Course: 2024-17 – Putting Those Records to Work

Coordinator: Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL

Description:

Every document we locate in genealogical research has its clear use: a census record will help us identify family members and trace them over time; a court record will tell us what was happening with that person at that time; a will or probate record will help recreate a family at a specific point in time. But every document we locate can be mined—directly or in combination with other records—for more: a deeper, richer context for our family members and their place and time.

Other Instructors:

Kelvin L. Meyers
Kimberly T. Powell
David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FUGA, FIGRS

Student Prerequisites: None

Recommendations: None

Day Session Title Description Instructor
Monday 1 The Basics: A review of the Genealogical Proof Standard The foundation of all good genealogy lies in the careful attention to the Genealogical Proof Standard: thorough research, source citation, data analysis, correlation, and resolution of conflicts in order to reach a sound conclusion. A review of the basics will start everyone off on a firm foundation to put those records to work. Russell
2 Data mining: An exercise in attention to detail Identifying the nuggets hidden in genealogical records of all kinds requires careful adherence to Standard 40, requiring “attention to detail, including details that might initially seem insignificant.” What kinds of details do we need to look for, and how do we record what we find? Russell
3 Data mining: The context of time and place (Pt I) The significance of a record—or the fact that one can’t be found—often depends on the context of the event in its time and place. Putting those records to work means considering and researching a wide variety of factors, ranging from local, regional, and national events to the weather to the law in effect. Russell
4 Data mining: The context of time and place (Pt II) (cont’d) The significance of a record—or the fact that one can’t be found—often depends on the context of the event in its time and place. Putting those records to work means considering and researching a wide variety of factors, ranging from local, regional, and national events to the weather to the law in effect. Russell
Tuesday 5 From Probate to Equity and Back (Pt I) When we allow the records to “talk” to us, we learn many things about our ancestors. In this session we learn about family relationships, the social status of the family, and prove marriages without marriage records. Meyers
6 From Probate to Equity and Back (Pt II) (cont’d) When we allow the records to “talk” to us, we learn many things about our ancestors. In this session we learn about family relationships, the social status of the family, and prove marriages without marriage records. Meyers
7 The Vital Truth: Going Beyond in Birth, Marriage and Death  (Pt I) They’re the first records we look for as genealogists: the birth, marriage, and death records of an ancestor, with the names, dates, and places we know we need for family history. But to really put those vital records to work, every single entry—even a tick mark—needs to be examined. Russell
8 The Vital Truth: Going Beyond in Birth, Marriage and Death (Pt II) (cont’d) They’re the first records we look for as genealogists: the birth, marriage, and death records of an ancestor, with the names, dates, and places we know we need for family history. But to really put those vital records to work, every single entry—even a tick mark—needs to be examined. Russell
Wednesday 9 In the Civil and Criminal Courts (Pt I) Records of the civil and criminal courts come in three flavors—dockets, minutes, and loose papers. What do we need to look for in each of these? How do we understand what the records say and what they mean, and where can those records take us if we put them to work? Russell
10 In the Civil and Criminal Courts (Pt II) (cont’d) Records of the civil and criminal courts come in three flavors—dockets, minutes, and loose papers. What do we need to look for in each of these? How do we understand what the records say and what they mean, and where can those records take us if we put them to work? Russell
11 The Civil War Pension File of Peter M. Keesler and its Secrets! (Pt I) Military pension files are replete with record clues and paths leading off in all directions. This session will explore the rich depths of one such pension file with its associated widow’s pension and homestead application two states away. Rencher
12 The Civil War Pension File of Peter M. Keesler and its Secrets!  (Pt II) (cont’d) Military pension files are replete with record clues and paths leading off in all directions. This session will explore the rich depths of one such pension file with its associated widow’s pension and homestead application two states away. Rencher
Thursday 13 The Don’t Miss Details Buried in Land Records and Maps (Pt I) Land records often provide locations, relationships, and other critical family history information. But sometimes it is a single word or phrase, or what the record doesn’t say, that cracks open the most perplexing family history mysteries. Powell
14 The Don’t Miss Details Buried in Land Records and Maps  (Pt II) (cont’d) Land records often provide locations, relationships, and other critical family history information. But sometimes it is a single word or phrase, or what the record doesn’t say, that cracks open the most perplexing family history mysteries. Powell
15 Decoding the Secrets in Immigration and Naturalization Records (Pt I) It’s not enough to know our immigrant ancestors arrived at Ellis Island in 1910. There’s so much more we can do to put those immigration and naturalization records to work, but often only if we can decode the secrets they hide. Russell
16 Decoding the Secrets in Immigration and Naturalization Records (Pt II) (cont’d) It’s not enough to know our immigrant ancestors arrived at Ellis Island in 1910. There’s so much more we can do to put those immigration and naturalization records to work, but often only if we can decode the secrets they hide. Russell
Friday 17 Putting Those Records to Work — Case Examples (Pt I) From the piney woods to the census, records genealogists work with every day are replete with hidden nuggets we don’t want to overlook. This session will review examples in an interactive workshop format.
18 Putting Those Records to Work — Case Examples (Pt II) From the piney woods to the census, records genealogists work with every day are replete with hidden nuggets we don’t want to overlook. This session will review examples in an interactive workshop format. Russell