Negative Evidence: Making Something Out of Nothing

Denise E. Cross, MSLIS, CG
Jun 22, 2022
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About BCG
5m 03s
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Speaker's Introduction
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1m 42s
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What is it?
10m 53s
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Census records
15m 37s
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Family birth records
5m 38s
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7m 07s
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Wills and probate
3m 15s
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Authored works
8m 53s
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1m 53s
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Questions / answers
17m 33s

About this webinar

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.

About the speaker

About the speaker

Denise Cross, MSLIS, CG, is a community college librarian who enjoys research, especially digging deep for an elusive answer. Researching her family since the 1990s, she began formalized education in genealogy with the Boston University Certificat
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  1. RC
    Robin Comfort
    5 months ago

    What a terrific presentation. I took lots of notes and look forward to asking the question, “why not?”. Thank you

  2. ND
    Nancy Dorrien
    5 months ago

    I’m sure that being introduced to the concept of negative evidence is going to help me find the information I have been searching for my great grandfather.

  3. MF
    Melissa Foremny
    5 months ago

    so far above my level, but really great to aspire too! Thanks!

  4. TB
    Terry Burks
    5 months ago

    This webinar was so well organized and informative. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  5. VM
    Victoria McGuinness
    5 months ago

    The presenter obviously knew her material well, but this is a difficult topic to present clearly. I greatly appreciated the distinction between a negative search, negative findings, and negative evidence. The syllabus will be helpful to review the material and, hopefully, gain a better grasp of what does and does not qualify as negative evidence.

  6. TB
    Therese Beckman
    5 months ago

    I was glad to be reminded to think “negatively”, for the absence of proof drives us too hard at times in our mission to fill in an evidence void with weak “positive” proof. Excellent presentation.

  7. GO
    Geraldine Oliva
    5 months ago

    The presentation was excellent and showed the value of thinking creatively and of being very precise and organized in genealogical research.

  8. KG
    Karen Gaboury
    5 months ago

    Denise Cross was well prepared to present this, great examples and the time went by so fast!


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