Creative Hypothesis Development for Complex Genealogy Problems

Jan Joyce, CG, CGL
Jan 21, 2020
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Learn about BCG
4m 36s
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2m 10s
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Speaker's Introduction
1m 02s
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6m 57s
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Hypothesis Development
21m 58s
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Mind Mapping
12m 50s
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Descriptive Writing
5m 54s
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Prioritize Hypothesis
1m 22s
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Support or Refute
5m 31s
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5m 15s
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Questions / answers
12m 48s

About this webinar

This topic introduces a methodology for creating multiple hypotheses in genealogical situations that are not easily solved…like the brick walls we all have! Creative thinking is discussed, as well as methods for capturing multiple hypotheses and then prioritizing them. Several types of hypotheses development will be covered. Finally, we will review cover how to refute or support each hypothesis. A case study is used throughout the discussion to highlight how the methodology is best utilized.

About the speaker

About the speaker

Jan is a genealogy researcher whose personal work has focused on Ohio, Pennsylvania, England and Norway. She began researching in 1998 to understand genealogy customers when she managed the marketing initiatives at Before beginning
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  1. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    The webinar was very useful, it helped understand some specific points of searching for information in wills and deeds. I liked the idea of brainstorming, sharing and writing during a search of a difficult case. Thanks a lot!


    A good complex example was used, which required much thinking to find the underlying reasons for the actions.

    A useful webinare

    An excellent example of arranging the puzzle pieces of life within a family tree!

    Awesome ideas for brainstorming! Loved it!!!

    Clear, lively, mindbending

    Easy to follow and thought-provoking. It was just what I needed to inspire me to move forward with my research.

    Enjoyed how the webinar content was laid out so it was interesting throughout the whole session; appreciated the uplifting and encouraging voices in Jan and Geoff. Thank you.

    Enjoyed it very much

    Enjoyed the audience participation in the research process!

    Enjoyed the interactive format!

    Enjoyed the ‘Quick Polls’ presented throughout the presentation.

    Even though I was already fairly familiar with creative hypothesis development and mind mapping and have solved some brick wall problems, I found the webinar to be informative and helpful as well as enjoyable.



    Excellent – I loved the interactivity of it.

    Excellent and most informative

    Excellent comprehensive thinking exercise which should help future problem solving!

    Excellent material presented. I love the incorporation of mind maps to the process.

    Excellent method to try

    Excellent presentation of the method to identify and evaluate hypotheses.

    Excellent presentation! Almost every family genealogist that I know has brick walls to be solved. Most of them just keep looking for more records. Rarely does anyone ask why there’s a brick wall.

    Excellent presentation. Would have liked to have seen a case study that resulted in an actual solution.

    Excellent presenter.

    Excellent way to teach a process!

    Excellent!! I will be watching it again–so many good methods and thoughts to consider!

    Excellent, very clear, inspiring, loved the interactive exchange.

    Excellent. Loved the real time interaction/participation aspect

    Excellent. I love the interactive format. I was wondering how it would work in the webinar format but Jeff does a great job pulling out the questions and answers.

    FABULOUS! Great content, loved the audience interaction

    Fascinating!!!! Such great information. I hope we hear Jan M. Joyce again………..

    Following a case study is a more engaging way for me to learn. Loved the approach.

    from a Polish perspective, it is difficult to assess American conditions and the surrounding of this case. We also do not know if he had other children who were not allowed to “deal”

    Gained new ways to improve/motivate/inspire research on brick wall walls

    Gave me some ideas, or reminded me, of some that I need to use in my own research.

    gets the brain working!

    Good audience participation. Good intro to mind mapping.

    Good info.

    Good webinar on techniques for working through research questions.


    Great great webinar.

    Great idea for how to research

    Great ideas that I plan to put into use very soon. Thank you!

    Great information. Hope that Jan comes back again soon. I learned more tonight than I have in many others. Thanks.

    Great interaction with audience. Very well organized. Thanks!

    Great show. Did learn several things.

    Great webinar

    Great webinar!

    Her delivery was a bit fast, but I was able to follow. Thanks for the opportunity to listen!

    I could tell this was given by an instructor who knows how to get a point across. Thank you for the best seminar I have attended.

    I enjoyed being able to participate in brainstorming on the research question.

    I enjoyed hearing someone else’s case. I also enjoyed that it was not the typical relationship question.

    I enjoyed it – a lot to take in and went very fast! I also like Geoff – he always does a great job.

    I enjoyed the incorporation of the case study throughout; it provided strong practical examples for the strategies presented.

    I especially enjoyed Jan’s use of interactive polls, questions, and worksheets.

    I got many great ideas from her and I enjoyed her presentation.

    I learn something new with each webinar.

    I learned a lot . I appreciated mapping it out to solve brick walls.

    I learned a lot about how to create hypotheses and expositor narratives to create those hypotheses.

    I learned from Jan’s methodology. She really held interest in developing and refuting hypotheses.

    I learned how the mapping method could bring out ideas

    I liked the interactive nature of the presentation

    I liked the mapping idea

  2. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    I love to “hear other minds working.” and using every clue resource know to man. Working on one now over three continents, a ship kidnapped by pirates, a party with Royal mistresses, a painting submitted to the Royal Academy and a strange will leaving 38000 lbs (1811) to over 50 people, almost all – or all related to our family
    i never heard of mind mapping, but now i will have to try it

    The webinar was thought provoking and I look forward to trying the techniques.

    I really enjoyed the topic you covered. It gives me an additional means to explore my “lost” relatives. I look forward to using the mind mapping.

    I really learned a lot. I like the case study learning powerpoint method. This allowed me to understand the concepts better. I also learned some historical background issues that I can apply to my own research by the participants chiming in with ideas.

    I really liked the interaction in the webinar.

    I thought it was excellent, it gave me another method for overcoming brick walls.

    I thought that this was one of the best Legacy webinars I’ve ever attended. The presenter gave me a lot of new ideas that I want to apply to some of my brick walls. It was also good to have Geoff Rasmussen back as the narrator.

    I understand the thought process better when a case study is used.

    Incredibly interesting and fun. Plus food for thought and ideas for implementation!

    ineresting and engaging throughout. Loved it

    Interactive webinars keep me awake (especially in the evening!).

    interesting as well as informative

    Interesting case and enlightening ways of approaching it.

    Interesting ideas. Being a mathematician/computer scientist, seeing your processes made sense. Note: around an hour into the presentation, the voice cut out and I had to exit and rejoin. Thank you.

    Interesting presentation. I liked learning with the use of a case study.

    Interesting subject that needs further exploration.

    Interesting webinar. Thought provoking … Thank you!

    It made me want to think about my own family from a different perspective. More of the “why” of genealogical research.

    Jan did a nice job of presenting this webinar. She’s a keeper.

    I’ve not heard that speaker present before, I hope to hear more from her.

    Jan Joyce gave some great ideas to help us look at our brick walls in a new way. I am really glad I attended this webinar!

    Jan M. Joyce put together a a great webinar. I never thought about using creative hypotheses before. It might be challenging, but I understand that doing so may solve some brick walls. I appreciate the handouts, too.

    Jan was brilliant.

    Jan was excellent. My background is in adult education and instructional design and I found her method of teaching very effective. I loved the interaction and curiosity that she generated.

    Just a very thought provoking webinar!

    Just what I had in mind.

    Lots of food for thought. I loved the case study format and demonstration of he

    Love the interaction

    Love the questions and showing the results

    Loved the actual problem to suggest ideas and have the speaker discuss those ideas!

    Loved the opportunity for audience participation – it taught while at the same time provided crowd-sourcing for Jan’s brick wall.

    Made me think for sure

    more ideas to look into

    More, please!

    Most engaging of many I have attended – the key is interacting versus professing to the audience – challenging for any speaker- well done by Jan.

    My first but definitely not my last. Jan Joyce’s presentation was very informative and interesting.

    My only “biological” Grandchild was born in Knox county Ohio. Was this named after “your” John? (I live in Prince Edward Island, Canada) Very interesting & informative,,,,,thank you!!

    Nicely done!

    Now I just need to find a group for sharing!

    One of the best webinars yet………

    presenter talks a bit to quickly, but enthusiasm comes through.

    Quite enjoyable.

    Quite interesting and added lots of food for thought to a couple of my “hurdles”. I do not call them brick walls. Unfortunately, I’m used to Wednesday afternoon webinars so found it hard to stay focused.

    Really enjoyed. Working the case study along with others really provided great questions – not a lot of answers – but different avenues that might lead you to an answer.

    Really interesting, opens up some new methods toconsider

  3. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    Really like the audience participation.

    Really well presented. The fascinating case of John Knox Sr made it fun to engage with the techniques being discussed.

    So interesting. I have a brick wall I have been working on for years. I will definitely use these methods to get a different perspective.

    So, now I have the feeling that brick walls may not be surmountable after all

    Sorry I had to leave early–I will listen to the rest on recording. Great webinar!!

    Thank you for making this free seminar available.

    That was fantastic and informative. She is so sharp and on point.

    The interaction between audience and speaker was especially engaging.

    The methodology techniques will be helpful to me. Thank you.

    The speaker did an amazing job of engaging us in active learning. She challenged us to work through/practice the methods she was presenting. This was one of the best that I have participated in. Thanks for scheduling this session!

    The speaker was enthusiastic, appreciative and otherwise interacted well with her virtual audience.

    The speaker was very engaging. The presentation was interactive. The slides were “graphically” sound – not to busy or crowded

    The student participation made it a great learning experience.

    The suggestions were perfect for me.

    The webinar was excellent. Thanks!

    These techniques are promising for my brick walls. Thanks for a wonderful, stimulating webinar!

    This is by far my favorite webinar I’ve seen in all the years I’ve been a subscriber! I enjoyed Jan’s enthusiasm, interesting case study and mind provoking way of approaching it. I wish I had thought to do something like this on a webinar so I could have hundreds of people throw out new ideas for me! Kudos to her for thinking of that! Really, it was a great webinar!

    This is the kind of webinar I may listen to more than once. Well done and thought provoking.

    This was fabulous! I really enjoyed walking through the process and her responding to comments and questions so knowledgably on the fly. It does make me want to take yet another look at my brick wall ancestors and look for a new angle.

    This was interesting

    Thought provoking.

    Very enjoyable.

    Very helpful tips

    Very informative

    Very informative but seemed rushed to be able to include everything . Would have been nice to have a part 2 webinar for more time and in depth presntation.

    Very Informative!

    Very informative! Jan is a wonderful presenter and the topic was very interesting.

    Very informative, easy to follow and useful.

    Very informative. Looking forward to practicing some of the research ideas.

    very interesting

    Very interesting and informative. Thank you. : )

    Very interesting concepts.

    Very interesting hearing about the different approaches. I have a brick wall research plan to begin working on for this summer. I hope to be able to use some of these ideas.

    Very interesting to see a “why” research question!

    very interesting; I enjoy hearing new ideas about how to solve difficult problems.

    Well presented and interactive

    Well presented. I liked the interaction with the audience. Through an indirect way gave us ideas how to pursuit our own research.

    What a great idea for part of a genealogy society meeting! A brief summary of a case and open it up to the floor for suggestions. It would really get the members talking but the presenter would have to very prepared and as succinct as our speaker.

    Wonderful – gave many ways of working through a problem

    Wonderful! Loved the format.

    Would be great to have more case studies like this. It was extremely thought provoking!

    wow, i like the interactivity of it. It was really fun and I think I would like to watch it again because I felt like my brain couldnt keep up with all the wonderful brainstorming ideas


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