Reconstructing the Murphy Family Using DNA & Documentary Evidence

Melissa Johnson, CG
Sep 15, 2020
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1m 02s
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About BCG
4m 35s
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Speaker's Introduction
1m 20s
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4m 06s
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Documentary evidence
34m 33s
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DNA evidence
18m 52s
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1m 46s
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Questions / answers
19m 42s

About this webinar

DNA can often be used along with documentary evidence to break through brick walls and resolve questions of relationship. Learn how an early nineteenth-century English immigrant's family is reconstructed through a combination of documentary evidence and DNA test results.

About the speaker

About the speaker

Melissa Johnson, CG, is a professional genealogist, writer and editor. She has expertise in researching families with origins in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and England, and works on forensic cases, dual citizenship matters, and lineage so
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  1. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    A clear, concise background to her research question that was easy to follow. Great slides! Explanations of research easy to understand, and the results explained neatly.

    A great webinar that clearly shows how indirect evidence can prove relationships. Thank you!

    A very interesting and insightful case study involving both documentary and DNA evidence.

    A well presented webinar.

    An excellent presenter and great organization of material presented. The lecture offered a good balance between tradition genealogical research and introduction to how DNA can be beneficial.

    Another wonderful webinar!

    Brilliant webinar with some great pointers as to how we can move forward with our own researches.

    Complex information presented in an understandable fashion. Indirect evidence is always a challenge but it was well presented in the case study.
    demonstrated very useful tools

    Encouraging to see how extensive the DNA research was across multiple lines. Also encouraged to see that birth records were not found for some known children as I have the same problem in Scottish records.

    Enjoyed the case study on the Murphy family and what evidence that was used.

    Excellent Case study – Syllabus great – would be improved by providing a small family tree of the core research subjects in syllabus

    Excellent case study!

    Excellent examples; good case study!

    Excellent information!

    Excellent job!

    Excellent organization and presentation of a case study.

    Excellent presenter, Melissa did a great job of showing us how she researched her question. Very clear and direct.

    Excellent speaker and excellent case study.

    Excellent teaching webinar. Although I’ve done similar research, I found the presentation very helpful in providing guidance about how to structure a case study/proof argument that meets the GPS but also takes into consideration an audience (my family) of non-genealogists to whom many of the principles and concepts are new or unfamiliar.

    Excellent webinar Melissa!

    Excellent webinar. Very informative.



    Excellent! Very clear, well organized, and documented.


    Excellent, easy to understand presentation!

    Extremely informative and thorough!

    Fun to follow along with the research. I did have a bit of trouble keeping my place, and was wishing for more mini trees as they were being constructed. But thank you and I hope to attend more in the future.

    Gave me some usable ideas for research.

    Good one but I’m going to have to listen to the recording as I had to take a call half way through!

    Good to see someone do such a thorough research job. Inspiring. Adding the DNA makes learning all about DNA….seeing the big picture.


    great case study

    Great Case Study showcasing indirect evidence! Thanks Melissa!!!

    Great example of a case study and very clearly presented!

    Great methodology and clearly explained.

    Great presentation

    Great presenter. Clear presentation.

    Great seminar. I really enjoyed it and would listen to it again if it was available. I would love to hear more, possibly another session, on how the DNA analysis was conducted.

    Great teaching tool. I picked up some helpful research tips.

    Great tie in of all of the direct and indirect evidence. Very logical and easy to follow.

    Great to see all the methodology I’m learning being applied

    Great use of DNA to supplement documentary evidence.

    Great Webinar

    Great webinar very informative,

    Great webinar, very easy to follow her through the indirect evidence. Will have to go explore BCG webinars where DNA plays a bigger role in the analysis. Thanks.

    Great webinar. So helpful to learn how experts work through this. Helps me to understand the process so that I can tackle my own case.

    Great work locating these records to tie this family together.

    I absolutely love hearing case study webinars. Melissa Johnson did a great job of covering all the bases and explaining why we should never just “assume” something fits into the family without thoroughly researching. I like these methodology programs.

    I agree with many others, this was an excellent presentation about combining Traditional research and DNA in following GPS and the Research Question quest !

    I always love to learn from Melissa Johnson.

    I enjoy case studies

    I enjoyed listening to another Jersey girl.

    I enjoyed this case study. The presentation slides were very clear and nicely laid out.

  2. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    I feel I’ve learned more from this webinar than I have from any of the others. It just all made sense to me in the way she explained it.

    I learned a lot. Thanks.

    I like the combination of regular research and DNA together.

    I liked learning that indirect sources can be used to prove research

    I love a good case study – inspiring me to work on some of my more challenging ancestors.

    I particularly enjoyed her explanation and examples of what constitutes reasonably exhaustive research. To me, the “Is this enough?” is one of the hardest questions to answer, and she did a really good job of demonstrating the level of evidence that is required to meet that test.

    indepth and well desscribed

    Interesting analysis

    interesting process

    Interesting research: webinar is clear and informative. Now I want LucidChart…

    It was so interesting to hear the step and thoughts behind her research plan

    Lots of great information shared!

    Lots of information

    Lots of research hours went into this presentation. Thank you!

    love case studies – that was presented very clearly

    Love seeing a model of someone else’s research that guides us in possible research plans and structures! Melissa presented very clearly and was well-spoken – easy to listen to – made complex ideas more understandable.

    Love these case study methodology webnars. I learned a lot. Thank you so much for presenting them to us.

    Melissa always does such a super job.

    Melissa did a great job of clearly explaining her methodology and reasoning and the importance of documentary evidence supported by DNA evidence. It was presented very well.

    Melissa did an excellent job! Thank you!

    Melissa is always a wonderful presenter.

    Melissa is an excellent presenter. Very personable and clear.

    Melissa is wonderful at explaining evidence and DNA. I always feel inspired after learning to her.

    Melissa Johnson always delivers a high quality presentation – so knowledgeable!

    Melissa Johnson was excellent!

    Melissa provides a very good presentation. She explained using DNA in a clear manner which makes it easy to understand.

    Melissa’s presentation was very well put together – I know she had a lot to cover in her hour, but it would have been better if she slowed down and took a breath. Fascinating presentation.

    Nicely done, Melissa.

    One of the most helpful webinars ever. Well done.


    quite comprehensive. easy to understand considering I’m not anywhere close to her level of expertise. It does make me wonder what drives someone to be so precise that they would spend hundreds of dollars to have others tested.

    Really outstanding!

    Really terrific seminar. Very clear and helpful.

    Really top notch research done by her and was impressed. I also like having the DNA being brought into the mix as we are all trying to up our DNA game.

    Similar to a case study that I’ve been working on, but from family from Poland, not England, and they immigrated a bit later.

    So easy to follow her research. This was very helpful as I could see how to apply it to my personal research. (Also I have a brickwall family in Newark!)

    So much great information about how to go about attempting to confirm relatives. Thank you!

    So relevant, as I am currently enrolled in the Boston University Certificate in Genealogical Research course!

    Such an interesting case study & so well explained that even I could understand!

    Thank you very much. Presentation was well done and explained.

    Thank you! Most informative, interesting and helpful. : )

    Thank you! This was very exciting, as it affirmed to me that I’m on the right track, research-wise. Seeking out and poring over evidence from a myriad of angles is the best way to go in order to affirm all the correct relationships, but the best benefit of all is that it helps paint such a vivid picture of the lives of one’s ancestors! Thank you for such an educational and informative webinar!

    The ability to match the documentary evidence with DNA results. Well done.

    The presentation was very clear and logical. Excellent!

    The speaker was very knowledgeable and conveyed what she had learned very well. Enjoyed how she explained her learning process from when she was a younger genealogist to now.

    This was a great webinar. Thanks so much Melissa.

  3. Legacy Family Tree
    4 years ago

    This webinar was very informative and practically useful. I am a beginner, and it really helps to see how professionals go about doing their genealogy research.

    This webinar was very informative. Excelllent !

    Unfortunately I don’t know enough yet about DNA to have gotten all I could out of the webinar. Glad to find a way to make charts and know about X dna regard female.

    Very clear presenter.

    very good

    very good!

    Very helpful

    Very helpful

    Very helpful and Melissa is a great presenter. I am learning about DNA testing bit by bit and she did a great job explaining.

    Very helpful to follow someone else’s logic through a research process. Loved this webinar!

    Very helpful. A request for future webinars would be a “how-to” cite those genealogy sources. I know there are books that provide the standard, but it helps to hear and see that process in action. Thanks so much!

    Very helpful. Great logical analysis.

    Very impressed with the thoroughness of this project.

    Very impressed with this presentation, clear and systematic from point to point

    Very informative, well thought and well presented. Melissa has a tendency to speak at break speed but at the same level.

    Very informative. I liked following her thought process.


    Very insightful with a lot of helpful tips! Great case study!

    Very instructive. I have been working on a case with similar indirect evidence, but not enough documentary evidence, I thought that DNA might be the way to figure it out. This webinar gave me a good suggestion on how to develop a methodology that would stand up. Thanks!

    Very interesting

    Very interesting and jam packed. She’s improved a lot in the few years I’ve been attending her seminars.

    Very interesting to tie the documentary and the DNA evidence together.

    Very interesting, easy to understand and useful as I attempt some similar research.

    Very logical, practical, and easy to follow

    Very nice demonstration of genealogical analysis.

    Very organized and detailed presentation

    Very thorough and excellent for learning about using DNA as proof and following genealogical standards

    very thorough research and I am sure the answers did not come easily or all at once.

    Very though discussion on how to search and prove your questions

    Very well done. Several good ideas to follow up on

    Very well explained.

    Very well presented. Clear and easy to follow

    Very, Very helpful to me regarding proof and using DNA. Thank you

    Well done

    Well done!

    Well done, very clear, linear.

    well explained- thank you

    Well organized, well presented, well done all around. One of the best case study presentations I’ve seen.

    Well thought out and helpful

    Wonderful and thorough presentation by Melissa. Compelling methodology and inspiring case study. I’m excited to apply these teachings towards my research!

    Wonderful webinar which I’ll replay again and again.

    Wonderful! Melissa’s case study was a great example of how to use indirect and DNA evidence.


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