So far you have completed a reasonably exhaustive search and you have citied all of your sources. Now it is time to take a look at your data and see what it tells you. I like to put everything I know in tables and on timelines. The more ways you arrange and rearrange your data, the more things you will see. Many times a researcher will have the answer right in front of them and they just don’t see it. This is a good brick wall buster technique. When you think you are at a dead end, go over your research again and put it in a different format. List things by date, list things by name variations, list things by location etc. Timelines are great for trying to separate out two people with the same name.
When you are analyzing the information that you collected, not only are you looking for evidence that supports your working hypothesis, but you are also looking for conflicting data. The conflicting data must be addressed and that is step 4 of the GPS (tomorrow).
Here are a few good resources for more information:
- Using "Correlation" to Reveal Facts that No Record States by Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG,CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
- Correlating Sources, Information and Evidence to Solve Genealogical Problems by Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., CG,CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS
- Genealogical Evidence, A Guide to the Standard of Proof Relating to Pedigrees, Ancestry, Heirship and Family History by Noel C. Stevenson, J.D. [This was written before the GPS was adopted by the Board for Certification of Genealogists but this book has a lot of great info on analyzing the data you collect].
- Mentoring Class: Evidence Analysis Part I by Tristan L. Tolman, AG
- Mentoring Class: Evidence Analysis Part II by Tristan L. Tolman, AG
- Analyzing Records for Family History by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG
- Analysis of Evidence in the Genealogical Proof Standard by Michael Hait, CG
- Correlating Information from Multiple Records by Michael Hait, CG
Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis