Indirect Evidence – A Case Study

Pauline C. Merrick
May 18, 2022
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1m 51s
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Speaker's Introduction
1m 02s
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1m 16s
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Case Study
44m 30s
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Announcements / prizes
5m 28s
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Questions / answers
9m 49s

About this webinar

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.

About the speaker

About the speaker

Pauline C. Merrick has a lifelong interest in genealogy. She is the published author of a book and several magazine articles. She lectures on Connecticut research and DNA. She currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Connecticut Society
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Comments (96)

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  1. AH
    Angela Harris
    2 years ago

    Thank you for an excellent presentation! An excellent example of using the FAN club to make connections that otherwise may be hidden. Solid reasoning, clearly presented, fun to follow along!

  2. HS
    Helen Schenkelaars
    2 years ago

    Another great webinar on evidence.

  3. Nicole Sparks
    2 years ago

    I’m wondering if you considered, and ruled out, the possibility that Jones was not her maiden name but her married name from a first marriage? I just stumbled over that sticking point in my research. You would think/hope that if they’re going to put anything other than her name at death on a tombstone that it would be her maiden name, but… we all know situations where that information wasn’t quite right. How many death certificates have we seen where dad’s second wife is listed as someone’s mother? A lot of times the folks writing the certificates (or carving the stones) aren’t familiar with the deceased’s history.

    1 Reply
    • PM
      2 years ago

      Yes, of course. However two details prevented me from pursuing that red herring:
      1) Her marriage record *may have* referred to her as Mrs. Electa Jones.
      2) She was obviously capable of bearing children, but had none from any first marriage.
      It is always best to pursue the most probably scenario before veering off into the slim possibilities.

  4. IP
    Irene Phillips
    2 years ago


  5. KH
    Kellye Hawkins
    2 years ago

    Wonderfully clear, concise and with great examples.

  6. DJ
    Donna James
    2 years ago

    Very good presentation. Thank-you!

  7. MW
    Meg Wiggins
    2 years ago

    This case study resonated very much with my own research cunundrums. I enjoyed watching the methods used and the pathways followed after each clue developed. It was really interesting! Thank you!

  8. AC
    Adria Cummings
    2 years ago

    Phenomenal in and of itself but also a great tool for insights into one’s own research! A webinar worth viewing over and over again!


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