Length: 12–15 hours
Instructor: Michael J. LeclercCG
Evidence analysis is perhaps the most important part of genealogical research. Today’s world of technology has not only made it easier to compile our pedigrees, it has made it easier for mistakes to creep into our work. Periodic evaluation of the evidence is critical to be certain that the people in our pedigree are truly our ancestors.
The course is comprised of three sections. The first teaches how to work with chronologies. An invaluable tool for research and analysis, chronologies for this purpose are different from those we use to share our family stories. The second section provides extensive information and techniques for evaluating sources and the information contained within them. Students will also learn about the evidence analysis process and reasonably exhaustive searches. The third section shows how to deal with conflicting evidence, and finally how to write proofs. Instruction includes eight videos, seven readings, five activities, and three tests.
In addition to video presentations by Michael, the course includes a series of video interviews with Aaron Goodwin. Aaron is the author of New York City Municipal Archives: An Authorized Guide for Family Historians. He is a former contributing editor to the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, former editor of the Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, and was the American Society of Genealogists’ scholar for 2011.
By the end of the course, students will have
- selected a subject ancestor
- created and analyzed a chronology for the subject
- collated and evaluated all sources of information for each fact concerning the subject
- worked with conflicting information
- written proof arguments to show the validity of the conclusions drawn from the evidence
- learned how to incorporate multiple proof arguments into a larger narrative of the subject.