Compton, Rhode Island, 16 February 1699, to Thomas Brownell and Esther Taber. These conflicting claims raise significant questions about the makeup of Joseph Brownell’s family. Did he have one, two or five wives? Did he have one, three or eight children? To which wife, or wives, were they born? The presenter will lead participants through reasonably exhaustive research and standards-based evaluation of indirect and negative evidence found in Quaker meeting records, and vital, land and probate records to demonstrate how proof can be constructed to answer these questions. Correlation of this evidence with the timespan of each marriage will then enable his children to be assigned to their correct mothers.
Genealogical scholars make conflicting claims about the number of wives, and the number and mothers of the children, of Joseph Brownell, a Mayflower descendant of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, born at Little Compton, Rhode Island, 16 February 1699, to Thomas Brownell and Esther Taber. These conflicting claims raise significant questions about the makeup of Joseph Brownell’s family. Did he have one, two or five wives? Did he have one, three or eight children? To which wife, or wives, were they born? The presenter will lead participants through reasonably exhaustive research and standards-based evaluation of indirect and negative evidence found in Quaker meeting records, and vital, land and probate records to demonstrate how proof can be constructed to answer these questions. Correlation of this evidence with the timespan of each marriage will then enable his children to be assigned to their correct mothers.
Wed, May 18 2022: 0:00 UTC
56:18
69 views
CC
Using a Research Methodology for Family History
This webinar was presented live during the 2022 Surname Society annual conference. The sources we rely on for our family histories provide information, but the analysis of that information and formulation into proof requires a structured method. Currently there is little guidance on this for beginning and intermediate family historians, especially in the UK. This talk will discuss methodologies, what they are and why they are useful. It will introduce a research methodology and show how it can be used to successfully solve complex cases.
This webinar was presented live during the 2022 Surname Society annual conference. The sources we rely on for our family histories provide information, but the analysis of that information and formulation into proof requires a structured method. Currently there is little guidance on this for beginning and intermediate family historians, especially in the UK. This talk will discuss methodologies, what they are and why they are useful. It will introduce a research methodology and show how it can be used to successfully solve complex cases.
Sat, March 19 2022: 15:00 UTC
1:26:45
Turning Raw Information into Evidence: Tips for Drawing and Explaining Conclusions
Brush up on your evidence analysis skills. Grasp the difference between direct and indirect evidence. Understand how to logically weave indirect evidence to answer a research question. Learn how to craft a proof statement, a proof summary, or a more complex proof argument.
Brush up on your evidence analysis skills. Grasp the difference between direct and indirect evidence. Understand how to logically weave indirect evidence to answer a research question. Learn how to craft a proof statement, a proof summary, or a more complex proof argument.
Tue, April 20 2021: 0:00 UTC
59:33
5.8K views
CC
Applying Evidence to Genealogical Research Questions
The best approach to solving genealogical problems is to start with a strong, attainable research question. Learn about the different types of research questions, the components of a good research question, and how the research question drives the elements of the Genealogical Proof Standard.
The best approach to solving genealogical problems is to start with a strong, attainable research question. Learn about the different types of research questions, the components of a good research question, and how the research question drives the elements of the Genealogical Proof Standard.
Tue, February 19 2019: 0:00 UTC
1:31:58
Problems and Pitfalls of a Reasonably Shallow Search
Through examples the problems with not conducting an exhaustive search will be highlighted. Assumptions, misinterpretations, and not digging deep enough into original records will all be showcased as to how they can mislead research, sometimes for years. Encouraging the audience to follow the principles of a reasonably exhaustive search should…
Through examples the problems with not conducting an exhaustive search will be highlighted. Assumptions, misinterpretations, and not digging deep enough into original records will all be showcased as to how they can mislead research, sometimes for years. Encouraging the audience to follow the principles of a reasonably exhaustive search should…
Wed, December 27 2017: 0:00 UTC
1:31:40
7.7K views
I Thought He Was My Ancestor: Avoiding the Six Biggest Genealogy Mistakes
Case studies are presented to show how to avoid the biggest mistakes, including trusting family myths; believing that the posted family trees are accurate; connecting the wrong "same name" people; and believing that all original family records are accurate.
Case studies are presented to show how to avoid the biggest mistakes, including trusting family myths; believing that the posted family trees are accurate; connecting the wrong "same name" people; and believing that all original family records are accurate.
Wed, December 13 2017: 0:00 UTC
Advanced
1:18:45
When Does Newfound Evidence Overturn a Proved Conclusion?
Even thorough research can miss relevant sources. What are the options when useful information or DNA test results appear after a researcher establishes a conclusion?
Even thorough research can miss relevant sources. What are the options when useful information or DNA test results appear after a researcher establishes a conclusion?
Tue, September 19 2017: 0:00 UTC
1:31:38
2.2K views
Finding Isaac Rogers
Discover how a book, scant clues, crowd sourced research, and limited online records came together to make ancestral ties to the Trail of Tears, US Civil War, a hanging judge, an outlaw, and of slavery in the Cherokee Nation.
Discover how a book, scant clues, crowd sourced research, and limited online records came together to make ancestral ties to the Trail of Tears, US Civil War, a hanging judge, an outlaw, and of slavery in the Cherokee Nation.
Wed, September 13 2017: 0:00 UTC
1:19:42
No, no, Nanette! What negative evidence is . . . and isn't
Negative evidence is the hardest type of evidence to understand or use in genealogical research. By definition, a “type of evidence arising from an absence of a situation or information in extant records where that information might be expected,” it is, as the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes told us in…
Negative evidence is the hardest type of evidence to understand or use in genealogical research. By definition, a “type of evidence arising from an absence of a situation or information in extant records where that information might be expected,” it is, as the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes told us in…
Tue, December 20 2016: 0:00 UTC

Upcoming Live Webinars

View all (77)
Wed, July 20 2022: 0:00 UTC
Ancestors’ Religions in the U.S.
Wed, July 20 2022: 0:00 UTC
Religious records are essential in genealogy research. Do you know all ancestors’ religions? Review the Protestant Reformation and religions in the U.S. Find your ancestor.
Religious records are essential in genealogy research. Do you know all ancestors’ religions? Review the Protestant Reformation and religions in the U.S. Find your ancestor.
Wed, July 20 2022: 0:00 UTC
Wed, August 17 2022: 0:00 UTC
Finding Fayette’s Father: Autosomal DNA Reveals Misattributed Parentage
Wed, August 17 2022: 0:00 UTC
Traditional documentation clearly identified Fayette’s father without conflict. However, the DNA results of Fayette’s descendants told a different story. Learn how DNA evidence combined with a trail of clues and the application of the Genealogical Proof Standard revealed a secret from the summer of 1913.
Traditional documentation clearly identified Fayette’s father without conflict. However, the DNA results of Fayette’s descendants told a different story. Learn how DNA evidence combined with a trail of clues and the application of the Genealogical Proof Standard revealed a secret from the summer of 1913.
Wed, August 17 2022: 0:00 UTC
Fri, September 2 2022: 15:30 UTC
Changing Places, Changing Borders: Overcoming geographic challenges
Fri, September 2 2022: 15:30 UTC
Yes, it has been possible to be born in one country, get married in another, and die in a third — without ever leaving your home. The boundaries in Eastern Europe have been redrawn many times over the years, presenting challenges for modern-day genealogical researchers. But this phenomenon has not been confined to that area; even Canada has seen at least 50 boundary revisions between its provinces and territories. When jurisdictions have changed, it is especially important to learn how to interpret and record information.
Yes, it has been possible to be born in one country, get married in another, and die in a third — without ever leaving your home. The boundaries in Eastern Europe have been redrawn many times over the years, presenting challenges for modern-day genealogical researchers. But this phenomenon has not been confined to that area; even Canada has seen at least 50 boundary revisions between its provinces and territories. When jurisdictions have changed, it is especially important to learn how to interpret and record information.
Fri, September 2 2022: 15:30 UTC
Fri, September 9 2022: 15:30 UTC
What’s Next When You Are Told Those Records Were “Burnt up”
Fri, September 9 2022: 15:30 UTC
Bad news about records can often be overcome with persistence and flexibility. Put on your own Discovery hat and create your treasure maps to lead you to the answers.
Bad news about records can often be overcome with persistence and flexibility. Put on your own Discovery hat and create your treasure maps to lead you to the answers.
Fri, September 9 2022: 15:30 UTC
Fri, September 16 2022: 15:30 UTC
Using Google Books to Find the Law
Fri, September 16 2022: 15:30 UTC
Time and time again, we’re told to look at records in the context of the law at the time and in the place where the records were created. Easier said than done! With 50 states and the federal government all passing laws, how do we find the laws we need? One answer is Google Books—if we use it to full advantage.
Time and time again, we’re told to look at records in the context of the law at the time and in the place where the records were created. Easier said than done! With 50 states and the federal government all passing laws, how do we find the laws we need? One answer is Google Books—if we use it to full advantage.
Fri, September 16 2022: 15:30 UTC
Wed, September 21 2022: 0:00 UTC
Abstracting Documents: An Essential Skill for All Genealogists
Wed, September 21 2022: 0:00 UTC
Every document that is used during genealogical research must be thoroughly and accurately analyzed. Abstracting is a fundamental part of this research and analyzing process. Yet many genealogists are not confident in their ability to perform this task effectively and efficiently. This causes researchers to avoid the abstracting process resulting in research errors. An abstract is a summary of all the important details in a document. This presentation will examine the abstracting process by using examples that show how to abstract a variety of documents, general guidelines for abstracting, what to include and what to eliminate when creating an abstract, and lastly will explore some problems that might be encountered while abstracting.
Every document that is used during genealogical research must be thoroughly and accurately analyzed. Abstracting is a fundamental part of this research and analyzing process. Yet many genealogists are not confident in their ability to perform this task effectively and efficiently. This causes researchers to avoid the abstracting process resulting in research errors. An abstract is a summary of all the important details in a document. This presentation will examine the abstracting process by using examples that show how to abstract a variety of documents, general guidelines for abstracting, what to include and what to eliminate when creating an abstract, and lastly will explore some problems that might be encountered while abstracting.
Wed, September 21 2022: 0:00 UTC
Fri, September 23 2022: 14:15 UTC
Strategies to Jumpstart Your Research
Fri, September 23 2022: 14:15 UTC
Have you been researching for years and reached a brick wall? Have you just started and gathered all the easy information but aren’t sure where to go next? Discover new techniques and re-discover tried and true methods. Teri’s presentation takes a fresh look at research strategies that will get your research moving, whether you’ve been researching your family history for 30 years or 30 weeks.
Have you been researching for years and reached a brick wall? Have you just started and gathered all the easy information but aren’t sure where to go next? Discover new techniques and re-discover tried and true methods. Teri’s presentation takes a fresh look at research strategies that will get your research moving, whether you’ve been researching your family history for 30 years or 30 weeks.
Fri, September 23 2022: 14:15 UTC
Fri, September 23 2022: 15:30 UTC
A Deep Dive into the Map Collections of the Library of Congress
Fri, September 23 2022: 15:30 UTC
The library holds the world’s largest collection of maps—over 5.2 million maps according to their website. This webinar will describe the collections most valuable for genealogical research. We are going to explore the online resources and how they can help our research. Exploring the phenomenal learning resources is also on the agenda. We will also talk about finding aids, research guides, reproduction capabilities, and alternative ways to access the map collections. Lastly, we will discuss the resources that are only available onsite, such as the cartographic library, cartographic exhibits, and other unique holdings.
The library holds the world’s largest collection of maps—over 5.2 million maps according to their website. This webinar will describe the collections most valuable for genealogical research. We are going to explore the online resources and how they can help our research. Exploring the phenomenal learning resources is also on the agenda. We will also talk about finding aids, research guides, reproduction capabilities, and alternative ways to access the map collections. Lastly, we will discuss the resources that are only available onsite, such as the cartographic library, cartographic exhibits, and other unique holdings.
Fri, September 23 2022: 15:30 UTC
Fri, September 30 2022: 16:45 UTC
Controlling Chaos: Managing a Genealogical Project
Fri, September 30 2022: 16:45 UTC
Rein in that project with tools and techniques to start or re-start a project in a directed approach. This lecture will discuss methods and tools to help work more effectively including research logs, tables, research planning, and the gift that citations bring to our education.
Rein in that project with tools and techniques to start or re-start a project in a directed approach. This lecture will discuss methods and tools to help work more effectively including research logs, tables, research planning, and the gift that citations bring to our education.
Fri, September 30 2022: 16:45 UTC