Case 1 took us through the 5-step process:
- State a focused goal;
- Search broadly;
- Understand the documents;
- Correlate the evidence;
- Write down your results.
We were provided several images of documents used to "identify the parents of Maxfield Whiting who married Lettice Johnson in 1753." (that was our focused goal). Among the documents were marriage records, wills, probate records, a letter written by a father for his daughter, and court records. By the time all was said and done (and with a few hints from Tom Jones), I had correctly identified Maxfield Whiting's parents. I was very proud of myself!
... until I started on Case 2. But that's for another post.
We discussed Case 1 in our Just Genealogy group in SecondLife this past Sunday, which helped the the thought process gel a little more in my head (this is a good thing). Here are a couple of things I took away from this part of the course and our discussion:
- CITE YOUR SOURCES! (ok, I already knew that, but it bears repeating)
- When you make assumptions, say so.
- The people you seek may not be the main focus of a record. They could be witnesses, notaries, heirs, informants, etc.
- When two people with the same surname are listed on the same record, it is likely that they are related in some way.
Bottom line, I enjoyed this case and it made me feel like I was on the right track. Now ... on to Case 2.